In June of 2019, Cisco dropped a bombshell at their annual Cisco Live Conference. Their entire certification program was being overhauled, affecting candidates and companies alike. For those deep in the Cisco trenches, this news was a game changer. However, believe it or not, everyone will be affected by this significant shift in Cisco's certification policies.Organizations of all kinds can expect the Cisco 2020 updates to influence how their company moves forward. These changes profoundly impact the work done by networking employees which, in turn, becomes an integral component of how the company stays connected in our tech-driven culture.
Productive leaders recognize the importance of maintaining the pace of technological change. In order to do so, it's imperative to understand what those changes are and how they will play a role within the organization.
How the Cisco Certification Process is Changing
The most notable updates include:
- Expanded topics in the exams, covering non-Cisco related technology
- A more direct path to certification, with fewer exams to pass
- New DevNet certifications, building a bridge between the Network and Server teams
Because networking technology is necessary to staying relevant and succeeding in today's modern business environment, these new certification developments cannot be ignored. Maintaining a fully prepared team to manage the technological foundation of any organization is critical.
Business Benefits to Having a Certified Team
Cisco's updates are designed to promote increased efficiency in the workplace, keeping in mind the challenges IT employees face on a daily basis. Because of these certification changes, organizations can expect:
- Engineers with a broader range of skills and knowledge, reducing the need for a bloated department/team
- Advanced, modern capabilities and effective processes
- Time and money saved from quicker troubleshooting
- A team of confident, creative, and dedicated employees
Do More With Less
Skills gaps affect 81% of North American IT departments, which the updated Cisco exams are now actively seeking to close, making it possible for tech teams in any field to do more with less.
The knowledge acquired through certification is not only relevant to the time engineers are currently working in, it also prepares them for the times ahead. A more varied skill set can inspire workers to think bigger, solve problems faster, and pave the way forward.
A Bigger Playing Field
The new certifications will now incorporate technology outside of Cisco's specific features. That means that Cisco certified engineers will be equipped to oversee networks across the board, providing significant benefits to companies in any field, working on any system.
As a result, the examinations will aptly address the reality of the networks IT workers manage on a daily basis. Most of today's networks are a hodgepodge of technology, requiring either a larger team or a highly skilled (and potentially expensive and hard to find) professional in order to manage.
The new certification programs will allow IT employees to navigate the current state of networking more efficiently.
New Topics, New Opportunities
Cisco has now adopted a more realistic approach to its certification offerings, introducing additional concepts that are directly applicable to the real world networks IT employees navigate.
Consider the new DevNet certifications. Designed for both network professionals and software developers, this program places everyone on the same team. Both departments, by achieving certification, gain a stronger understanding of what their respective counterparts are doing, allowing them to work in tandem.
How Certified Employees Benefit Everyone
Employees who are certified have a more holistic idea of what is happening within the entire network and IT department of an organization. They are well-rounded, producing high-quality work that is both distinct and reliable. In fact, 90% of IT professionals believe that certification leads to a more effective staff.
Because of the broader scope covered by the new certifications, companies will not need as many IT team members as usual. Rather, organizations can build a compact, expert team of professionals who are familiar with their network and prepared for future developments. This level of consistency saves both time and money for the entire company.
How to Support Candidates Supporting You
The new exams offer more opportunities but also call for more resources. However, 95% of employers who approved of training for certification for their employees, report that certified team members bring added value above and beyond the cost of certification.
When investing in a training program that covers all the topics the Cisco exams do, an extensive content catalogue is an obvious must. You will also want to consider time management and flexibility.
Manageable, on-demand courses can allow candidates to keep up with their daily responsibilities while studying for the exam. They can also begin to apply what they're learning to their work.
Passing the Test
As the IT field gears up for significant developments in 2020, staying ahead of the game is an undeniable advantage. Leaders preparing for the new year, want to provide their teams with the tools needed to adapt and succeed, and no wonder. Cultivating on-site talent with educational programs designed for engagement and retention, is an investment in long-term growth. By evolving company capabilities alongside technology, organizations will continue to thrive in an unpredictable landscape.
See how INE's IT Training platform is built to support both team members and management, with high-quality, on-demand content and managerial analytics for tracking progress. Sign up for a free platform Demo today!