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Top-Paying and Most Popular Cisco Certifications from the IT Skills and Salary Report

July 09, 2019
Ryan Day

As skills gaps widen throughout the industry, IT professionals are seeking advantages any way they can get them. Increasingly, certifications have provided that edge.

Global Knowledge surveyed over 12,200 IT professionals for the 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report and respondents overwhelmingly noted the direct benefits of certification. Decision-makers specifically acknowledged the value, as certified employees are better at troubleshooting issues, closing skills gaps and completing projects more quickly.

Sixteen percent of all IT professionals have at least one Cisco certification, making it the fourth most popular certification category in the world. And looking forward, 14% of IT professionals pursuing a certification in 2019 have Cisco on their list.


A major focus area for organizations 

One-third of North American IT professionals expect Cisco to be an emphasis for their organization in the next year. A lot of that is due to reputation—Cisco skills and certifications are considered some of the most valuable in the industry.

But the topics tackled by Cisco certifications are also in high demand. Two of their more prominent certification areas—security and networking—are key concerns for IT professionals.

The five most popular Cisco certifications are either in security or networking. Cisco-certified individuals are most likely to hold the following certifications:

  • 71% CCNA Routing and Switching
  • 33% CCNP Routing and Switching
  • 18% CCNA Security
  • 15% CCENT: Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician
  • 13% CCDA: Cisco Certified Design Associate

CCNA Routing and Switching is the go-to credential for networking professionals. With 1,410 certified, it’s held by 11% of our survey respondents and is the second most popular certification worldwide.


Top-paying certifications 

Here are the highest-paying Cisco certifications from the IT Skills and Salary Report (minimum of 100 North American responses):


1. CCDA: Cisco Certified Design Associate — $120,139

CCDA validates the network design skills required to create an enterprise network. It’s ideal for network design engineers, system engineers and sales engineers looking for Cisco network design fundamental knowledge.

Recommended training to prepare for CCDA certification:


2. CCNP Routing and Switching — $108,646

This certification is the next logical step after gaining the expertise that comes with the CCNA Routing and Switching certification. CCNP Routing and Switching validates the ability to plan, implement, verify and troubleshoot local and wide-area enterprise networks.

Recommended training to prepare for CCNP certification:


3. CCNA Routing and Switching — $101,441

CCNA Routing and Switching is aimed at IT professionals looking to build and validate Cisco networking fundamentals. It’s the most popular Cisco credential and focuses on foundational IP networking skills.

Recommended training to prepare for certification:


4. CCNA Security — $101,411

CCNA Security confirms the associate-level knowledge and skills required to secure Cisco networks. It emphasizes core security technologies, like installing, troubleshooting and monitoring network devices to maintain data and device integrity, confidentiality and availability.

Recommended training to prepare for certification:


5. CCENT: Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician — $83,057

CCENT validates the ability to install, operate and troubleshoot a small enterprise branch network, including enabling basic network security. This foundational credential is the first step toward achieving CCNA certifications.

Recommended training to prepare for CCENT certification:


Work toward 17 certifications with Cisco Elite

The Cisco Certification Elite Collection provides 12 months of unlimited access to instructor-led and on-demand Cisco training. It includes over 40 Cisco courses covering 17 career certifications. Pursue all of the top-paying certifications and secure the training you need over the next year.


Cisco is a major player in networking/infrastructure

Over 44% of Cisco-certified IT professionals work in networking or infrastructure, by far the most of any job function. Here are the top functional areas for Cisco-certified professionals:

  1. Networking/Infrastructure/Telecommunications – 44%
  2. Cybersecurity/IT security – 16%
  3. IT Architecture and Design – 11%
  4. Service Desk and IT Support – 8%
  5. Executive – 3%

Cisco-certified professionals are more evenly spread out by industry:

  1. IT-related services – 11%
  2. IT consulting – 10%
  3. Healthcare – 9%
  4. Government: Military and homeland security – 8%
  5. Education services – 7%


Cisco introduces a new certification framework

At Cisco Live 2019 in San Diego, Cisco introduced significant changes to their certification framework. The new framework features revised technology tracks, streamlined and simplified certification paths, and a new technology trackDevNet software development. The new exams won’t be available until February 2020 but due the prevalence of Cisco certifications, the impact of these changes will be significant. But don’t panic, there will be a migration plan. Your current certifications and any tests you have completed or plan to complete prior to February will apply to they new certifications.

Learn more about Cisco's new certification framework


Additional resources