Highly Motivated, Cross-Certified and Efficient: A Look into Cisco-Certified Professionals
According to the 2017 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, 86 percent of the more than 14,000 respondents hold at least one certification. If nothing else, this should be a huge indicator that certifications matter. More specifically, Cisco certifications matter. Cisco-certified IT professionals accounted for 31 percent of that base. Sure, one in three respondents holds one of their credentials, but what does a deep dive into the data reveal about these IT professionals in particular?
A dominant player in unified communications and network infrastructure
While Cisco has mass industry appeal, the company is a major player in certifications and a presence that simply can’t be ignored in the areas of unified communications and network infrastructure. IT professionals are more than likely holding a certification if working in collaboration or unified communications. In fact, 86 percent of those working in this field are certified, and of that group, 70 percent have a Cisco certification.
What’s more, in the field of network infrastructure and data center, 88 percent of professionals are certified, and 67 percent of that group has at least one Cisco certification. Cisco’s dominance in this field, in particular, should come as no surprise given that 74 percent of respondents who hold a Cisco certification have earned a CCNA credential. As networks evolve, so, too, does the need for professionals to have experience and know-how to tackle advanced data center issues.
Cisco-certified professionals are highly motivated
Though Cisco may be dominant in the two aforementioned areas, the IT Skills and Salary Report revealed that Cisco-certified professionals weren’t content to be pigeonholed into one role. This particular group of professionals pursued cross-certifications with other partners more so than any other demographic in the report.
Compared to their peers, Cisco-certified individuals hold 4.5 certifications to the 3.2 earned by their colleagues. Microsoft, CompTIA, and ITIL/ITSM were several of the most common areas in which Cisco-credentialed individuals sought out complementary training and certification given their all-purpose appeal.
But why cross-certify?
That’s the big question. In the case of Cisco, their technologies form the base of network infrastructure. As technologies evolve and build on this base, the need for new training, certifications and jobs will no doubt arise.
And that’s where focus comes in. IT professionals with Cisco credentials are highly focused as demonstrated by their desire to cross-certify more so than their peers. Given the popularity of the CCNA certification, it’s crucial Cisco-certified professionals broaden their personal portfolios to remain knowledgeable as well as competitive to meet the challenges associated with technological innovation and evolution.
To that end, 75 percent of Cisco-certified respondents indicated a desire to build new skills. Fifty-nine percent chose to train specifically to prepare for career certifications or specialist exams. This isn’t training for the sake of training; this is training with specific goals and objectives in mind.
Goal-oriented training doesn’t simply benefit students. It benefits business. Training creates higher performing employees, and in the case of Cisco-certified staff, it leads them to drive change and bring added value within their organizations.
Efficiency is the big payoff
Nearly 77 percent of those who trained to obtain a certification noted at least one major benefit to the endeavor. Most notably, the biggest benefit took the form of efficiency; obtaining certifications empowered Cisco-certified IT professionals to complete tasks in less time. Moreover, they felt they possessed the skills and confidence to implement system-wide efficiencies, which subsequently lead to the feeling that their expertise was sought out more often than before they pursued training.
Recent and relevant training
Perhaps more so than any other demographic in our survey, professionals with Cisco credentials are heavily invested in timely training and looking ahead to future opportunities for growth. According to our Cisco-certified respondents, 60 percent of those holding a Cisco credential obtained their most recent certification within the last year.
Not only is this demographic already taking training in the classroom and online, it’s looking ahead to future opportunities. Eighty-two percent are working on a certification or plan to work on one in the next year. This is 12 points higher than the norm. This is especially noteworthy given the fact that Cisco credentials should be re-certified anywhere from every two to five years and are some of the most recognized and pervasive in the industry.
Even a superficial reading of these statistics indicates the importance of certifications and training to this group of IT professionals. If they want to continue to work with cutting-edge technology, employees must maintain a commitment to training and keeping skills sharp.
As an IT decision-maker or manager, bear in mind that in order to retain Cisco-certified employees, it will be crucial to identify appropriate career or training paths for your staff. While you may be concerned at the thought of stretching your training budget, remember this group will drive change throughout an organization-not to mention it costs more to hire and replace an employee in the long run.
The total package
As a decision-maker or professional considering certification, you can’t go wrong with Cisco. They’ve been building best-of-breed products for over 25 years, and their certifications enable day-to-day success as well as the general needs of their end-users.
Noting this pedigree, it’s no surprise Cisco-certified IT professionals are some of the most active in the industry. They know the value of certifications and aren’t hesitant to pursue them. They recognize the time and energy that goes into training pays big dividends in the long run both for their individual roles as well as for organizational success resulting from their increased confidence and efficiency.