A snapshot of Cisco training and certification

The networking company offers both free training at colleges and universities and the faster commercial option

Cisco training has two main strands. One is Cisco Networking Academy, which is free to users who study at not-for-profit organisations. The Networking Academy started in October 1997 delivering Web-based content, online assessment, student performance tracking, hands-on labs, instructor training and support, and preparation for industry standard certifications. Typically the Networking Academy training is held at universities or colleges and lasts between 26 weeks and two years. Six years and $300m (£185m) later, the Networking Academy has spread to more than 149 countries and all US states. Over 285,000 students have enrolled at more than 10,200 Academies located in high schools, technical schools, colleges, universities, and community-based organisations. In the UK there are currently 13,000 Cisco Networking Academy students in over 700 academies. The other training method is Cisco Internet Learning Partners where the training can take place in one week for enterprises and contractors and there is a cost involved. At the moment there about 30,000-40,000 individuals undergoing Cisco training in the UK through Cisco Internet Learning Partners. The majority of that is at CCNA course. There is a pyramid shape of those studying with the largest numbers in the entry level, or 'Associate level'. There is a self-learning CD-ROM on networking basics that students at Associate (entry) level are recommended to use to get up to speed. Hot areas
Current areas of Cisco study in strong demand through the Internet Learning Partners are:

    1. Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (ICND) Routing and Switching
      CCNA & CCDA
    2. Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI)
      Routing and Switching CCNP, CCDP & CCIP
    3. Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks (BCMSN)
      Routing and Switching
      CCNP & CCDP
    4. Cisco Certified Network Associate Basics (CCNAB)
      Routing and Switching/CCNA & CCDA
      Classroom as well as self study £35 for 32 hours self study CD Rom. Some CLPs offer one- to four-day courses on CCNAB.
    5. Cisco Secure PIX Firewall Advanced (CSPFA)
      CCSP & PIX Firewall Specialist
    6. Cisco IP Telephony (CIPT)
      IP Telephony
      IP Telephony Support Specialist
    7. Building Cisco Remote Access Networks (BCRAN)
      Routing and Switching
      CCNP & CCDP
    8. Cisco Internetworking Troubleshooting Support (CIT)
      Routing and Switching
    9. Cisco Voice Over Frame Relay, ATM and IP (CVOICE)
      IP Telephony/IP Telephony Support Specialist
    10. Deploying Quality of Service (DQOS)
      IP Telephony
      IP Telephony Design, Operations, Support Specialists
    11. Cisco Secure Virtual Private Networks (CSVPN)
      CCSP & Cisco VPN Specialist
    Depending on individual learning needs, various training formats are available, including classroom-based training (CBT), live e-learning, self-paced e-learning, virtual labs, and often a combination of both e-learning and CBT, known as blended learning. Below are the only authorised commercial sources of Cisco training in the UK. Cisco UK training/learning providers:
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