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Boost your IT career with this $35 Cisco training bundle

For $35, you'll get access to 99 hours of top IT instruction.

The Premium Cisco CCNA & CCNP Lifetime Certification Prep Bundle is on sale now for just $34.93. That's a 97% discount from the original price of all of the programs combined. 

Cisco has been a leader in networking hardware, software, and telecommunications equipment since 1984 if you can believe it. Since pioneering the concept of local area networks (LAN), the multinational conglomerate has helped to connect computer systems around the planet. 

Over the decades, Cisco has consistently evolved to stay technologically relevant. This included a pivot into ethernet in 2006 and a focus on the Internet of Things in 2014. As the company continued acquiring start-ups and moving into new markets, experts from disparate fields were required and certification programs were established.

Why Cisco Certifications?

The entry-level certification is known as a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), while the associate level training is Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). Both of these training programs were updated in 2020 to ensure candidates understand how to install, operate, and troubleshoot enterprise branch networks. 

Cisco certification courses prepare you to understand network routers and switches. Even small networks feature complex connections between servers, printers, computers, and other associated hardware. Understanding how to install and operate these networks is one of the primary functions of Cisco professionals and associates. 

Cisco certificates are useful on many levels. First, these ground-floor certifications prepare you to move on to higher levels of expertise, such as the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification. IT professionals with such certifications earn higher average salaries --on average, 8 to 13 percent higher -- than their uncertified peers. 

Certified Cisco professionals and associates are also more likely to move up in the ranks at their own company or be hired at new companies. Working knowledge of complex systems is an attractive skill to many businesses, especially as the Internet of Things becomes a primary feature of many businesses. 

How to Prep for Cisco Certifications

Premium Cisco CCNA & CCNP Lifetime Certification Prep Bundle

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Taylor Vick

The Premium Cisco CCNA & CCNP Lifetime Certification Prep Bundle prepares you to tackle all of these duties. Taught by high-ranking instructors, these seven courses feature 707 expert lessons that prepare you for CCNP and CCNA certifications. 

One course is devoted to Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), a routing technique in telecommunications networks that helps traffic speed across the network. In just four hours, you'll learn how to configure multiple IGP protocols and create multiple types of VPNs. As one student says of these lessons, "This course is a good overview of MPLS in the real world. It is short enough to learn what you need to know to get started with MPLS and focuses on configuration and labs."

With new information on the 2020 exams, master instructor Lazero Diaz offers multiple practice labs to help you understand networking, routing and switching, dynamic routing, and routing protocols. A student of this 20-hour course says, "The information was definitely spot on, it gave me an opportunity to relearn a lot of the course as it's been a while since I have played on any type of network system." 

Cisco associates and professionals have to take certifications every three years to ensure they're up to date on the latest protocols. You'll also gain access to a recertification course to help you prepare for all of the changes that have occurred in the 2020 exams. 

$35 at ZDNet Academy

Beyond IoT Certifications

IoT is not the only field in which Cisco is essential. The company's partnerships and purchases over the decades include virtualized networks, mobile technology, cloud software, real-time communications and collaboration applications, cybersecurity, and file-sharing software. At every level, certified experts are needed to make sure these networks operate. 

These courses teach you how routing and switching technologies work in real-world environments. Routing is a fundamental duty of the internet. Understanding routing tables, default routes, and routing information protocols places you in contention for most important jobs at many companies. Network failures are costly and time-consuming, so qualified experts are always needed.