CXO

Which Cisco certifications will be in demand in 2017?

As 2016 winds down plenty of tech professionals are looking to expand their careers. Certifications are the way to do it in the IT world, and these five Cisco certs will be in high demand.

As we reported previously at TechRepublic, 85% of CIOs predict that they will continue to hire new people in 2017. Anyone who has spent time in the IT industry knows that in-demand jobs and skills change rapidly—so what does 2017 have in store for the IT job market?

All the talk of hacking, cybercrime, and data theft means one thing for sure: Cybersecurity experts are going to be hot commodities. Network administrators are also predicted to be in high demand next year, and both of those fields are right up Cisco's alley.

SEE: The Future of IT Jobs: Critical Skills and Obsolescent Roles (Tech Pro Research)

So which Cisco certifications should you get to advance or jump start a new IT career? Here are five that will get you far in 2017. Each comes in three levels (CCNA, CCNP, CCIE) but this piece is focused on CCNA, the entry level of the three.

What: CCNA/P/IE Security

Why: Security is going to be a huge topic in 2017 and beyond. Just look at the latest news headlines and you're likely to see a variety of cybersecurity topics. From Russian hacks of the US political system to Yahoo leaking another billion account credentials, security professionals are going to be in demand for the foreseeable future.

What: CCNA Cyber Ops

Why: Cyber Ops is an entry-level security certification that focuses on working in security operations centers. It's the first step into a cybersecurity career that focuses less on maintaining firewalls and antivirus software and more on responding to cybersecurity threats.

What: CCNA/P/IE Data Center

Why: Cisco's Data Center certification focuses on design, implementation, and maintenance of networks. Each level of the certification adds more complexity and greater understanding of Cisco networks, allowing holders to further advance their careers.

It's not just security that will be in demand—network administration is right up there as a hiring priority.

What: CCNA/P/IE Routing and Switching

Why: Just as network administrators are essential to the maintenance of enterprise infrastructure, network engineers are needed to understand and implement the newest technologies.

SEE: Report: Tech sector growing, but IT is hemorrhaging jobs (TechRepublic)

The Routing and Switching certification focuses on Cisco core network engineering skills and is designed for professionals who want careers as network engineers, support engineers, systems engineers, or network technicians.

What: CCNA/P/IE Collaboration

Why: The Collaboration certification series focuses on voice, video, and other Cisco collaboration software and hardware. Network administrators are in demand, and good ones are going to know how to manage enterprise-level collaboration equipment as well. The Collaboration certification is just one more way to diversify your skillset.

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About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

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