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If Cisco training is your aspiration, and you’ve not yet worked with routers or network switches, you should first attempt CCNA certification. This will provide you with knowledge and skills to work with routers. The internet is made up of hundreds of thousands of routers, and large commercial ventures with many locations also need routers to allow their networks to keep in touch.

It’s very probable you’ll get a job with an internet service provider or a big organization which is located on multiple sites but still wants secure internal data communication. These jobs are well paid and in demand.

Getting your Cisco CCNA is perfectly sufficient to start with; don’t be cajoled into attempting your CCNP. Once you’ve got a few years experience behind you, you will have a feel for whether you need to train up to this level. If so, your experience will serve as the background you require to take on your CCNP – which is quite a hard qualification to acquire – and mustn’t be entered into casually.InformIT (Pearson Education)

One thing you must always insist on is 24×7 round-the-clock support with trained professional instructors and mentors. Too many companies only seem to want to help while they’re in the office (9am till 6pm, Monday till Friday usually) and nothing at the weekends.

Look for training where you can access help at all hours of the day and night (irrespective of whether it’s the wee hours on Sunday morning!) Ensure you get 24×7 direct access to mentors and instructors, and not a message system as this will slow you down – parked in a queue of others waiting to be called back at a convenient time for them.

We recommend that you search for training programs that have multiple support offices across multiple time-zones. Each one should be integrated to give a single entry point together with access round-the-clock, when you want it, with no fuss.

Always choose a training company that gives this level of learning support. As only round-the-clock 24×7 support gives you the confidence to make it.

The market provides an excess of work available in IT. Picking the right one in this uncertainty is a mammoth decision.

Perusing a list of odd-sounding and meaningless job titles is no use whatsoever. The vast majority of us have no concept what our own family members do for a living – let alone understand the subtleties of any specific IT role.

Consideration of several areas is vital if you want to expose the right answers:

* Personalities play an important part – what things get your juices flowing, and what are the areas that put a frown on your face.

* Do you want to get certified due to a specific motive – for instance, is it your goal to work at home (maybe self-employment?)?

* Is salary further up on your list of priorities than anything else.

* Because there are so many different sectors to gain certifications for in the IT industry – you will have to gain a basic understanding of what separates them.

* The level of commitment and effort you’ll commit getting qualified.

When all is said and done, the only real way of understanding everything necessary is by means of a long chat with an experienced advisor that has enough background to give you the information required.

Commercial certification is now, undoubtedly, beginning to replace the traditional academic paths into IT – but why is this?

The IT sector is now aware that to learn the appropriate commercial skills, official accreditation from the likes of CISCO, Adobe, Microsoft and CompTIA is far more effective and specialized – for much less time and money.

Of course, an appropriate quantity of relevant additional information has to be covered, but focused specialized knowledge in the required areas gives a commercially trained person a distinct advantage.

In simple terms: Authorized IT qualifications give employers exactly what they’re looking for – the title is a complete giveaway: i.e. I am a ‘Microsoft Certified Professional’ in ‘Designing Security for a Windows 2003 Network’. Therefore employers can identify just what their needs are and what certifications are required to perform the job.

Consider only training paths which will grow into commercially acknowledged exams. There are way too many trainers proposing minor ‘in-house’ certificates which aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on in the real world.

All the major commercial players like Microsoft, Cisco, Adobe or CompTIA all have nationally recognized proficiency programs. Huge conglomerates such as these will make your CV stand-out.

Copyright 2009 Scott Edwards. Navigate to PHP Training or www.CareerChangeIdea.co.uk/mcca.html.