Cisco's New CCNA Voice Specialization Can Increase Your Pay

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Are you looking to boost your career or have more job security? If so, Cisco's newest CCNA Voice specialization may be the right step for you. This past summer, Cisco released three new certifications:

o CCNA Voice
o CCNA Security
o CCNA Wireless

These exams are add-on concentrations to Cisco's very popular Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification. For many years the CCNA has been the most sought-after entry level computer networking certification in the industry which focuses mostly on Router and Switch configuration.

What are some of the key motivators for getting the CCNA Voice certification? Based on research by Forrester Consulting the demand for specialized IT professionals will be very strong in the coming years. One finding was that 69% of the companies surveyed expect to have a dedicated voice technologies specialist in their organization within five years. Another motivator is salary. Certification Magazine's 2007 annual salary survey found a worldwide average salary of US $ 74,810 for people with a CCNA certification. In comparison, attaining the professional-level Cisco Certified Voice Professional (CCVP) certification beyond the CCNA resulted in a 23 percent higher salary, at an average of US $ 92,350. Job roles available for individuals who obtain a CCNA Voice certification include:

o Voice Administrators
o Voice Technicians
o Voice Engineers

The CCNA Voice concentration provides candidates with a good foundation in traditional telephony and Cisco Unified Communications. The exam focuses on testing a student's knowledge to install, configure and support a Cisco Unified Communications solution from 8 – 250 phones. In order to attain the certification there are two routes a candidate can go:

Option 1

Pass the three following exams:

1) Cisco Networking Devices Interconnecting (640-822 ICND1)
2) Cisco Networking Devices Interconnecting (640-816 ICND2)
3) Implementing Internet Unified Communications (640-406 IIUC)

Option 2

Pass the two following exams:

1) Cisco Certified Network Associate (640-802 CCNA)
2) Implementing Internet Unified Communications (640-406 IIUC)

Having the CCNA Voice is a new a requirement for achieving the Cisco Certified Voice Professional (CCVP). The one caveat is if you have already passed the CCNA you will have until June 2009 to pass the CCVP without taking the CCNA Voice.

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