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Complementing Your Cisco Security Certifications with Vendor-Neutral Security Certifications

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Many Cisco security certification holders will find it worthwhile to add vendor-neutral certifications to their credentials portfolios. With so many good vendor-neutral security certifications available at various levels of difficulty, sifting through those choices can take some serious time and effort. Here, we take a look at select vendor-neutral information security certifications that make great counterparts to Cisco security certs.
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Whether you’re just entering the IT field or are a seasoned IT professional, chances are you’ve discovered and understand the value and power that certifications can add to your career in terms of financial gain, career advancement, and prestige. When it comes to security, Cisco certifications remain some of the best-known, prestigious, and sought-after credentials in the IT industry. Cisco security certifications range from the entry-level Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Security, to the intermediate Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Security, to the advanced Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE).

Vendor-specific certification programs such as those from Cisco offer in-depth, platform- and product-specific credentials. While Cisco’s security certifications also recognize deep knowledge of security issues in general, their focus is obviously on how to deal with such issues as they relate to Cisco platforms, tools, and technologies.

Many IT professionals balance their certification portfolios with a mix of vendor-specific and vendor-neutral certifications. Vendor-neutral certifications tend to cover the “big” picture for their respective topics, rather than focusing on vendor products and services.

With hundreds of information security certifications to choose from, finding the right mix of certifications that best fit your needs and interests can be challenging. Here, we take a look at Cisco’s top security certifications—the CCNA Security, CCNP Security, and CCIE— and match them up with some great complementary vendor-neutral certifications that we think you’ll find worth exploring—and possibly even earning.

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Security

Designed to provide IT professionals with the skills necessary to develop Cisco security infrastructures, manage and mitigate security risks, and recognize security threats, this entry-level certification lays the foundation for the Cisco security certification path. This credential is a prerequisite for the CCNP Security cert. Candidates must pass a written exam that costs $250. Recertification is required every three years. For more information, visit the CCNA Security website.

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