Monday, August 20, 2012

Hot Certification - Cisco CCNA Voice

Changes in voice technology to include telephony, VoIP and related solutions has created a need for computer network specialists who are skilled in both voice technologies and computer networking. Cisco, one of the most respected certification providers in the IT industry, offers an associate-level certification geared specifically towards voice solutions: CCNA Voice.

The CCNA Voice certification requires passing one exam: 640-461 ICOMM v8.0, an exam covering Cisco voice and other communication administration concepts. Before taking this exam, you must have a valid CCNA or CCIE certification. As of February 2012, the exam fee is $250. If you are entirely new to Cisco certifications, you may want to take the CCENT first, which is a one exam certification, followed by the CCNA, which is a two exam certification whose first exam is covered by the CCENT.

The CCNA Voice certification is geared towards junior- or senior-level network administrators with at least 3 years of hands-on experience. While experience is not a prerequisite to take the exam, the exam is geared towards applications of technology, not just rote memorization of theory and concepts, so passing is unlikely without at minimum understanding how the technologies are implemented.

The specific career paths this exam is geared towards are voice managers, voice technologies administrators, voice engineers and related positions. In many organizations, instead of a separate position, these duties are handled by the IT staff, who also handles networking and general computer technician duties.

The CCNA Voice exam focuses on solutions that are part of Cisco IOS United Communications. It is necessary to have an understanding of a wide array of VoIP technologies, including IP PBX, call control, IP telephony, handset and voicemail solutions. The exam also covers topics related to mobility, presence and Cisco applications such as TelePresence applications. Despite the exam focusing on Cisco solutions, the skills certified in this exam are applicable to other vendors’ implementations.

This certification is valid for 3 years after you pass the exam. If you want to recertify your CCNA Voice credential, you must take a CCNA concentration exam, a 642- exam, CCDA design exam, a qualify Cisco specialist exam, CCIE exam, CCDE exam or pass the Cisco Certified Architect requirements. Failure to complete these recertification requirements within the 3 year period results in having to retake the exam to continue being certified.

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