Cisco Certification vs Microsoft Certification – In today’s competitive world, availing a professional certificate or degree has become equally important in conjunction with the academic education. Most of the Multinational Companies and even the prominent IT giants look to hire candidates who are proficient in computers with excellent academic background. The professional certifications are awarded to those candidates who have completed a program or a course of study from an authorized training center. The candidates have to appear for an exam and they receive the certificate only after qualifying it. The certificate is an authentic proof that you are qualified to be given a certain post within the IT industry. In addition to all these, it is very important to keep on upgrading your knowledge about the change in technology. You need to delve into the topics.
However, you also have to keep on renewing your certification periodically. Some may be valid for the lifetime. You may have to appear in a re-certification examination or show that you are continuing the process of learning. The IT sector has become of the largest employers in the present day time offering high salaries and lucrative future. Therefore, certifications prove to be an additional bonus in your resumes when you go out there for applying for a job. There are a few certifications which focus on specific technological knowledge. They are offered by the vendors of those technologies.
Candidates persuing professional certification in computers do get perplexed regarding the choice. They find themselves in a dilemmatic situation because they are not able to decide which the right course is for them. A number of popular certificate programs are readily available which can make the decision making even tougher. Some candidates do not know which certification will suit with their skill or tech expertise. One of the other benefits of these certifications is that you do not require any college degree in order to enroll for the course. However, in order to maximize your earnings from the program, you need to go through proper intensive training. It is extremely vital to get a comprehensive knowledge of all the technical aspects before moving on into the field. Some of the most persuaded certifications include Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA which includes A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, Apple, Information Systems Audit and Control Association and Project Management Professional etc.
But the two major certifications are Microsoft Certified Program and Cisco Certified Program. Therefore, it is important to make a detailed comparative study between these two so that you can know which is better. However, first and foremost it is essential to get familiar with what the prerequisites are to apply for the program.
Microsoft vs Cisco Certification
The Microsoft Certification
The Microsoft Certification is meant for individuals who are interested in making a career in the IT sector. Suppose if you want to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) then you need to have a couple of years experience in development, installation, configuration and troubleshooting, Microsoft servers and databases. There are other certifications such as MTA which is designed especially for the college students and so it does not require you to fulfill any condition. Nevertheless, you have to pass an examination for each of the certifications.
The Microsoft Certifications help in enhancing your skills and you can implement the knowledge while working in your field. It has been recognised as one of the esteemed programs that are valued worldwide. By implementing the skills, of course, you can increase the productivity of your company. In fact, in order to offer to generate more interest in individuals, Microsoft initiated another certification program known as its Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) program in April 2012. Another significant step taken by the company in this regard was the introduction of Microsoft Cloud-Build Certification which took the place of Microsoft Certifications. This means the business firms can employ new techniques such as MTCS, MCIPT, and MCPD. All these credentials are expected to get a good response in the coming years.
This is not all. Microsoft has brought yet another change in its revamped certification. It has introduced Re certification. The candidates need to sit for one or two additional examinations where their skills are put to the test. Re-certification will increase the value of attained knowledge and you will always remain updated. As a matter of fact, the Microsoft Certifications have been usually have three categories level wise. They are-
The Associate Level
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCST)
The first level of certification is the Associate level and the name of the program is Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS). While you are undergoing this program, you will learn about different Microsoft products including Windows 8 and SharePoint. Since this is the initial stage you get to know about various other activities such as implementation, troubleshooting or debugging etc. This will prepare you for job competitions and enhance your familiarity with technologies.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
In MCSA, you get the first taste of cloud-optimized Microsoft certification. Here you become an expert. This program is helpful for the aspirants who want to serve the IT industry. You will receive training in the basics of on-site and cloud computing which are important phenomena in IT sector. You learn to work on Windows Server, SQL Server, Windows Client and Visual Studio. After crossing MCSA, you will reach on to the next level.
The Expert Level
Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD)
It can be categorized into two parts. While MCPD is intended for the programmers and the developers, Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) will help IT professionals. The basic difference between these two certifications is that the former focus only on developing one Microsoft skill, the later will help you in gripping over various technologies. You can work as Database Administrator or Desktop Support Technician. You will also have to design, operate and optimize technology.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
Here also you will come across two categories- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD). In fact, MCSE is a new program launched by the Microsoft. The IT professionals and programmers can opt for it. On the other hand, MCSD will test your technical skills and whether you can develop cloud-optimized solutions across multiple Microsoft platforms.
The Master Level
Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA)
MCA is the highest attainable certificate which any IT professional can get in the field of IT architecture. However, you will have to work very hard to receive this certification. It is usually awarded to highly experience IT professionals having more than ten years of vast experience in IT industry with three years experience as architect.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM)
These prestigious certifications are awarded to the IT professionals for their impeccable and distinguished contribution in their respective fields. They are vastly experienced people who have a very thorough knowledge of the technology and their job is to execute plans and handle more complex technical based problems. It is of the toughest certifications to get.
Some other Important Certifications Offered by Microsoft
Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)
Microsoft Office Suite such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook has all become very popular and widely used worldwide. The MOS certificate will help in flourishing your career where you can increase your productivity.
Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)
As it is evident from the term itself, MCT are the experts or the instructors whose job is teach Microsoft technologies. They usually train students in class and help in the preparation of the course. They can deliver lectures or conduct practical classes at the training centres or other institutions.
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) is an old program of Microsoft for the IT professionals. In fact, its demand was much more before the launching of MCTS and MCITP. A person specializing as MCS engineer had to develop, implement and administer business solutions. They are basically system engineer working on serves based on Windows 2000 and 2003.
Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
Microsoft has specifically introduced the MTA program for the college students and those who want come in IT industry. There is no such criterion for enrolling in this course. You will learn the basics about software and web development, security, database administration, networking and so on.
The Cisco Certificate
If you are keen to establish your career in the networking area, then you should root for the Cisco certification which is equally valuable as the Microsoft Certifications. Unlike Microsoft it is not a software company but they offer routers and help in tracking the IP numbers. You can monitor the routers and send traffic from one server to another. However, their functionality is limited. They act as messenger. You can send music and other document from one place to another through internet. The curriculum of Cisco Certification is varied and offers a deep understanding of the networking system as well as business communication devices. You get to know how the IT network topology actually works and how you can build a secure networking. Cisco Certification have a great demand in the IT industry today.
The recent certification programs have been introduced keeping in mind the industry demand and to make computer networking professionals more compatible. Therefore, five different stages have been added into the new course include- Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert and, Architect.
Eight Paths of Cisco Certification
The Eight Paths of Cisco Certification are included within the five levels of program. Cisco Certification is quite helpful in selecting your area of service. The eight tracks are-
- Routing and switching
- Network Security
- Service provider
- Service provider operations
- Storage networking
Some well paid Cisco Certifications
By now you must be inquisitive to know which the more demanding Cisco Certification Programs are that offers high salary. They are-
- CCENT Certification
- CCNA Certification
- CCDA Certification
- CCNP Routing & Switching
Pros and Cons of Microsoft and Cisco Certification
First it is important to view the benefits and drawbacks of Microsoft Certificate.
- Microsoft is a well renowned software company and most people are familiar with it; even non IT professionals.
- It can give a special impetus to your resume while applying for a job.
- You get the experience to work with Microsoft servers and software.
- It offers a number of programs for the aspiring IT professionals.
Now the cons-
- You get to know only about Microsoft software and computer languages associated with it.
- The examinations are tough
- Not every IT company makes use of Microsoft techniques
Now let’s focus on advantages of Cisco Certification
- Cisco Certification is also well established company that manufactures networking devices and IT infrastructure equipments such as router and switches.
- Cisco Certification also shows that you are experienced in IT networking.
- You can apply the knowledge to various IT brands.
- It is tough to avail this Cisco certification and the program is costly.
- Not everyone knows about this certification program
- The certificate has to be renewed after every three years.
Whom to Choose: Microsoft or Cisco
One of the major differences between these two certifications is regarding their working technique. The Microsoft server needs to be updated on weekly basis if not daily. On the other hand, the router in Cisco Networking has to be configured within six months. Microsoft keeps a track record of the users and computers, whereas Cisco helps in tracking IP numbers. Once the path of the internet is set up it does not change.
Another advantage which Microsoft offers over Cisco Certification is that the former has introduced a number of certification programs more than the later. Although Cisco offers five levels of certification, the numbers of courses are less than Microsoft. The examinations related to the certifications are quite tough in Cisco and so it is difficult to avail the certificate. But the exams concerned with Microsoft are not so tough. If we compare the popularity of these two certification programs, we can say that Microsoft is more popular than Cisco as more people are familiar with the program. It has also been seen that the IT companies usually give preference to a Certified Microsoft Engineer as compared to the Cisco Networking professional. Not only that, there is a difference in their starting pay/salary as well. It is interesting to note that the salary of Cisco Engineer is more than Microsoft Certified Engineer. A Cisco Engineer earns forty-five to fifty thousand whereas MCE earns forty thousand.
The Final Verdict
After a detailed comparison between the two most popular certifications, it can be said that both programs help in boosting your career and offer you a better pay. Microsoft focuses on server maintenance and Cisco on networking system. Therefore, you have to make a final choice about what you want to persue based on your preference and interest.
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the Cisco Certification so just go through the link