Cisco's primary motivation for creating CCNA and most of the other Cisco certifications is to help determine the skill levels of its partners. Cisco fulfills only a small portion of its orders through direct sale from Cisco; most often, a Cisco reseller is involved. (Cisco calls resellers channel partners.) Also, Cisco encourages partners to perform most consulting and implementation services relating to Cisco products. While working heavily with partners, Cisco needed to know which partners truly had the right skills. So, Cisco created many certifications, including CCNA.
Cisco measures the technical readiness of channel partners (resellers) and professional services partners in part by requiring specific numbers of Cisco certified employees. For instance, Premier, Silver, and Gold Channel Partners are required to have either two or four CCNAs on staff, along with Cisco professional- and expert-level certified individuals.
So, what does that mean to you? Well, if you already have some Cisco certifications on your résumé, you are more valuable to Cisco partners. In today's competitive environment, every edge counts—so having the right Cisco certifications can help you get that next job. In particular, the CCNA certification is a prerequisite for almost every Cisco certification, so it is the right place to start.
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