Exciting things have been happening since we announced the two new entry-level Cisco certifications, the Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST) Cybersecurity and Cisco Certified Support Technician … Read more on Cisco Blogs

Exciting things have been happening since we announced the two new entry-level Cisco certifications, the Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST) Cybersecurity and Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST) Networking.

It’s no secret the tech industry is vying for not only qualified but certified employees these days. And from the looks of the participation in these two new certs, students are jumping on board the tech train to get in on this new training opportunity. Since the CCST Cybersecurity exam became available on March 1, 2023, more than 136 people have passed the CCST Cybersecurity certification exam. More than 231 people have passed the CCST Networking certification exam since it went live on April 26, 2023. And we’re just getting started. 

The curriculum and certifications for both Cybersecurity and Networking give students a jump start in prepping for entry-level jobs, internships, and apprenticeships. Students who achieve the CCST Cybersecurity certification can qualify for Cybersecurity Technician, Cybersecurity Analyst, and Tier 1 Help Desk Support job roles. Those who gain their CCST Networking certification are ready to apply for Network Support Technician, Entry-level Help Desk Technician, and IT Support Specialist job roles. We’re already seeing employers include these certs on job postings for IT roles.  

Transitioning to Cisco associate-level certifications 

Yes, these certs are all that and a bag of chips, but the real beauty of the new CCST certs is their double duty as a direct path of stepping stones to Cisco associate-level certs, such as CCNA and CyberOps Associate. High school students can build on this early, achievable milestone to start their tech careers and move seamlessly into Cisco certifications. Workers just starting out in tech can gain the knowledge and skills they’ve been seeking to pivot from other sectors and advance through the progression of Cisco certifications. 

Completing the picture with entry-level curriculum 

Of course, Cisco certifications wouldn’t be complete without training to back them up, and these entry-level certs are no exception. Cisco Networking Academy offers free, online, self-paced courses so learners can learn at their own pace, on their own schedule, and even from a mobile device. Or they can get the richness of an instructor-led experience through an academy, with a pre-built curriculum and teaching resources licensed free to educators.   

Take a look at these two career paths that offer valuable self-paced options: 

Junior Cybersecurity Analyst Career Path 

This free self-paced curriculum through Skills for All from Cisco Networking Academy is designed to give learners the knowledge and skills to tackle the entry-level CCST Cybersecurity certification exam. It also preps them for entry-level cybersecurity positions, such as Cybersecurity Technician, Cybersecurity Analyst, or Tier 1 Help Desk Support roles.

It teaches vital skills, such as threat intelligence, network security, and risk management, to help protect individuals and organizations from cyberattacks. The cybersecurity field is perfect for puzzle solvers who are passionate about technology and thrive working in teams.

Network Technician Career Path 

Also through Skills for All from Cisco Networking Academy, this learning path arms students with knowledge to take on the entry-level CCST Networking certification, as well as entry-level roles, such as Network Support Technician, Entry-level Help Desk Technician, or IT Support Specialist. This learning path teaches students how networks operate, including the devices, media, and protocols that enable network communication. They’ll develop key skills to perform basic troubleshooting, using effective methodologies and help desk best practices.

Offering essentials for instructors 

Educators are at the heart of every successful educational institution, and our community of talented educators has tremendous impact, providing critical technical skills training around the world. For CCST certification-aligned curriculum, educators have options: self-paced or instructor-led courses.   

Ready-made self-paced courses offer educators a quick-start, low-touch option to offer a learning experience that easily aligns with certifications. We’ve already seen the popularity of this option grow for non-profit organizations as well as educators already teaching associate-level courses who want to provide an on-ramp experience for future students.   

Educators can also choose to teach instructor-led courses that come with their own unique teaching tools and resources, including a pre-built curriculum with flexibility to curate and customize assignments. 

 To top it off, the courses meet funding requirements through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (the Perkins CTE Act), which is the main federal funding source for high school and postsecondary CTE programs.  

Powering an inclusive future for all

After all this learning, training, and opportunities for upskilling, it’s safe to say Cisco is on a mission to empower all people with career possibilities. That means giving learners from all backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, a pathway to a career in tech. With these new courses and certifications at the fingertips of tech-curious high school students, career changers, and entry-level professionals, we’re making it easier to achieve early milestones and build successful careers. If early classes are any indicator, today’s learners are ready for this training, and Cisco will continue to be ready for them. 

For more information, check out Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST).

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