With just a few months left before the retirement of Cisco’s Voice and Video certifications, there has been some debate about what path is best for learners: Collaboration or Voice/Video. Let’s begin by exploring some simple pros and cons of working to earn Voice or Video certifications ahead of their retirements.
- More certifications can mean more opportunities.
- Many businesses will not implement new collaboration solutions immediately, keeping your traditional Voice/Video skills in-demand.
- Once you have your Voice/Video certifications, you can continue to renew/recertify them.
- If Voice/Video skills remain in demand, there will be a narrower pool of qualified professionals – you just might become a big fish in a small pond!
- Holding retired certifications might be interpreted as having out-of-date skills.
- Your certification will be associated with technology that is theoretically on its way out.
- Time crunch! You’re running out of time to complete a lot of exams.
More Certifications = More Opportunities
There is enough time to complete Cisco online training to earn a Voice or Video certification. And many in the industry make a convincing argument that earning more certifications often results in more professional opportunities. While Collaboration is certainly considered to be the future of communications, there will also be many environments that continue with traditional voice and video solutions.
With this in mind, let’s explore what you need to do to earn your Voice or Video certification!
Prerequisite: CCENT or CCNA R&S certification
- 640-461 ICOMM exam (last day to test: September 17, 2015) – the CBT Nuggets course for the ICOMM exam takes approximately 19 hours to complete.
Prerequisite*: CCNA Voice or CCNA Video, or any CCIE certification
- 642-437 CVOICE (last day to test: October 20, 2015) – the CBT Nuggets course for the CVOICE exam takes approximately 15 hours to complete.
- 642-447 CIPT1 (last day to test: October 20, 2015) – the CBT Nuggets course for the CIPT1 exam takes approximately 10 hours to complete.
- 642-457 CIPT2 (last day to test: October 20, 2015) – the CBT Nuggets course for the CIPT2 exam takes approximately 9 hours to complete.
- 642-427 TVOICE (last day to test: October 20, 2015)
- 642-467 CAPPS (last day to test: October 20, 2015)
*Note: if you have not already completed the prerequisites for the CCNP Voice certification, there may not be enough time to complete the full CCNP track before the certification is retired in Fall 2015.
- 200-001 VIVND exam (last day to test: September 17, 2015)
- 640-461 ICOMM exam (last day to test: September 17, 2015) – the CBT Nuggets course for the ICOMM exam takes just over 19 hours to complete.
If you are committed to earning a Voice or Video certification, ensure that you understand the time you will need to invest between now and pertinent retirement dates for your exams. It is certainly possible to complete one – if not more – Voice or Video certification pathway before the exams are retired. Pace yourself, study hard, and expect success from yourself!
Embrace the Future
If you miss this opportunity to get Voice/Video certified, the opportunity is gone forever! But this is also a moment to embrace the future. Once you have earned your Voice/Video certification, it will be valid for three years – but then what? Fortunately, renewing your Voice/Video certification is an opportunity for you to earn your Collaboration certification. Your CCNA Voice/Video certifications can be renewed by passing any current Associate-level or 642-XXX or 300-XXX Professional- or Specialist-level exam, including the Collaboration certification track. Similarly, a CCNP Voice certification can be renewed by passing a 300-XXX Collaboration exam. CBT Nuggets is already hard at work developing Cisco video training for the CCNA Collaboration, and CCNP courses are planned for future development.
Ultimately, the wisdom of pursuing a certification that is about to be retired is up to each learner, based on his/her professional development goals. But this might be one of those moments in your career when you may not have to choose, but rather can have both! If you have the time and resources, perhaps the best option is to choose both Voice/Video and Collaboration.