MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate)
MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) is a certification program intended for people who seek entry-level jobs in an IT (information technology) environment. MCSA is a prerequisite for more advanced Microsoft certifications.
The MCSA credential supplants the now defunct Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator certification. Students can select any of the following specialty areas:
As they advance in the MCP program, professionals can gain any or all of the following certifications:
· Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
· Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)
· Microsoft Certified Product Specialist (MCPS)
· Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)
To prepare for the MCP exams, students can take courses at a certified training company location, in certified courses in a high school or college, or through self-study at Microsoft’s self-study Web site or through certified training materials. Students who do not feel ready for MCSA can obtain the more basic MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) certification first.
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is a certification issued by ISACA for the people in charge of ensuring that an organization’s IT and business systems are monitored, managed and protected. The CISA certification is a globally recognized standard for appraising an IT auditor’s knowledge, expertise and skill in assessing vulnerabilities and instituting technology controls in an enterprise environment. It is designed for IT auditors, audit managers, consultants and security professionals.
In order to become CISA certified, applicants must pass the CISA examination with a score of 450 or higher (scored on a scale of 200 to 800) and possess a minimum of five years of professional experience in the fields of information systems auditing, control, assurance or security. The work experience must have been within the 10 years prior to a candidate’s application submission or within five years of a passed CISA exam. Certain substitutions and waivers may be applied. The candidate must also adhere to ISACA’s Code of Professional Ethics and Information Systems Auditing Standards. Once these criteria are met, the candidate can apply for certification.
The CISA exam is four hours long and consists of 150 multiple choice questions set around five job practice domains:
· The process of auditing information systems.
· Governance and management of IT.
· Information systems acquisition, development and implementation.
· Protection of information assets.
· Information systems operations, maintenance and service management.
The exam is administered in June, September and December in testing locations worldwide. Besides English, it is also offered in other languages, including Chinese Mandarin Simplified, French, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.
CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) is a category of technical certifications offered by Cisco for early-career networking professionals. The CCNA is the second level of accreditation, one step above Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) and directly below the CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional). Cisco offers five Cisco Career Certification programs and levels of accreditation: Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert and Architect.
Cisco redesigned the CCNA program in 2013 to offer the certification in various subspecialties related to networking. For example, the CCNA Cloud certification focuses on the skills required for cloud networking, while the CCNA Wireless certification validates an individual’s competence in wireless local area networks (WLANs).
CCNA certificates are available in the following ten areas: cloud, collaboration, cybersecurity operations, data center, design, industrial/IoT, routing and switching, security, service provider and wireless.
The CCNA routing and switching category is the most similar to the pre-2013 CCNA program. A CCNA routing and switching certification covers the fundamentals of enterprise networking, including LAN switching, IP addressing, routing, subnetting and more. It assesses an individual’s ability to deploy, configure, manage and troubleshoot enterprise networks. In 2016, Cisco updated the CCNA routing and switching certification to place more emphasis on software-defined networking (SDN), network-based analytics and network functions virtualization (NFV).
How do you become CCNA certified?
CCNA candidates must pass two exams to become certified. The two exams vary depending on the subject of the particular program. Exam prices vary based on geography and can be taken in a variety of physical locations. The proctored and timed CCNAs consist solely of written questions and answers, not labs.
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
An MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) is someone who has passed exams about the Microsoft Windows NT operating system, related desktop systems, networking, and Microsoft’s BackOffice server products. To prepare for the exams, you can take courses at a certified training company location, in certified courses in a high school or college, or through self-study at Microsoft’s self-study Web site or through certified training materials.
The MCSE program is the most popular of a set of training programs that Microsoft calls the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). In other MCP programs, you can gain certification as a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD), a Microsoft Certified Product Specialist (MCPS), or a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT).
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) is an intermediate-level certification in the Cisco certified professional program. This certification is aimed at full-time network or system administrators, or those who work with local and/or wide-area network (LAN/WAN)infrastructure.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is an information security certification developed by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)². The CISSP designation is a globally recognized, vendor-neutral standard for attesting to an IT security professional’s technical skills and experience in implementing and managing a security program. The CISSP is a certification sought by IT professionals with job titles such as security auditor, security systems engineer, security architect and chief information security officer, among others
To become a CISSP, the candidate must pass the Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam with a scaled score of 700 or higher out of a 1000 point maximum. The six-hour long exam, consisting of 250 questions in multiple choice and “advanced innovative” formats, tests the candidate’s knowledge and understanding in eight domains drawn from the more extensive (ISC)2 Common Body of Knowledge: security and risk management, asset security, security engineering, communications and network security, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, security operations and software development security.
Candidates are required to have a minimum of five years full-time experience in at least two of the eight domains. They must also complete the CISSP examination agreement, subscribe to the (ISC)2 code of ethics, answer several background qualification questions and receive an endorsement from an active (ISC)2 certified professional.
As of this writing, the exam costs U.S. $599 in most regions, except for Europe. It is offered in English as well as other languages including French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, simplified Chinese, Korean and a format for the visually impaired.
To maintain the CISSP certification, candidates are required to earn at least 40 continuing professional education credits each year and pay an annual maintenance fee of U.S. $85.
In addition to the CISSP, candidates can also qualify for a CISSP concentration in architecture (CISSP-ISSAP), engineering (CISSP-ISSEP) or management (CISSP-ISSMP). Candidates must already be a CISSP and have at least two years of work experience in one or more of the concentration’s domains.
The ISSAP domains are: access control systems and methodology, communications and network security, cryptography, security architecture analysis, technology related business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning and physical security considerations.
The ISSEP domains are: systems security engineering, certification and accreditation/risk management framework, technical management and U.S. government information assurance related policies and issuances.
The ISSMP domains are: security leadership and management; security lifecycle management; security compliance management; contingency management and law, ethics and incident management.
The CISSP concentration exams are three hours long, offered in English only and consist of 125 questions for ISSAP and ISSMP and 150 questions for ISSEP; the exam fees are all U.S. $399. After passing their chosen exam by earning at least 700 points (out of 1000), candidates must go through a similar endorsement process as with CISSP. Candidates have to earn 20 continuing professional education credits each year and pay a U.S. $35 annual maintenance fee to retain their certification.
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