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Should You Choose The CCNA Voice Path?

February 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 203

Shortly after Cisco entered the voice arena, they came out with a voice track for their popular Cisco Certifications series. These exams can be a challenge for network oriented people as some of the rules of the game change when you enter VOIP and hybrid systems. However, the payoff for taking the voice track can be significant as there is a definite demand for this certification. There are a lot of voice people out there as the industry is mature, however few actually can combine the voice and data end of things. Traditionally, you had a voice person that maintained your telecommunications systems and infrastructure and a separate person that worked on the data side.

Since VOIP came out, these traditional roles have kind of been merged into one. More often than ever the data and voice traffic is taking place on the same network. Technicians that know how to prioritize traffic and spec out systems are in a very good spot to take advantage of the trend. Sooner or later, there will be a single network within organizations that handles voice and data. Indeed, at some point the entire external voice network will go away and be consolidated onto the Internet. AT&T has been lobbying to do this for years and at some point it will happen.

Considering the CCNA voice track combines two different mature industries into one "hybrid", this seems like the best track to take today. The only possible exception is security which has always been in high demand.

Once again, this isn't an easy path especially if you are new to VOIP. There is a lot involved with the equipment and getting your voice traffic to behave properly. The main difference is the voice traffic has to be in real-time without lag. This is not an easy task to accomplish and only experience and training will make you a VOIP specialist. VOIP had a bad name for many years as it was clear to the person on the other end of the line that you were on a VOIP line. However, these days the equipment is so good and the networks are so fast, chances are you wouldn't even notice if you were talking to a company that had a VOIP solution. This is especially true if the VOIP network was only internal and didn't go out into the Internet.

In addition to quality of service, someone with the CCNA voice certification will also have to think about protecting the VOIP network. Each node on the network is a potential weak spot that a hacker can take advantage of. The stakes are even higher than usual as this hacker could potentially gain access to the voice and data of a target organization.

For these reason, the people that have the voice certification will always be required for any organization that is choosing to go with VOIP. It is just too easy to have a disaster of a setup that is unusable due to poor quality or too many security issues. The people that jump on this certification now will be in the best possible spot to take advantage of the continuing trend for many years.

Check out http://www.ciscocareers.org for more information about the Cisco voice certification options and CCNA voice salary guidelines.

Source: EzineArticles
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