Pathways to the career you want

Cisco's Networking Academy courses help you gain the knowledge, practice the skills, and earn the certifications you need to get the job you want. But sometimes you need a roadmap to understand the steps required to reach your goals.

What will your path look like?

Interactive Course Pathways

Start here

Start here

Every Student’s path is unique, so rather than view this page as a step by step manual, use our tools as a general guide to help you get started along the path that presents the most value to you.

We recommend you take a few moments to explore our Interactive Course Pathways. From there you can design the path that sets you up for success and discover how some even intersect.

Not sure where to start? Try these "no experience required" courses all students, regardless of your career goal. All of these courses can be taken today—online and for free.

Instructor-led (20 hrs), Online self-paced (20 hrs)
Introduction to IoT
Instructor-led (20 hrs), Online self-paced (20 hrs)
Introduction to IoT

What you learn: Explore the explosive growth of connected devices and possible careers emerging in this new digital landscape.

Why it’s important: New IoT technologies are shaping our future and fueling expansive growth for new career opportunities -- some not yet imagined.

Beginning
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Instructor-led (20 hrs), Online self-paced (20 hrs)
Introduction to IoT
Instructor-led (20 hrs), Online self-paced (20 hrs)
Introduction to IoT

What you learn: Explore the explosive growth of connected devices and possible careers emerging in this new digital landscape.

Why it’s important: New IoT technologies are shaping our future and fueling expansive growth for new career opportunities -- some not yet imagined.

Beginning
See full description
Instructor-led (15 hrs), Online self-paced (15 hrs)
Introduction to Cybersecurity
Instructor-led (15 hrs), Online self-paced (15 hrs)
Introduction to Cybersecurity

What you learn: Understand the dangers of cyber-threats and the importance of staying safe in cyberspace.

Why it’s important: The explosive growth of connected devices fuels the ever-constant threat of cyber-attacks -- and the necessity for skilled cybersecurity professionals.

Beginning
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Instructor-led (15 hrs), Online self-paced (15 hrs)
Introduction to Cybersecurity
Instructor-led (15 hrs), Online self-paced (15 hrs)
Introduction to Cybersecurity

What you learn: Understand the dangers of cyber-threats and the importance of staying safe in cyberspace.

Why it’s important: The explosive growth of connected devices fuels the ever-constant threat of cyber-attacks -- and the necessity for skilled cybersecurity professionals.

Beginning
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Online self-paced (8 hrs)
NDG Linux Unhatched
Online self-paced (8 hrs)
NDG Linux Unhatched

What you learn: Acquire basic installation and configuration knowledge of Linux software as well as early concepts for the Linux command line.

Why it’s important: The Linux operating system is used everywhere, from rocket ships to wrist watches -- nearly every IT job requires Linux knowledge.

Beginning
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Online self-paced (8 hrs)
NDG Linux Unhatched
Online self-paced (8 hrs)
NDG Linux Unhatched

What you learn: Acquire basic installation and configuration knowledge of Linux software as well as early concepts for the Linux command line.

Why it’s important: The Linux operating system is used everywhere, from rocket ships to wrist watches -- nearly every IT job requires Linux knowledge.

Beginning
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Next, get foundational skills. The more the better.

Next, get foundational skills

While not all of these courses are required curriculum, they will give you the foundational breadth of skills employers look for in order to build effective and diverse teams within their business. Courses in this stage can also help you decide on a specialization once you're ready for more advanced training. That’s why we say – the more the better! Employers tell us soft skills are just as valuable as technical skills, so make sure you have both. Many of these courses can be taken either online or in person.

Soft skills
The personal traits which help students to thrive regardless of their job title: problem-solving, creativity, persuasion, adaptability, collaboration, etc. Well-rounded employees are highly sought after by forward-thinking companies.
Instructor-led (15 hrs), Online self-paced (15 hrs)
Entrepreneurship
Instructor-led (15 hrs), Online self-paced (15 hrs)
Entrepreneurship

What you learn: Gain insight for what is involved in owning a business, from developing a business plan based on customer needs to delivering exceptional customer service, and everything in between.

Why it’s important: It takes more than a great idea to launch a business. Entrepreneurship boosts the business acumen and savvy needed for launching and managing a successful business.

Intermediate
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Instructor-led (30 hrs)
IoT Fundamentals: Hackathon Playbook
Instructor-led (30 hrs)
IoT Fundamentals: Hackathon Playbook

What you learn: Deepen multidisciplinary skills by identifying, designing, prototyping, and presenting an IoT solution to a panel of industry experts and peers.

Why it’s important: The Hackathon Playbook comprehensive framework builds creative and technical skills to solve today’s real-world issues.

Intermediate
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Soft skills
Instructor-led (15 hrs), Online self-paced (15 hrs)
Entrepreneurship
Instructor-led (15 hrs), Online self-paced (15 hrs)
Entrepreneurship

What you learn: Gain insight for what is involved in owning a business, from developing a business plan based on customer needs to delivering exceptional customer service, and everything in between.

Why it’s important: It takes more than a great idea to launch a business. Entrepreneurship boosts the business acumen and savvy needed for launching and managing a successful business.

Intermediate
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Instructor-led (30 hrs)
IoT Fundamentals: Hackathon Playbook
Instructor-led (30 hrs)
IoT Fundamentals: Hackathon Playbook

What you learn: Deepen multidisciplinary skills by identifying, designing, prototyping, and presenting an IoT solution to a panel of industry experts and peers.

Why it’s important: The Hackathon Playbook comprehensive framework builds creative and technical skills to solve today’s real-world issues.

Intermediate
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Technical skills
Technical, or hard, skills, can be more concretely taught, defined and measured than soft skills. While some hard skills can be learned on-the-job, employers still look for candidates who come with a breadth of verified technical skills in hand.
Instructor-led (70 hrs), Online self-paced (70 hrs)
Networking Essentials
Instructor-led (70 hrs), Online self-paced (70 hrs)
Networking Essentials

What you learn: Gain a broad foundational knowledge of networks and the Internet.

Why it’s important: Understanding the principles of networking is a fundamental skill valuable for all types of tech jobs.

Intermediate
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Instructor-led (30 hrs), Online self-paced (30 hrs)
Cybersecurity Essentials
Instructor-led (30 hrs), Online self-paced (30 hrs)
Cybersecurity Essentials

What you learn: Gain essential knowledge for all cybersecurity domains including information systems, network security, ethics & laws, and defense & mitigation techniques used in protecting business.

Why it’s important: As more devices connect to the Internet, the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals continues to grow.

Intermediate
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Instructor-led (70 hrs), Online self-paced (70 hrs)
NDG Linux Essentials
certification
Instructor-led (70 hrs), Online self-paced (70 hrs)
NDG Linux Essentials

What you learn: Develop Linux OS understanding, open source programming, and IoT skills, expanding IT knowledge beyond networking.

Why it’s important: Whether just starting out in an IT career or looking for advancement, learning Linux and validating skills with the Professional Development Certificate helps you stand apart from other candidates.

Course aligns with LPI Linux Essentials Professional Development Certificate.

certification
Intermediate
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Instructor-led (70 hrs), Online self-paced (70 hrs)
PCAP: Programming Essentials In Python
certification
Instructor-led (70 hrs), Online self-paced (70 hrs)
PCAP: Programming Essentials In Python

What you learn: Design, write, debug, and run programs encoded in Python, the programming language used by start-ups and tech giants alike.

Why it’s important: Python is the preferred programming language for developers pursuing a career in Security, Networking, and the Internet-of-Things (IoT).

Course aligns with PCAP – Certified Associate in Python Programming Certification

certification
Intermediate
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Instructor-led (50 hrs)
IoT Fundamentals: Connecting Things
Instructor-led (50 hrs)
IoT Fundamentals: Connecting Things

What you learn: Collect data securely and connect sensors to cloud services with engaging hands-on activities.

Why it’s important: Connecting things and finding ways to make use of the captured data is transforming organizations in every industry and opening doors for new careers.

Intermediate
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Instructor-led (50 hrs)
IoT Fundamentals: IoT Security
Instructor-led (50 hrs)
IoT Fundamentals: IoT Security

What you learn: Use the latest technologies to perform vulnerability and risk assessments, then research and recommend risk mitigation strategies.

Why it’s important: IoT security skills are relevant across IoT and other network architectures -- a skillset sought after by employers.

Intermediate
See full description
Technical skills
Instructor-led (70 hrs), Online self-paced (70 hrs)
Networking Essentials
Instructor-led (70 hrs), Online self-paced (70 hrs)
Networking Essentials

What you learn: Gain a broad foundational knowledge of networks and the Internet.

Why it’s important: Understanding the principles of networking is a fundamental skill valuable for all types of tech jobs.

Intermediate
See full description
Instructor-led (30 hrs), Online self-paced (30 hrs)
Cybersecurity Essentials
Instructor-led (30 hrs), Online self-paced (30 hrs)
Cybersecurity Essentials

What you learn: Gain essential knowledge for all cybersecurity domains including information systems, network security, ethics & laws, and defense & mitigation techniques used in protecting business.

Why it’s important: As more devices connect to the Internet, the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals continues to grow.

Intermediate
See full description
Instructor-led (70 hrs), Online self-paced (70 hrs)
NDG Linux Essentials
certification
Instructor-led (70 hrs), Online self-paced (70 hrs)
NDG Linux Essentials

What you learn: Develop Linux OS understanding, open source programming, and IoT skills, expanding IT knowledge beyond networking.

Why it’s important: Whether just starting out in an IT career or looking for advancement, learning Linux and validating skills with the Professional Development Certificate helps you stand apart from other candidates.

Course aligns with LPI Linux Essentials Professional Development Certificate.

certification
Intermediate
See full description
Instructor-led (70 hrs), Online self-paced (70 hrs)
PCAP: Programming Essentials In Python
certification
Instructor-led (70 hrs), Online self-paced (70 hrs)
PCAP: Programming Essentials In Python

What you learn: Design, write, debug, and run programs encoded in Python, the programming language used by start-ups and tech giants alike.

Why it’s important: Python is the preferred programming language for developers pursuing a career in Security, Networking, and the Internet-of-Things (IoT).

Course aligns with PCAP – Certified Associate in Python Programming Certification

certification
Intermediate
See full description
Instructor-led (50 hrs)
IoT Fundamentals: Connecting Things
Instructor-led (50 hrs)
IoT Fundamentals: Connecting Things

What you learn: Collect data securely and connect sensors to cloud services with engaging hands-on activities.

Why it’s important: Connecting things and finding ways to make use of the captured data is transforming organizations in every industry and opening doors for new careers.

Intermediate
See full description
Instructor-led (50 hrs)
IoT Fundamentals: IoT Security
Instructor-led (50 hrs)
IoT Fundamentals: IoT Security

What you learn: Use the latest technologies to perform vulnerability and risk assessments, then research and recommend risk mitigation strategies.

Why it’s important: IoT security skills are relevant across IoT and other network architectures -- a skillset sought after by employers.

Intermediate
See full description

Having a strong foundation of skills is of the utmost importance in the IT marketplace. These include technical skills that are validated through certifications like Cisco’s CCNA, as well as soft skills like written and verbal communication. Without these, individuals are at a serious disadvantage in the IT marketplace.

Jeremy Niedzwiecki - Director of Client Support at ABS Technology

Then choose a specialized career track

Congratulations on making it this far! It’s now time to add depth to your resume. Specialize in one of these two career-ready tracks in the field of networking or security. Each track is aligned to industry-leading certifications, which employers look for as validation of your exceptional skill. Browse the tracks below to see course descriptions, job trends, and links to certification exam details. Then, find one of our 10,500+ academies near you to enroll. Your future is here - what are you waiting for?

Cybersecurity Operations
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CyberOps Associate
certification
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CyberOps Associate

What you learn: Explore core security concepts and develop skills to monitor, detect, analyze, and respond to cybercrime -- issues facing organizations. Then prepare for certification.

Why it’s important: Prepares you for a career in the rapidly growing field of cybersecurity operations working in or with a Security Operations Center (SOC).

Course aligns with Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate certification.

certification
Intermediate
See full description

Roles you can step into:

Security or Network Operations Center Helpdesk, Incident Analyst Responder, Cybersecurity Specialist Technician, Sales Engineer/Virtual Account Manager

Cybersecurity Operations
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CyberOps Associate
certification
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CyberOps Associate

What you learn: Explore core security concepts and develop skills to monitor, detect, analyze, and respond to cybercrime -- issues facing organizations. Then prepare for certification.

Why it’s important: Prepares you for a career in the rapidly growing field of cybersecurity operations working in or with a Security Operations Center (SOC).

Course aligns with Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate certification.

certification
Intermediate
See full description

Roles you can step into:

Security or Network Operations Center Helpdesk, Incident Analyst Responder, Cybersecurity Specialist Technician, Sales Engineer/Virtual Account Manager

CCNA
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CCNA: Introduction to Networks
certification
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CCNA: Introduction to Networks

What you learn: The first course in the 3-course CCNA series introduces architecture, functions, and components of the Internet and computer networks.

Why’s it’s important: Gain basic knowledge for how networks operate which is integral to building future networking and IT skills.

Together with CCNA Switching, Routing, and Wireless Essentials and CCNA Enterprise Networking, Security, and Automation, this course aligns with the CCNA Certification. 

certification
Intermediate
See full description
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CCNA: Switching, Routing, and Wireless Essentials
certification
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CCNA: Switching, Routing, and Wireless Essentials

What you learn: The second course in the Cisco CCNA series extends knowledge in Internet architecture, functions.

Why’s it’s important: Essential networking knowledge coupled with a certification, validates valuable skills to future employers.

Together with CCNA 7: Introduction to Networks and CCNA 7: Enterprise Networking, Security, and Networking Automation, this course aligns with the CCNA Certification.

certification
Intermediate
See full description
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CCNA: Enterprise Networking, Security, and Automation
certification
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CCNA: Enterprise Networking, Security, and Automation

What you learn: The third course in the Cisco CCNA 3-course series develops advanced skills for configuring and troubleshooting routers & switches, and knowledge for resolving common issues.

Why it’s important: Networking support professionals are vital to the success of all organizations that depend heavily on the smooth operation of their network infrastructure.

Together with CCNA 7: Introduction to Networks and CCNA 7: Switching, Routing, and Wireless Essentials, this course aligns with the CCNA Certification.

certification
Advanced
See full description

Roles you can step into:

Network or Network Support Engineer, Network Operations Engineer, Network Administrator, Sales Engineer/Virtual Account Manager

CCNA
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CCNA: Introduction to Networks
certification
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CCNA: Introduction to Networks

What you learn: The first course in the 3-course CCNA series introduces architecture, functions, and components of the Internet and computer networks.

Why’s it’s important: Gain basic knowledge for how networks operate which is integral to building future networking and IT skills.

Together with CCNA Switching, Routing, and Wireless Essentials and CCNA Enterprise Networking, Security, and Automation, this course aligns with the CCNA Certification. 

certification
Intermediate
See full description
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CCNA: Switching, Routing, and Wireless Essentials
certification
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CCNA: Switching, Routing, and Wireless Essentials

What you learn: The second course in the Cisco CCNA series extends knowledge in Internet architecture, functions.

Why’s it’s important: Essential networking knowledge coupled with a certification, validates valuable skills to future employers.

Together with CCNA 7: Introduction to Networks and CCNA 7: Enterprise Networking, Security, and Networking Automation, this course aligns with the CCNA Certification.

certification
Intermediate
See full description
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CCNA: Enterprise Networking, Security, and Automation
certification
Instructor-led (70 hrs)
CCNA: Enterprise Networking, Security, and Automation

What you learn: The third course in the Cisco CCNA 3-course series develops advanced skills for configuring and troubleshooting routers & switches, and knowledge for resolving common issues.

Why it’s important: Networking support professionals are vital to the success of all organizations that depend heavily on the smooth operation of their network infrastructure.

Together with CCNA 7: Introduction to Networks and CCNA 7: Switching, Routing, and Wireless Essentials, this course aligns with the CCNA Certification.

certification
Advanced
See full description

Roles you can step into:

Network or Network Support Engineer, Network Operations Engineer, Network Administrator, Sales Engineer/Virtual Account Manager

Watch

Want to watch the stories unfold? Checkout these success stories videos.

Billy Anglin followed his own beat, wasn’t interested in school, but was good with computers. Learning cybersecurity skills at Networking Academy, he now has a new level of super powers.

Raissa Constante didn’t have any technical knowledge but she took Networking Academy classes and ultimately won 1st place in a NetRiders competition in Latin America.

Rayden Chia played a lot of computer games. It started out as play but after attending Networking Academy it turned into a passion for what he wants to do the rest of his life.

Stephanie Krusche was the only girl in her Networking Academy class. It was hard, but just like running a race, she knew with focus that she could learn IT skills.

Tell Us Your Story

We'd love to hear how Cisco Networking Academy has helped you to reach the job of your dreams. Tell us your story or share advice with current students. We may feature you on our social channels as an inspiration to others.