Survey of over 700 Cisco-certified professionals reveals concerns over career development opportunities, funding for accreditation programmes and pay levels

  • 47 per cent said their organisation offered no training or development opportunities
  • 51 per cent felt their pay level didn’t reflect their level of capability
  • 78 per cent had paid for their own examinations, despite 83 per cent seeing Cisco certification as essential or very helpful for networks professionals
  • 79 per cent would consider an imminent move from their current position

A survey of Cisco-qualified professionals by specialist recruitment consultancy JAM has found widespread frustration at the absence of career development opportunities within their organisations and the lack of support on offer to help them gain accreditations.

Cisco products and systems dominate the networking space with a 59 per cent market share and professional accreditations to work with the systems are widely considered indispensable for progression within the networks sector.

JAM’s results found that the majority of aspiring network specialists are forced to fund their progression themselves, with 78 per cent per cent having paid their own examination fees.

The survey shows that, while 27 per cent of respondents had over 10 years’ networks experience, only six per cent have attained the highest level of certification – expert.

There remains a high volume of people entering the industry, with 25 per cent of those surveyed having less than two years’ experience in networks.

The results also revealed frustrations over pay levels, with more than half of respondents feeling that their earnings did not reflect their skills and experience.

George Barnes, principal Cisco consultant at JAM Recruitment, said: “Cisco qualifications are clearly viewed as a serious advantage for getting ahead in the networks industry and the survey reveals a well-educated workforce buoyed by new blood entering the industry.

“It’s also an upwardly mobile group – with the majority of our respondents having already spent their own money on training courses and planning to do so again.

“Self-funding might sound like good news for employers but it could have a sting in its tail. The lack of career development opportunities being offered to employees is likely to be a contributing factor in why so many would consider leaving their current jobs. A notion which is supported by the fact that 70 per cent of those surveyed think more pressure should be put on employers to fund and organise training for staff.

“This lack of staff loyalty might be particularly problematic for Cisco end users – 42 per cent of those questioned – as the loss of skilled staff could leave them reliant on more expensive consultancy services.

“The statistics also back-up anecdotal evidence of a dearth of Cisco staff with the higher level ‘expert’ qualifications.”