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IT Giants: Microsoft vs Cisco Certification

In the current world where technology is the norm, IT experts are highly in demand. As a consequence, most people are enrolling and taking career paths in IT. To overcome competition, it is necessary to be trained by a credible vendor such as Microsoft or Cisco. Being certified by one of these IT giants increases your chances of securing a prestigious job that will pay you a fortune. Probably, you would like to walk this part too, but you can’t decide on which of the two is the best. In this article, we shed some light on these certifications that will guide you and help to choose the most suitable for you.

Microsoft certifications

Microsoft is a leading software company that offers a variety of courses that could be a breakthrough in your career. Microsoft deals with software and servers – Windows is one of their recognized software. Microsoft programs will equip you with the necessary knowledge to develop, install, configure and troubleshoot Microsoft servers and databases.

Certification programs

There are several credentials offered by Microsoft. These are:

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Master

    Microsoft Technology Associate

    Microsoft Office Specialist

    Microsoft Certified Trainer

Who can apply?

This certification is meant for any individual who has a passion for IT and wishes to specialize in Microsoft servers and software. This certification requires some prior knowledge on IT related matters. If you do not have any credentials or background knowledge on IT, there is no reason to worry. Microsoft has beginner programs such as MTA.

Benefits of being Microsoft certified

– You get a reputable certificate. Microsoft is a globally recognized software company. Even people who know little about IT, recognize Microsoft.

– It spices up your resume and gives you a competitive advantage when it comes to job seeking.

– You earn the necessary skills to deal with Microsoft related software, servers, and database.

– You get to apply for a job in any part of the world that utilizes Microsoft techniques.

– Microsoft offers quality training so the candidates get value for their money.

– There are a number of courses to choose from. This means that you can follow your passion without being limited to a specific program.


    Microsoft specializes in their software and programing language. This makes it hard to operate another software.

    The skills learned may not be applicable in companies or situations where Microsoft techniques are not used.

    The exams require commitments in terms of time and the difficulty level.

    The certification exam is costly. Each exam costs approximately $150.

    Recertification is required every 2 years for almost all the programs.

Cisco certification

Cisco is the leading IT and networking company across the globe. It distributes routers, switches, and aids in monitoring IP addresses. They also train and provide various certificates after successful completion and excelling in their programs. The students gain the skills of routing, switching, troubleshooting and network security.


There are a total of 8 topics to be covered in cisco and are well distributed in the four programs. The topics include routing and switching, wireless networks, network security, service provider operations, voice networks and storage networking.

The four programs are:

    CCNA certification

    CCNP routing and switching

    CCENT certification

    CCDA certification

Who can apply?

Cisco is for anyone who wishes to venture into networking. For this certification, it is not mandatory that you have a background knowledge related to IT. This is an open invitation for any individual who has what it takes to excel: passion and commitment.


    The certification received is genuine and from a reputable company, therefore the qualification is valid.

    Cisco assures your employer that you are committed and serious about networking and IT.

    The skills gained are relevant even in other companies that do not use Cisco products. You will always stay competitive.

    Having a Cisco credential gives you a competitive advantage when it comes to the real market.

    Having completed one level, you can update your skills and lift up to another one till you become a real expert. There’s always place to grow within Cisco career path.


    The certification expires after 3 years, therefore, to remain relevant, you need to renew your certificate by taking another exam.

    The program is quite costly. Training and the exams are paid for separately.

    These certifications are not known to many people who have relation to IT. Still, as a company, Cisco is considered to be a global networking company.

    Their exams are quite tough and a high pass mark is required.

Close comparison


Microsoft certification

Cisco certification

It is a certification by Microsoft  Corporation.

It is a certification by Cisco.

It majors on software, servers, and databases specifically designed for Microsoft.

It majors on networking. Skills acquired include switching, routing, and troubleshooting networks.

Requires background knowledge of IT to qualify for their programs.

Background knowledge of IT is not a mandatory requirement.

Requires recertification after every 2 years for some programs.

Every program offered requires recertification after every 3 years.

Minimum score required to pass is 64%.

The minimum score is 80%.

The skills acquired are only relevant to Microsoft features.

Skills can be applied to other networking brands.

The pay is lucrative.

Pays slightly more than Microsoft jobs.

Microsoft servers are updated on a daily basis.

Configuration takes time but does not require frequent updates.

Which is the best?

Having carefully compared the two IT giants, it is now time to help you make the final decision on whom to choose. Based on the information above, it is important to note that both the certifications are important because they specialize in different aspects. Each of them has its pros and cons. It is difficult to determine which one is the best.

However, to help you find a suitable career path, Microsoft certifications are the best if you wish to become a software expert. Equally, Cisco is the best when it comes to network connections and IP address tracking. Also, consider your passion before taking any of the courses because both require a great deal of commitment and effort in order to pass. Good luck!

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