Cisco Certifies WLAN Admins

Being a wireless-oriented Cisco Systems Learning Partner in the age of wireless LANs has been good to GigaWave Technologies.

The company was founded by former product distributors of Aironet Wireless products just at Cisco bought up Aironet. Since late 2000, GigaWave has been training people on Cisco’s versions of the products. This past summer, they introduced a number of expansion courses including one on WLAN security and another on bridging.

Now GigaWave’s courses have gone the extra step and become fully approved by Cisco to be the basis for new WLAN certifications specific to Aironet products, which remain among the best selling enterprise 802.11-based products today.

“What Cisco had was a wireless specialization, which was at a company level,” says GigaWave president Chris Marco. “Resellers could go through training, and the companies could be specialized. That gave them some discounts. [But] the certification is for individuals — just like getting a CCNA around a wired network.”

The new Cisco Qualified Specialist (CQS) certification titles are: Cisco Wireless LAN Support Specialist (which requires a valid Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification and passing Wireless LAN for Field Engineers Exam) for field engineers, and the Cisco Wireless LAN Design Specialist (which requires a Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) certification and passing the Wireless LAN for Systems Engineers Exam) for system engineers.

Both certifications are good for two years and are under the administration of Cisco Systems. GigaWave designed the courses and delivers training for them in roving classes around the country.

According to Marco, the classes for the certification include all the information that would be available in a vendor neutral program, such as “RF theory and antenna theory and security, and implementation of 802.11 standards, but we go further with the specific product set.”

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