Microsoft or Cisco Certs?

We sometimes get asked, "What's the difference between Microsoft and Cisco certifications?"

To quickly summarize:

Microsoft certifications are about managing computers and servers, working with operating systems, potentially opening the boxes and working with hardware, and definitely a lot of application and other software installation, troubleshooting, and upgrading. There are some major specializations, such as Exchange, SQL Server, or SharePoint.

Cisco certifications are networking-based, that's subnetting, routing, switching, working with networking devices and managing traffic. The focus isn't on servers or end-users, but on the underlying networks and the technologies that make data flow over the wire. You'll also see things like voice, wireless, and storage networking, which are all fairly specialized. All of the fundamentals of routing and switching are covered in the CCNA certification.