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How The Cisco CCNA Certification Can Boost Your IT Career

How The Cisco CCNA Certification Can Boost Your IT Career

CCNA certification is one of the most popular IT certifications in the world. It is also a very valuable certification to possess. The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification is an entry-level cert that covers basic networking topics. The CCNA certification is also the first step on the path to becoming a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP).

MyComputerCareer is an educational organization that specializes in training candidates to earn top certifications from top organizations such as Cisco, Linux, Microsoft, CompTIA, and the EC-Council. Among its many IT certifications, courses, and programs, MyComputerCareer also provides certification preparedness for Cisco’s CCNA.

In this article, we will discuss what CCNA certification is, what it contains, and what the Cisco 200-301 exam tests in a candidate.

What Is The Cisco Certified Network Associate Certification?

The Cisco Certified Network Associate is a Cisco networking hardware company’s entry-level Information Technology certification. The CCNA is designed to test your understanding of basic networking principles that are frequently encountered in IT network management roles.

The Cisco Certified Network Associate certificate is a vendor-neutral IT certification that qualifies professionals in network administration. The exam is made up of two parts: one on network fundamentals; and the other on skills like LAN switching, IP routing technologies, WAN protocols, and configuration standards required in a large business using Cisco technology.

Small, medium, and large organizations may all utilize Cisco routers and switches. The CCNA credential is for IT professionals who wish to advance their careers as network technicians or engineers by learning skills that can be applied to a wide range of network equipment.

What Is The Cisco 200-301 Exam?

The Cisco 200-301 CCNA exam is a 120-minute, 100-120 question assessment that is available in English, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese. The Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam tests candidates on their skills and knowledge related to network fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity, IP services, security fundamentals, and automation and programmability.

Candidates who pass the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam earn the CCNA credential. The CCNA credential validates the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks, as well as implement connections to remote sites in a WAN. To become certified, you must pass two exams: one covering networking basics (ICND-101 or CCENT); and the other covering more advanced topics (ICND-102 or CCNA). Alternatively, you can pass a single, comprehensive exam (CCNA 200-301).

The Cisco 200-301 exam topics include:

  • Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity (25%): This will look at your abilities to set up, validate, and troubleshoot basic routing using a variety of routing protocols, including static IP/VPN/DMZ. The study of BGP, vRouter, dynamic routing algorithms (RIPv1 and RIPv2), OSPF V3, EIGRP configuration, and validation, as well as multi-area OSPF configuration and validation is included.
  • Network access (20%): Students will be tested on their knowledge of VLANs, Interswitch connections, Layer 2 discovery protocols, and EtherChannel; Spanning Tree Protocol operations; Wireless LAN access; Cisco wireless architectures, AP modes, physical WLAN components, AP and WLC management access connections, and wireless LAN access will all be covered.
  • Network fundamentals (20%): This portion focuses on topology designs, physical interfaces and cabling types, Routers, Switches, and Access Points, wireless fundamentals, virtualization concepts, network IP4/IPv6 configuration and setup, and IP parameters.
  • Security fundamentals (15%): This part covers topics such as identity management and access control, data center security policy implementation, physical access controls, password rules, access control lists, Layer 2 security mechanisms, and wireless transmission standards.
  • IP services (10%): Candidates must be aware of network address translation (NAT) and Network Time Protocol (NTP) installation and verification, DHCP, DNS, SNMP, and Syslog usefulness, per-hop behavior, SSH usage, TFTP/FTP description.
  • Automation and programmability (10%): Candidates must compare conventional networks to controller-based systems, automation techniques, and JSON data analysis.

CCNA vs. CompTIA Network+

The CCNA credential is Cisco’s entry-level certification for network administrators, while the CompTIA Network+ credential is a more general certification that covers networking concepts and technologies from a vendor-neutral perspective. The CCNA focuses predominantly on Cisco products and technologies, while the Network+ covers a wider range of vendors and technologies.

The CCNA credential is also considered to be more difficult to earn than the Network+, as it requires passing two exams (one covering networking basics and one covering more advanced topics) instead of just one. In addition, the CCNA exam is longer (120 minutes vs 90 minutes for the Network+) and contains more questions (100-120 vs 90).

Candidates who are interested in pursuing a career in networking are advised to get the CCNA credential as it will give them a more solid foundation to build their career. Candidates who are interested in pursuing a career in IT but are unsure in which direction to go, may want to consider getting the CompTIA Network+ credential as it covers a wider range of topics and provides a general overview of networking concepts and technologies.

How To Pass The Cisco CCNA 200-301 Exam?

To earn your CCNA credential, you must pass the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam. This exam tests your knowledge of network fundamentals, IP connectivity, IP services, security fundamentals, and automation and programmability.

To prepare for the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam, you should study Cisco’s CCNA Certification Exam Topics, as well as other resources like books, practice exams, and online courses. A list of recommended resources can be found on Cisco’s website.

You can register for the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam through Pearson VUE or Prometric. The cost of the exam is $325. Once you have passed the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam, you will need to renew your CCNA credential every three years.

Passing the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam is the first step on your journey to becoming a Cisco Certified Network Associate. There are several steps you can take to increase your chances of doing so. Among these, the most effective include:

  • Developing a Personalized Study Plan: You should create a study plan that covers all of the topics on the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam. This study plan should include a mix of classroom learning, online resources, and hands-on experience.
  • Practicing for the Exam: In addition to studying, you should also take practice exams. These exams will help you get familiar with the format of the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam and give you an idea of what to expect on test day.
  • Gain Practical Experience: One of the best ways to prepare for the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam is to gain practical experience. You can do this by working with Cisco routers and switches in a lab environment. The Cisco Packet Tracer is a great tool that can help you gain this experience.
  • Take Professional Training Courses: Participating in Cisco’s authorized boot camps – which are designed to give students all the information they’ll need for a successful interview and certification – may provide you with hands-on expertise. The professional schools that offer these, such as MyComputerCareer, will instruct you on everything there is to know about networking technologies, protocols, topologies, installation methods, network troubleshooting techniques with Cisco equipment, and more. Continuing Career Services, Veteran Assistance, and Financial Aid are also available at MyComputerCareer if eligible and/or needed.
  • Build Your Network Of Relations: Finally, you should build your network of relations. This includes connecting with other Cisco CCNA candidates and Cisco Certified Network Associates (CCNAs). These individuals can provide you with valuable information and resources that can help you prepare for the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam. Attending Cisco networking events is a great way to meet other CCNAs and CCNA candidates. MyComputerCareer also offers networking opportunities as part of its ongoing Career Services.

These tips are a great way to start preparing for the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam and set you up for success. However, keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to studying for the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam. You should tailor your study plan to fit your learning style and needs.

How To Renew Your Cisco CCNA Certification

If you wish to keep your CCNA, you must recertify before the certification expiration date. There are two primary methods to renew your CCNA certificate. Recertifying by (re)taking an exam is the first option. You may also choose to earn CE (continuing education) credits instead. Here is a list of all available recertification choices for the CCNA.

Retaking The Cisco 200-301 Exam

One method to renew your CCNA if it has expired is to retake the Cisco 200-301 exam. If you pass the retest, get your CCNA renewed for three years from the date you passed. The Cisco 200-301 exam may be taken at Pearson VUE or other testing locations. The most direct approach to recertify for the Cisco Certified Network Associate credential is to retake the identical test; however, this is also the least efficient. The reason for this is that retaking the same exam does not keep a credential valid. Furthermore, you must pay a new fee every time you take the Cisco 200-301 examination.

Earn A Different Associate-Level Cisco Certification Exam

You can also add one of the two other Associate-level Cisco certifications to your repertoire as a method of extending your existing credentials. These are:

  • Cisco Certified Devnet Associate: To obtain this certification, you must pass the 200-901 DEVASC exam.
  • Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate: Candidates must pass the CBROPS 200-201 exam to earn this credential.

Any of these two credentials, while also having the CCNA credential, will extend the CCNA’s validity by three years. The benefit of this strategy is that it allows you to develop your expertise in new technologies while also maintaining your skills.

Pass A Cisco Technical Core Exam

Cisco offers several technical core exams that may be used to renew a CCNA certificate that has expired. Any of the five Technical Core certification tests may be passed. Cisco delivers one Technical Core exam for each of the five Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) tracks, including Enterprise, Data Center, Security, Service Provider, and Collaboration.

The Cisco Certified DevNet Professional and CyberOps Professional certifications are the only two that qualify you to work as an IT professional. The core exam, which may be passed to update your CCNA while gaining more knowledge and credentials, is required for both of these certification programs. Expert certification may be earned by passing the fundamental test. Passing the fundamental examination can make you a Cisco Certified Professional – enterprise specialist credential, for example. To obtain expert accreditation, you must pass both the basic and concentration tests.

Pass A CCIE Lab Exam

The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) is the highest level of certification available from Cisco. The CCIE credential validates an expert’s abilities in planning, designing, executing, and troubleshooting large-scale business networks. In six different tech tracks, Cisco offers the CCIE credential:

  • Data Center
  • Enterprise Infrastructure
  • Enterprise Wireless
  • Security
  • Service Provider
  • Collaboration

You can take any of the CCIE lab exams. To be allowed to take the CCIE lab exam, you must pass a technical core examination. Regardless of whether or not you’ve recertified your CCNA using the Technical Core exam, it will renew all of your previous certifications, including the CCNA.

Earn Continuing Education Credits

If you just want to renew your CCNA but don’t want to spend the time or money on a technical exam, you may do so by accumulating Continuing Education (CE) credits. Candidates must earn 30 CE points every three years in order to retain their CCNA certification status. You can acquire CE credits in a variety of ways, including attending Cisco Live events, enrolling in certain Cisco Learning Labs courses, and completing other qualifying exams. You may earn CE credits by renewing existing Cisco certifications. If you renew your CCNP Enterprise certification, you will receive 30 CE points that can be used to extend your CCNA.

What Can You Do With a CCNA Certification?

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) credential validates a user’s information and capabilities in network administration. The average salary for this degree is approximately $80,000 per year-well above the national average for other professions. Many employers are seeking Cisco-certified experts because they have extensive expertise with Cisco routers and switches. The majority of Fortune 500 businesses use Cisco networking hardware.

You’ll be able to pursue a wide range of employment alternatives after you’ve completed the CCNA training course and received your credential. These include:

  • Network Administrator: A network administrator is in charge of a computer network’s day-to-day operations. They resolve any problems that may arise and keep the network operating smoothly.
  • Systems Administrator: A systems administrator is in charge of maintaining and running a computer system. They install new applications, repair existing software, and perform other operations to keep the system operating efficiently.
  • Network Analyst: A computer network analyst is in charge of analyzing a computer network and making recommendations to increase its efficiency. They may also be in charge of developing new networks or altering old networks.
  • Network Design Engineer: A network design engineer is in charge of developing and implementing computer networks. They engage with clients to understand their requirements, then create a network that meets those needs.
  • Infrastructure Engineer: An infrastructure engineer is in charge of the physical elements of a computer network, such as routers, switches, and cabling. They install and keep these components functioning correctly to guarantee that the network is operating efficiently.
  • Unified Communications Engineer: A unified communications engineer is in charge of designing and implementing unified communications systems. Users may employmultiple devices, such as phones, computers, and tablets, to communicate through unified communications systems.
  • Solutions Design Engineer: A solutions design engineer is in charge of developing and implementing solutions for problems that arise in computer networks. They collaborate with customers to understand their demands, then create a solution that meets those needs.
  • Cloud Engineer: A cloud engineer is in charge of developing and implementing cloud-based solutions. Users may access data and applications from anywhere on the planet thanks to cloud-based systems.
  • Data Center Engineer: A data center engineer is in charge of the day-to-day functioning of a data center. They install and maintain the hardware and software that makes up a data center.
  • Network Administrator: A computer network administrator is in charge of its operational day-to-day management. They troubleshoot any difficulties that may arise and ensure that the network operates effectively.
  • Cloud Architect: A cloud architect is in charge of developing and implementing cloud-based solutions. Users may now access data and applications from anywhere on the planet thanks to cloud-based solutions.
  • VoIP Engineer: A VoIP engineer is in charge of developing and implementing Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions. Users may communicate using voice and video via the internet through VoIP systems.
  • Collaboration Engineer: Collaboration engineers create and implement solutions that allow people to collaborate. Users may exchange data, applications, and files using collaboration technologies.
  • Telecom Engineer: A telecommunications engineer is in charge of developing and implementing telephone systems. Users may communicate utilizing voice, video, and data through telecom systems.

Depending on your skill set, years of expertise, active certifications, and other factors, your aptitude may be better suited to one profession than another. Anyone interested in becoming a network specialist should study for and take the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam.


Earning a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) credential is an excellent method to begin your network career. The CCNA certification covers a lot of information that will aid you in your profession. You may earn a good income with the CCNA credential, and it is used in many different occupations. There are several different Cisco certifications available, each of which can help you advance in your field. The beginning of your networking career is the CCNA certification.

Together with MyComputerCareer, you will have access to everything you need in order to prepare for and pass the Cisco CCNA exam. MyComputerCareer is an IT career school, meaning that we provide comprehensive training for our students to prepare them for industry certifications and real-world job opportunities. Take our free career evaluation today and find out if a career in IT is the right fit for you!

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