Anyone who has a Cisco CCNA certification knows that it doesn’t last forever. Eventually the certificate will expire and you’ll need to renew it if you want to keep your credential. In this article, we will discuss the different ways of renewing a Cisco CCNA certification.
We’ll start by talking about the Cisco 200-301 exam and what it contains. Then we’ll move on to the different methods of renewing a CCNA certificate. Let’s get started!
What Is The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Credential?
The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) credential is a widely-recognized certification that shows employers and clients an individual is knowledgeable in the area of networking. The CCNA credential verifies an individual’s ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routes and switched networks.
The validity of your CCNA certification is three years from the date you pass the test. You don’t have to do anything to keep your CCNA certification in good standing. Cisco has a reputation for making frequent changes to its certification program. If modifications are made to the CCNA, your certification will be valid until its expiration date. You must recertify your certification by meeting the necessary recertification criteria before your certificate expiration date.
The Cisco 200-301 Exam
The Cisco 200-301 exam is the test you’ll need to earn your CCNA certification. The Cisco 200-301 exam tests a candidate’s knowledge and skills related to network fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity, IP services, security fundamentals, and automation and programmability.
The Cisco 200-301 exam is 120 minutes long and contains 100-120 questions. Candidates who pass the Cisco 200-301 exam earn the CCNA credential. The Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) designation is valid for three years.
How To Renew The Cisco CCNA Certification
You must recertify your CCNA before the certification expiration date. There are two main methods to renew your CCNA certification. The first option is to recertify by (re)taking an exam. The second alternative is to earn CE (continuing education) credits instead of just sitting around waiting for exams at Pearson VUE or other testing centers. Below is a list of all CCNA recertifying options.
Option 1: Retake The Cisco 200-301 Exam
The Cisco 200-301 CCNA exam is the most straightforward but not the only way to renew your CCNA if it has expired. If you retake the exam and pass, your CCNA will be renewed for three years from the date you passed. You can register for the Cisco 200-301 exam at Pearson VUE or other testing centers.
While this is the most direct method to recertify for the Cisco Certified Network Associate credential, it’s also the least efficient. The reason? Retaking the same exam is not an effective way to maintain a credential. Additionally, you have to pay the Cisco 200-301exam fee every time you retake the test.
Option 2: Take A Different Associate-Level Cisco Certification Exam
Aside from retaking the 200-301 exam, you can also earn one of the two other Associate-level Cisco certifications to maintain your existing ones. These include:
- Cisco Certified Devnet Associate: To earn this certificate, you need to pass the 200-901 DEVASC exam.
- Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate: This certification requires candidates pass the 200-201 CBROPS exam.
Earning any of these two certifications while a candidate also has the CCNA certification will renew the CCNA for an additional three years. The benefit of this approach is that it also provides you with a way to improve your skills by learning new technologies.
Option 3: Pass A Cisco Technical Core Exam
Cisco offers several technical core exams that can be used to renew an expired CCNA certificate.
Any of the five Technical Core certification exams may be passed. Cisco provides one Technical Core exam for each of the five Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) pathways, including Enterprise, Data Center, Security, Service Provider, and Collaboration.
Both the Cisco Certified DevNet Professional and CyberOps Professional certifications include a core exam that may be passed to update your CCNA while gaining more knowledge and additional qualifications. Passing the core test can result in expert certification. As an example, passing the CCNP Enterprise core examination might result in a Cisco Certified Professional – Enterprise specialist credential. To obtain specialist accreditation, you must pass both the basic and concentration examinations.
Option 4: Pass A CCIE Lab Exam
The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) is Cisco’s highest level of certification. The CCIE credential validates an expert’s skills in planning, designing, implementing, and troubleshooting enterprise networks. Cisco offers CCIE in the following six technology tracks:
- Data Center
- Enterprise Infrastructure
- Enterprise Wireless
- Service Provider
You may take any of the CCIE lab tests. To be eligible for 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 prior certifications – including the CCNA.
Option 5: Earn Enough Continuing Education Credits
If you want to renew your CCNA but don’t want to spend the time and money on a technical exam, you can renew by earning Continuing Education (CE) credits. Cisco requires candidates earn 30 CE credits every three years to maintain their CCNA certification status. You can earn CE credits in a variety of ways, such as attending Cisco Live events, completing certain Cisco Learning Labs courses, or taking other qualifying exams.
CE credits can also be earned by renewing other active Cisco certifications. For example, if you renew your CCNP Enterprise certification, you will also earn 30 CE credits that can be applied towards renewing your CCNA.
Cisco has a wide range of learning opportunities available to help candidates prepare for the different renewal options. You can check out some of these offerings on the Cisco Learning Network. MyComputerCareer is a top learning institution that provides training opportunities for those looking to get started or advance their IT career. Among other certifications from organizations such as Microsoft, CompTIA, Linux, or the EC-Council, MyComputerCareer provides training for Cisco’s CCNA. For more information, feel free to contact us or take our free career evaluation.