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The Complete Guide to Cisco Certification

The Complete Guide to Cisco Certification

Many businesses choose Cisco for their networking needs, and most of them will need Network Engineers, System Engineers, Security Analysts, and other network management positions to keep their infrastructure running. As a result, future CBKs will be highly sought after.

Cisco certifications are a powerful way to improve your job prospects and skills, but they have expiration dates. The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), and the Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) are just a few of the many types of certifications available from Cisco.

There are now more Cisco certification alternatives available to allow you the flexibility to become a different person and make a genuine difference in your current job. MyComputerCareer includes the Cisco Certified Network Associate credential in our cybersecurity expert training since Cisco is the world’s most dominant network routing and switching business. We believe that this training will assist you in establishing a long-term profession as a professional working in the field of Information Technology. For more information, contact us today! 

The Cisco certification program is the best way to get your foot in the door and start a career. Cisco certifications can be obtained for various high-paying jobs, such as network engineer, network architect, network security analyst, and much more. Cisco certifications are internationally recognized standards that employers use to gauge their potential employees’ skill levels.

The Cisco certification process is made up of four steps:

  • Preparation (learning about Cisco products)
  • Assessment (taking exams)
  • Validation (using Cisco skills on-the-job)
  • Recertification (renewing credentials)

In this article, we will be providing you with some helpful information on how to tackle the Cisco certification path.

Why Do People Choose Cisco Certifications?

Cisco Systems, Inc. is a provider of networking and communication technology products and services. The firm’s most well-known offerings are its business routing and switching solutions, which route data, voice, and video traffic across worldwide networks. Storage networking solutions, unified communications applications (WebEx), telepresence & collaboration (WebEx), as well as a variety of services are available from Cisco.

The Cisco Career Certification program is comprehensive in order to guarantee that IT professionals have the skills and knowledge needed to support Cisco products and address customers’ technology issues on several fronts. It starts at the entry-level, goes through associate, professional, and expert levels, and (in some certifications areas) reaches up to architect levels.

The following Cisco qualifications are offered:

Cisco Certified Technician (CCT)

Cisco Certified Technician (CCT) is Cisco’s certification for entry-level IT professionals. It verifies the ability to perform tasks necessary to help maintain a small branch office network, including basic networking installation and troubleshooting skills on Cisco switches, routers, access points, and other devices.

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification is Cisco’s most popular and valued qualification. It validates the skills required for entry-level network engineers to plan, configure, operate and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks.

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification is Cisco’s second most popular qualification. It validates the skills required for entry-level network engineers to plan, configure and operate local and wide area networks of moderate size using Cisco equipment as well as security appliances and wireless access points. It also allows candidates to design routed and switched networks with Cisco products.

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert certification is one of Cisco’s highest qualifications. It validates that the holder has mastered advanced routing & switching, network security, and service provider technologies required to build efficient Cisco routers, switches, operating systems (IOS), IPv/IP multicast solutions.

Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)

Cisco Certified Design Expert Cisco certification is Cisco’s highest level of technical qualification available. The holder has mastered the design and implementation of complex networks, with in-depth knowledge on advanced routing & switching technologies, wireless networking solutions (e.g., Cisco Unified Wireless Network), security operations, network management applications software such as Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco DNA Center, Cisco Unified Service Monitor.

How Long Do Cisco Certifications Last?

Cisco certifications are good for three years once you’ve earned them. The validity of each certificate is extended by another three years if the recertification requirements are completed. There are no continuing obligations to keep the credential active during this time period.

Candidates must recertify to keep their certification valid for an additional three years. Cisco recertification may be accomplished using Cisco recertification credit or by repeating the identical Cisco certification exam.

Certifications are a necessary part of your job. Your employer will most likely require you to pass or retake certain Cisco certification exams as a condition of employment (depending on industry and company policy). There’s no need to worry about recertifying for Cisco certifications since it’s such a simple procedure. With Cisco’s Continuing Education Credits, it’s even easier.

Cisco’s Continuing Education Credits

An essential thing to understand about recertifying is that you can accomplish it using Continuing Education Credits. These credits allow you to recertify without having to retake the same test!

The Cisco Certification Program offers certification holders various ways to recertify while still learning new things and enhancing their skills. Before the expiration date of their certificate, candidates can renew current Cisco certifications by taking a qualifying exam or earning Continuing Education credits in specific subject areas, among other options.

Candidates must first enroll in the program through the CE Program portal and accept the Continuing Education Terms and Conditions in order to recertify with CE credits.

You may receive Continuing Education credit by purchasing qualifying items in the following categories:

  • Students who take an instructor-led training or eLearning course may earn a certificate by obtaining valid courses.
  • Participating in technical presentations at Cisco Live
  • Participating in exam item writing

You may enhance your professional development and lifelong learning goals with the Continuing Education program by renewing your current Cisco Certification. You’ve long been a highly trained network engineer, so maintaining your knowledge up to date and broad is essential.

How To Recertify For Cisco’s Certifications

Candidates must recertify before their certification expires. Individuals who have out-of-date certificates must complete the whole examination process again to regain active status. Individuals may recertify at any moment throughout the active period by progressing to the next level of certifications, obtaining continuing education credits, or a combination of both.

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

To recertify for the CCNA, you will need to do one of the following:

  • Retake the associate exam
  • You may take any one professional specialty examination.
  • Pass the core technology exam
  • Pass one of the expert-level written exams
  • Pass one of the expert-level Lab/Practical exams
  • Earn 30 CE credits

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

To recertify for the CCNP, you will need to do one of the following:

  • Retake and pass any one professional concentration exam
  • Pass one technology core exam
  • Pass one expert-level written exam
  • Take one expert-level Lab/Practical exam
  • Earn 40 CE credits

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)

To recertify for the CCIE, you will need to do one of the following:

  • Take any one of Cisco’s expert-level written exam
  • Pass one of Cisco’s expert-level Lab/Practical exam
  • Take and pass any three separate professional (CCNP) concentration exams
  • Take one technology core exam and pass any one professional concentration exam.
  • Earn a total of 120 CE credits
  • Earn 40 CE credits and pass one technology core exam
  • Pass two professional concentration exams and earn 40 CE credits
  • Pass one professional concentration exam and earn 80 CE credits

Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)

To recertify for the CCDE, you will need to do one of the following:

  • Pass one of Cisco’s expert-level written exam
  • Pass one expert-level Lab/Practical exam
  • Acquire three separate professional concentration exams
  • Pass one technology core exam and pass any one professional concentration exam.
  • Earn 120 CE credits
  • Earn 40CE credits and pass one technology core exam
  • Pass two separate professional concentration exams and earn 40 CE credits
  • Pass one professional concentration exam and earn 80 CE credits

Which Cisco Certification Path Is Best?

The most essential incentive to become certified in Cisco networking technologies is for career development. The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP Enterprise) are some of the most effective strategies to achieve your professional goals:

Cisco certification is a sign that you have the knowledge and experience to perform the task. Network Engineers, Systems Administrators, and Information Technology (IT) Directors are just a few of the jobs for which your CCNA may be used.

On a national basis, these specialists have among the highest pay rates compared to other entry-level certification jobs. The typical yearly income is about $87,000, with top earners earning more than $111,000 each year. Those who obtain this type of certificate may see their earnings rise by 20% or more.

Going Down The CCNA Career Path

The CCNA is a great entry point for individuals interested in operating computer networks. Even if you aren’t working with Cisco gear most of the time, you’ll almost certainly come into touch with it, and they’re frequently in the majority. Companies often demand certification; therefore, you may not be able to fill a position unless you have the appropriate industry credential. It’s still useful when applying for a position, even if it isn’t necessary.

Even though there will be a more significant number of CCNA-level professionals on the market, mainly due to Cisco Networking Academy’s training, not everyone gets the credential.

The CCNA, on the other hand, is strongly advised to grasp the basics before moving on (for example, how to achieve the CCNP or even the CCIE level). Although this isn’t a formal requirement for the CCNP level, Cisco advises that you have considerable expertise before taking professional-level tests. If you’ve already completed a lot of regularity in Cisco’s test system, it’s easier to pass certification exams.

Is The CCNA Certification Worth It?

The most frequent answer is that Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is definitely worth it. It’s an acronym for Cisco Certified Network Associate, and it’s the entrance point to the company’s certification program. The name of the examination that must be passed to obtain CCNA is Creating and Maintaining Cisco Solutions.

The CCNA was revised in 2020, as have most Cisco certifications. To receive a paper validates your understanding of basic networking ideas. These include routing and switching technologies, WANs (wide area networks) and wireless networks, security, and other crucial networking topics, including programmability and automation. You only need to pass one exam in this new version.

The CCNA is a Cisco-sponsored credential. This company produces a range of network equipment and standards and protocols associated with networks and has been in operation for almost 30 years. They’ve already established a strong brand and dominated the industry in network routing and switching for a long time (since 1984).

The CCNA certification used to be available in two ways: a difficult exam or two separate tests. This new version has only one test, which is more user-friendly and transparent. After your fundamental certificate, you might go down several alternative pathways (security, design, voice, wireless, and so on), but it was still at the CCNA level.

There is only one curriculum and at least one exam for the associate level now. You may take extra courses on the CCNP level if you wish to have a greater specific knowledge of certain subjects.

This new approach aims to make certification choices clearer and easier for network engineers who have not yet achieved CCENT. Second, they want software developers to communicate and collaborate more efficiently with network engineers who hold CCNA credentials. As technology advances, network engineers will require additional abilities, and the new CCNA curriculum addresses that.

Recent Changes to the CCNA Series

As of February 24, 2020, Cisco has made the CCNA easier and more comprehensive at the same time.

Candidates who wish to work as Cisco network experts only have to pass one exam: the Cisco Certified Network Associate (200-301 CCNA). It’s designed to evaluate a candidate’s technical understanding and competence in a broad range of abilities and expertise. These include security, networking fundamentals, programmability, and automation.

The Cisco CCNA certification is available to anybody, regardless of experience, and the exam is easy enough for any candidate. However, Cisco advises that applicants have a minimum of a year of expertise in Cisco solutions and a basic understanding of IP addressing. They should also be able to explain fundamental networking concepts.

The following certifications have been discontinued as of February 2020, owing to Cisco’s new policies:

  • CCNA Routing and Switching
  • CCNA Security
  • CCNA Data Center
  • CCNA Service Provider
  • CCNA Collaboration
  • CCNA Cloud
  • CCNA Industrial
  • CCNA Wireless

What Is Included In the New Cisco CCNA Examination?

The new CCNA credential: Cisco’s 200-301 exam has seen a significant change in the curriculum. Cisco has added wireless networking, security, and network automation to the curriculum to keep up with the ever-changing IT development. This revised curriculum is meant to help IT professionals deal with increasingly tech-oriented job demands in an ever more technology-savvy world.

The Cisco 200-301 certification exam is a 120-minute multiple-choice test that may be taken in either English or Japanese. It contains the following components:

  • IP connectivity (25%): The exam will evaluate your ability to generate, validate, and troubleshoot basic routing using a variety of routing protocols, including static IP/VPN/DMZ routing. It will include topics such as BGP, vRouter, dynamic routing protocols (RIPv1 and RIPv2), OSPF V3, EIGRP vNext, PBR, redistribution (of IGPs into EIGRP and RIP, of static routes into OSPF), policy-based path control (PBR).
  • Network access (20%): Students will also be evaluated on their grasp of the following topics: VLANs, Interswitch connectivity, Layer 2 discovery protocols, and EtherChannel; Spanning Tree Protocol operations; Wireless LAN architecture, deployment methods, physical WLAN components used in Cisco network devices, AP and WLC management access connections.
  • Network fundamentals (20%): Understanding the network architecture is critical for detecting vulnerabilities. Firewalls, intrusion prevention systems (IPSs), and authentication technologies are all examples of endpoint devices that may be utilized to secure data in transit or at rest. Firewalls, IPSs, and other security appliances provide varying amounts of cyber-security risks through various physical connections and media connectivity as well as IP address assignment. Although focusing on static network features may be sufficient for some organizations, many others face complex, non-routine IP configuration problems. When assessing data security risks, it’s essential to examine network configurations like (IP fragmentation), routing tables, MTU, and simple parameters such as IP addresses and port numbers.
  • Security fundamentals (15%): Authentication, access control, data center security policies, physical access controls, password rules, access control lists, Layer 2 security features, wireless transmission protocols are just a few of the crucial security levels that IT professionals utilize to identify assets and users.
  • IP services (10%): Learn and test the components of a VPN connection, such as finding public DNS servers to resolve hostnames with incorrect or no addresses; understanding NTP, NAT, and NTP configuration; inspecting DHCP, DNS, SNMP, and Syslog functionality; examining per-hop behavior; using SSH; TFTP/FTP description.
  • Automation and programmability (10%): This book will teach you how to compare traditional networks with controller-based ones, provide automation suggestions, and interpret JSON data to get the most out of your switching systems.

Obtaining a job is not difficult. You simply must meet specific criteria to an employer and be hired. It’s also proof of your networking skills for the position since you completed the certifications. The CCNA credential is valid worldwide for three years after it has been earned, which means it’s accepted everywhere. You may renew your CCNA certification by taking another CCN exam or obtaining any of the higher-level professional credentials (CCNP).

The CCNA certification is one of the most popular CISCO certifications, and it does not require any prior knowledge. It will give you a solid base for your network administration expertise. If you want to work in this area, MyComputerCareer can assist you. Contact us today for more information!

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