The Cisco Certified Network Associate certification, one of the most sought-after entry-level IT certifications, is offered by Cisco. The CCNA exam tests a network professional’s ability to set up, configure, and troubleshoot medium-sized networks.
Cisco’s certification for network professionals is the CCNA. This credential will help you gain a broad understanding of a variety of topics including: LAN/WAN switches and routers VLANs, trunking WLAN NAT, ACLs Network utilities (ping tracert arp) TCP/IP modeling IP addressing and subnetting BGP Routing protocols LAN switching technologies Troubleshooting. The CCNA certification by Cisco is the first step in the world of networking.
This credential will be recognized as proof that you are able to set up, configure, and troubleshoot medium-sized routing networks. It may also be helpful in finding employment for junior engineers or network support technicians who want to progress their careers.
CCNA-certified professionals are highly valued by top companies. They can earn six figures even with a bachelor’s degree. This article will provide you with all the information you need to obtain this certificate.
What are the Benefits of CCNA certification?
Earning the Cisco Certified Network Associate certification (CCNA), has many benefits. First and foremost, it will improve your job prospects as employers are more likely to hire employees who have certifications. This type of credential could also help you get promoted within your company or pay more at other companies.
You will gain a better understanding of your industry and network knowledge, which can lead to additional certifications like CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Specialist). Other benefits include:
- You can work remotely or from your home with increasing numbers of telecommuting companies.
- Ability to travel and work in other countries is a plus as more companies seek Cisco Certified Network Associates (CCNAs) with global experience.
- Competitors may lack or not have the same certification, but you will be able to learn new technologies like wireless networking and cloud computing quicker than them.
- This will allow you to validate your skills and knowledge in this field.
You can go on and on but the point is that earning CCNA certification as a Cisco Certified Network Associate, (CCNA), certification has many benefits.
The landscape of networking is changing rapidly. Two new technologies are making waves: SDN (Software-defined Networking) and the cloud. These technologies have opened up a variety of job opportunities and revolutionized the networking industry. The CCNA certification will allow you to meet the changing needs of your industry.
There are many job opportunities that can be opened by the Cisco Certified Network Associate certification. Cisco technologies and systems have become the industry standard. This makes certified professionals highly sought after. You can apply for a variety of specialist roles after earning your CCNA credential such as information technology director, system manager, network administrator, system administrator or senior system engineer, cyber security analyst, senior system engineers, senior systems engineer and many more.
Earning the Cisco Certified Network Associate certification has a tendency to lead to a higher salary, especially when compared with entry-level positions at a national level. While the average salary for an individual is $87,000 per year, some high-earning individuals earn more than $111,000 per year. This credential will increase your pay by up to 20%.
Many people are looking for Cisco-certified specialists because they have demonstrated significant competence in Cisco switches and routers. Cisco networking hardware is used by the majority of Fortune 500 companies.
Based on information from Indeed.com the following is the average annual compensation of professionals who have the CCNA certificate. These figures are based upon projections starting in September 2021
Average Salary for a Position in the United States
- IT Support Specialist – More than $53,000
- Network Specialist – More than $64,000
- Network administrator – More than $69,000
- Network engineer – Over $85,000
- Senior network engineer – Over $116,000
These are the top cities to be certified CCNA.
- San Jose: $94,500
- Washington D.C.
- New York City: $75,000
- Chicago: $72,500
- Houston: $72,000
- Dallas: $71,500
- Atlanta: $68,500
What’s included in the CCNA Exam?
Cisco’s most sought after IT badge is the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). Two sections of the Cisco CCNA exam assess network basics and LAN switching technologies. They also cover IP routing technologies and configuration standards that are required for large organizations using Cisco equipment.
Cisco CCNA certified professionals can configure, manage, and troubleshoot Cisco switches and routers in small, medium, or large businesses. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), a credential that certifies IT professionals who want to improve their careers as network engineers or technicians. It is applicable to all types of equipment in worldwide networks.
Cisco has certified more than one million CCNA professionals and Cisco is still the most trusted brand in networking. There is a growing demand for network engineers who have a solid understanding of networks. This is especially true in large companies that rely on cloud computing and virtual servers which can run 24×7. You can manage, troubleshoot, and set up Cisco routers and switches in small and large companies.
Many IT professionals strive to attain the Cisco Certified Network Associate certification. This certification opens up opportunities for advancement in their area of expertise. Having the CCNA credential increases job security as most companies will hire network engineers who have demonstrated high levels of competence and expertise using Cisco networking systems.
The Cisco 200301 exam lasts 120 minutes and can be taken in English, Japanese or both. It is made up of the following components:
- IP connectivity (25%): The exam will assess your knowledge and ability to configure, validate, and troubleshoot basic routing using a range of routing protocols including static IP/VPN/DMZ. The exam will cover topics like: BGP, vRouter, dynamic routing protocols (RIPv1 & RIPv2), OSPF V3 and OSPF vNext; Redistribution (of IGPs to EIGRP and/or RIP, and of static routes into OSPF); and path control via policy-based routing. (PBR).
- Network Access (20%):Students are tested on their knowledge about the following topics: VLANs and Interswitch connectivity; Layer 2 discovery protocols and EtherChannel operations; Cisco wireless architectures; AP modes; physical WLAN components; AP and WLC management connections and wireless LAN acces.
- Network basics (20%): Endpoint devices, such as firewalls and security appliance; network architectures that have different physical connections and media connectivity; IP Address Assignment; IP configuration settings like MTU, TCP options and packet fragmentation (IPfragmentation), routing tables.
- Security basics (15%): These are the security levels IT professionals may use to seperate assets and users. They include identity management and access control as well as data center security policies and physical access controls. Access control lists, password rules, access control lists and Layer 2 security features.
- IP services (10%) Understanding and Testing the Elements of a VPN Connection; Locating public DNS Servers to resolve hostnames that have incorrect or no addresses; Understanding NTP, NAT and NTP Configuration; Analyzing DHCP and DNS functionality; Per-hop Behavior; TFTP/FTP description.
- Automation & Programmability (10%):How can you compare controller-based networks with conventional ones; discusses automation concepts; and shows how to interpret JSON data.
CompTIA network+ vs. CCNA certifications
Another Cisco certification, the CompTIA Network+, is used to test your network skills. It is often obtained by professionals who want to improve their networking skills. There are some key differences between them.
- CompTIA Network+ is vendor-neutral like the CCNA. It teaches you how it works with any network device or system regardless of its manufacturer. The CCNA focuses exclusively on Cisco technologies and solutions.
- Many people consider the Network+ credential more important than the CCNA. The CCNA covers more topics and is more detailed than Network+.
Which one should you choose? Many people choose to take the CCNA because Cisco products dominate the networking market. Cisco holds a 47 percent market share in Ethernet switches and 33% of enterprise router and SP industry combined. It can be helpful to have a good understanding of Cisco solutions as they are so popular. Many people find that the CCNA is sufficient for their needs. However, many people choose to take both.
The Network+ is a great option for those just starting to network, or those who find the CCNA too complicated or insufficient. After gaining more experience, it is possible to get both the Network+ or the CCNA.
Cost of taking the CCNA Exam
Cisco does not provide the Cisco Certified Network Associate credential. They work with Cisco Learning Partners such as MyComputerCareer to provide training and testing for CCNA certification exams.
The Cisco Learning Partner will determine the cost of passing a CCNA exam. An individual could expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $500 USD for Cisco CCNA certificates. Talk to your boss if you feel a CCNA certification would be beneficial for them. You can decide how much you are willing to spend if the test isn’t required.
How long does the CCNA Certificate last?
Your Cisco Certified Network Associate certification (CCNA), is valid for 3 years from the date of issue. To recertify your certificate, you must meet certain recertification requirements. To keep your CCNA certification valid, you are not required to do anything.
CCNA Certification Renewal Requirements
Recertification must be completed before your CCNA certificate expires. You can renew your CCNA network-security certificate in one of two ways. The first option is to recertify with a traditional exam. The second option is to obtain CE (Continuing education) credits.
Cisco Learning Partners offers continuing education credits. Credits can be used to complete Cisco certifications at professional level, develop exam questions for Cisco and/or participate in local Cisco user groups and technical sessions. You must have 40 CE credits to recertify as a CCNA.
Recertifying if Your CCNA Has Expired
CCNA holders can renew their certification by following one of the two methods. You can choose to take a written exam, or an instructor-led online class and pass it with at least 80% correct answers. All CCNA holders can use the Cisco Learning Network, a learning portal from Cisco. Candidates can view videos, participate in webinars and download learning guides.
Recertifying before your certification expires is a smart idea. To renew your certificate, you will need to retake the CCNA exam if it expires. Recertifying before your CCNA certification expires is necessary if you wish to move up to the next level or to use CE credits.
Cisco does not offer extensions to the certification waiting periods. Recertifying on-time is your responsibility. Before scheduling your recertification exam, please be aware of Cisco’s five-day retake policy. You can’t schedule another recertification exam within five days if you fail your exam three days prior to your certification expiration date.
Cisco Learning Partners offers the CCNA renewal exam at a much lower price than traditional recertification exams. Participating in webinars or Live Cisco events can earn you CE credits. You only need to ensure that the activity or event you choose is Cisco-compliant.
CCNA Exam Study Book
It is difficult to pass the Cisco 200-301 certification exam. To help you get a high score on the exam, we have compiled a list of study suggestions .
Although there are no pre-requisites to certification, most applicants have completed the following activities.
- Minimum of one year experience in the implementation and maintenance of Cisco products and solutions.
- It is important to understand the basics of network operations.
- Basic knowledge about IP addressing.
Although this is a great way to get started in networking, it doesn’t guarantee you will pass the exam. Even if your previous networking experience is not necessary, there are many benefits to learning practical knowledge in the field. This will give your a head start over other students with little knowledge and will help to reduce anxiety.
Develop Your Study Schedule
Experts today have hectic work schedules and may not be available to attend classes in a traditional manner. They are likely to be enthusiastic about learning how to study for the exam. You can also use video lessons, practice exams, or lab training to help you learn. You can’t actually use them so you need a study guide.
Many people don’t follow a study plan and waste their time. It is important to create one as soon possible. For novices to the CCNA exam, it is a good idea to read Cisco Press books about the subject and other learning resources, such as official Cisco webinars, practice tests, and lab simulations.
In preparation for the CCNA exam, it would be best to set aside a time for each task. You should plan your week to allow for some study time. It is a good idea to schedule an hour each day after school or work before you go home from the campus or office. You will be able to establish a study routine that will improve your chances of passing the CCNA exam.
The CCNA Exams Syllabus
Studying should begin with the domains of Cisco 200-301. As we have said, you should study from the Cisco 200-301 exam domains. To see what you can expect in the certification exam, visit the CCNA website.
Another excellent option is the “31 Days Before” series also published by CiscoPress. You should review all the lab assignments and practice questions. If you are determined to pass the test, you will need to learn binary arithmetic. You can do this on your own, in your spare time.
Take notes while studying to help you remember important information and concepts when reviewing them before taking the test.
Participating at the Cisco Training Program
Registering in Cisco’s ” Administering and Implementing Cisco Solutions (CCNA) training program is the fastest and most efficient way to become certified for the CCNA examination. This program includes lectures, hands-on labs and self-study materials that cover the CCNA curriculum.
Online options are popular because they are cheaper. However, this does not guarantee success. In fact, many students fail certification exams without using online resources or study guides. You can only pass the exam if you have proper certification training.
Enrollment In A Boot Camp
Boot camp is the best way to pass the CCNA exam. To ensure your success, a group of instructors can help you with your training and offer various study options.
Many reputable providers create their own curriculums for students to help them learn. Cisco’s certification programs have been highly rated. If you don’t have time or the money to attend a full-fledged training course but still want to learn from Cisco’s instructors, boot camps can be a great option.