Old and New CCNA Comparison
The Cisco Live’19 event left people amazed with many jaw-dropping announcements. The event saw an immersive crowd of technology professionals from all over the globe, an opportunity for like-minded personal to interact and connect at the global event. Annual customer partner conference rolled out a festive event in the city of San Diego, California, grabbing the attention of every networking professional across the technology realm.
Cisco announced major upgrades in their training to pace up with the growing technology upgrades that are taking place at an ever fast pace. The consolidation of the multiple tracks of the most pursued Cisco Certified Networking Associate i.e. CCNA certification under a single CCNA certification credential left professionals awe. Cisco also took a step forward to implementing network programming and automation as a core part of its certification curriculum by means of a dedicated DevNet certification track. This was also seen necessary with the advent of more software-based devices and the ease that automation skills bring in the management of the large network ecosystems.
The current version of the Cisco associate level certification caters to the individual segment of the networking environment. Currently, there are eight tracks that an aspirant can choose to opt for in pursuit of the CCNA credential. They are:
- CCNA Cloud
- CCNA Collaboration
- CCNA Data Center
- CCNA Industrial
- CCNA Routing and Switching
- CCNA Security
- CCNA Service Provider
- CCNA Wireless
Amongst all these CCNA Routing & Switching formed, the basis for almost any other certification track that a professional would choose to follow since it covered the basic knowledge of networking technology and terminologies.
Hence professional who used to opt for even other tracks like CCNA security, CCNA collaboration, etc would choose to consider doing CCNA Routing & Switching beforehand to get in terms with the technology.
Current CCNA Exam Pattern
To be a Cisco Certified networking associate Professional as of today, a candidate needs to clear either one 200-125 CCNA composite exam or can follow up with two papers of Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices (ICND) i.e. 100-105 ICND1 and 200-105 ICND2 that focused on candidate’s knowledge and skills related to fundamentals of networking and LAN and WAN switching technologies, IPv4 and IPv6 technologies, infrastructure services, security, and management.
A prerequisite for the current CCNA program is the CCENT certification i.e. the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technologies certification track.
The validity of the Cisco Certified Networking Associate credential is three years from the date of certification. Candidates who have already started preparing for the CCNA exam can take the exam until 23rd February’20, their certification will still hold valid for the next three years.
The recertification policy to maintain one’s CCNA status included one of the following:
- Passing any of the current Associate-level exam.
- Passing any of the current 642-XXX Professional-level exam.
- Passing any of the current CCIE written exam.
- Passing current CCDE written exam or current CCDE practical
- Passing CCAr interview and the CCAr board review.
The new CCNA pattern as announced in the Cisco Live’19 brings tremendous change for the professionals that are aspiring to be Cisco Associate certified. The new CCNA program would replace all the other available tracks with a single track of certification. This revoked the need of pursuing CCNA R&S before any other certification tracks like CCNA Security, Wireless, etc. New CCNA single track would cover all the following aspects of technology:
- Network fundamentals
- Network access
- IP connectivity
- IP services
- Security fundamentals
- Automation and Programmability
The emphasis on this program is to cover the breadth of the knowledge and comprising it in a single course. This is also necessary since the course covers the latest necessary aspects of a job requirement.
In contrast to the previous CCNA course, there is no requirement for any pre-requisite for the upcoming consolidated CCNA certification, however, it is preferable to have :
- Over 1-year experience in working with Cisco Solutions.
- Good understanding of networking fundamentals.
- Knowledge of IP addressing.
This will ensure that any new candidate undertaking the Cisco certification has some basic understanding of the terminology.
New Exam Pattern
There hasn’t been much revealed about the exam pattern of the upcoming CCNA format. However, the 200-301 – Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions as it is probed to follow similar patterns as the previous certification.
Candidates can take the certification for the latest updated CCNA version starting from 24th February’20.
New Recertification Policy
The certified credential professional status is still held for a period of three years and to retain one’s certified status, one has to maintain the following:
- Pass any one Associate exam
- Pass any one Professional concentration exam
- Pass one Technology core exam
- Pass one CCIE lab exam
Passing any one of the above ensures that the professional retains his CCNA status.
The new certification courses are upgraded with topics like network programmability and automation which were not prime part of the curriculum earlier.
New courses will keep the candidates in check with the latest advancements, as there has been visible increased in the use of coding skills and use of network automation. Hence, Cisco made sure to include these skills in almost all the certification paths in the new update starting with CCNA.
The consolidation of all the tracks makes it easy for candidates to undertake a single course at the start of their certification path.
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