CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate. Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching Certification is an Associate Level Certification for network Engineers. It is one of the most popular certifications of Cisco. A CCNA is a certification program that validates the network skills of a candidate. It is a core network related certification, starting from the installation and configuration of a Cisco router or switch right up to its troubleshooting. This certification is one that covers all aspects of networking. A CCNA certified person imprints a better understanding of network, routers and switch optimization and troubleshooting. A CCNA is updated as per the latest technology used in the new Cisco routers and switches.
This certification is the first step for the candidates looking for a career as a Network Engineer, Network Administrator or Network Specialist. Entry level engineers can also score well in this exam and earn a big boost for the start of their career.
- 100-101 ICND1 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1. This exam is associated with the Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) and is a preliminary step in the achievement of Associate Level Certifications.
- 200-201 ICND2 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2. This exam is associated with the CCNA Routing and Switching certification. It testifies the candidate skills for installation, operation and troubleshooting a small to medium scaled organization networks.
CCNA’s exam main objective is to certify that a candidate has expert skills in below mentioned fields.
- Setting up Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall
- Setting up a Cisco ASA VPN
- Securing networks using Cisco routers and switches
- Implementing Cisco Intrusion prevention system
- Combining Cisco Unified Communication Applications
- Troubleshooting Cisco Unified Communication systems
Training session for CCNA also includes a command on network hacking, malicious activity identification, eliminating risk and damage control. The Cisco Intrusion prevention system provides protection against all known threats.
Cisco routers and switches are constantly being updated and so is the CCNA exam. Cisco routers and switches are now equipped with many new features including IPv6 and 802.1 security support. The CCNA is updated, keeping in view the latest developed technology at the hardware level.
Troubleshooting is something Network engineers have to do every day, all day. Cisco has decided to train and test its certifying candidates against the most real world tasks as possible. For this purpose Troubleshooting has become a major domain in CCNA exam.
The CCNA course makes sure that a candidate is capable to serve as network engineer at companies having networks of a hundred nodes. He/she can flawlessly conduct tasks like IP data network operations, IP routing services, network device security, troubleshooting, LAN/WAN or even dial up technology setup. A CCNA certified person is well qualified for setting up and maintain even optimizing and enhancing the networks of a small or medium sized organizations (100 or less nodes). The quality of skills provided, tested and acknowledged in the exam is designed to be certain that a candidate can handle the real life troubleshoots of an organization’s network. It is synchronization of the exam with technology that Cisco keeps the exams as close to real world problems as possible.
A candidate’s certification is valid for 3 years only. Before the time of expiry if the candidate gets certified for the below mentioned certifications than the validity date of the CCNA certification is extended.
- Any of the Associate level exams, Professional level exam or Cisco Specialist exam.
- CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert)
- CCDE (Cisco Certified Design Expert)
- CCAr (Cisco Certified Architect)
In order to qualify for CCNA Routing and Switching a candidate must pass the below mentioned certifications.
- 100-101 ICND1 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1
- 200-201 ICND2 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2
Or a candidate has an option to pass a single CCNA composite exam that includes the validation of the above mentioned two certifications.
A candidate can also get a CCNA certified by taking an exam that comes higher in the hierarchy than the CCNA. In this way a candidate can get certified for more than one program by just one exam.
Skills and Benefits
A CCNA certified person is validated for installing and configuring real world networks. Troubleshooting has recently become a major domain of CCNA exam and validates that a candidate can handle day to day network trouble shooting problems both at routing and switching level.
Cisco Certified Network Professional Routing and Switching. The professional certifications acknowledge the knowledge of a candidate against more advanced standards.