Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching is a great point to start with when pursuing a career in the IT field, particularly in the domain of networking. TheCCNA R&Scredential not only provides its learners with the central knowledge of introductory concepts in networking, but also guarantees that they acquire the skills set needed for implementation of small to medium-size enterprise networks. CCNA R&S allows the learners to develop their skills to install, configure, manage, and troubleshoot route and switched networks of various sizes. Usually, the certification qualifies the candidates for different positions, such as a network engineer, a network administrator, a network analyst, and a network specialist.
Cisco CCNA Certification: Complete Guide From PrepAway
This credential is considered to be an entry-level certificate, which checks the expertise and knowledge needed in the domain of networking. There are two testing options available: taking two exams individually – ICND1 and ICND2, or taking a composite exam – CCNA.
The ICND1 curriculum provides the candidates with the core concepts related to network layers 1, 2, and 3, as well asthe basic network security and other advanced technologies, such as IPv6, Wireless Controllers, firewalls.
The ICND2 curriculum provides thestudents with the needed skills and knowledge to install, manage, configure, and troubleshoot small to medium-size enterprise networks. Cisco included new materials in the latest version of the certificate, relating to Quality of Service (QoS) and the ways in which cloud services can affect and interact with enterprise networks.
Conversely, CCNA is an exam that merges all the materials of ICND1 with those of ICND2 in a single course.
Note that there are no prerequisites for this certification; yet, it is recommended that candidates have computer literacy or work experience between one and three years.
Training for the CCNA exam is available through the program called Cisco Learning Partners, which includes twenty-two chapters. Those who decide to take the two tests should learn the first eleven chapters, such as Exploring the Network, Network Protocols and Communications, Subnetting IP Networks, etc., for the first exam, and the remaining chapters, including Introduction to Switched Networks, Routing Concepts, Network Address Translation for IPv4, etc., are for the second one.
The CCNA exam (200-125) lasts for 90 minutes. It includes from 60 to 70 questions of the following types: fill in the blanks, multiple choice (single and multiple answers), drag and drop, simlet, simulation, testlet (several scenarios). The passing score is unknown as the company does not publish it, since it is subject to changeandmay vary according to the questions.
The company responsible for the exam registration is Pearson VUE. The test costs$325and is available in English and Japanese.
The topics are usually divided in the following categories:
- WAN Technologies 10%
- Network Fundamentals 15%
- LAN Switching Technologies 21%
- Routing Technologies 23%
- Infrastructure Services 10%
- Infrastructure Security 11%
- Infrastructure Management 10%
After successfully passing the Cisco test, the certificate is valid for as long as three years before it expires. To recertify, the candidates must sit for and passany of the exams listed on the official recertification page.
When the candidate passesan exam of a more advanced level, he or she can be sure that the expiration date of the previous certification automatically extends to that of the newerone.
The Next Step
CCNA Security is a building block that permits theaspiring learners to attain a range of other, more in-depth certifications from Cisco. The students can choose to go further with more in-depth certificates by taking Cisco CCNP R&S, which consists of three exams:
- 300-101 ROUTE
- 300-115 SWITCH
- 300-135 TSHOOT
Any Cisco CCIE certificates or CCNA R&Scan act as a prerequisite.
After successfully passing CCNP R&S, the candidates can eventually make the final step in the R&S path and take the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Routing and Switching (CCIE R&S) exam, which is for networking experts who plan, manage, and troubleshoot complex network topologies.
In case the students are not interested in taking the advanced certificates in the Routing and Switching category, they can switch their focus. Cisco developed many paths, which their students can choose from, the concentrations are categorized as follows:
- CCNA Cloud
- CCNA Data Center
- CCNA Collaboration
- CCNA Security
- CCNA Cyber Ops
- CCNA Wireless
- CCNA Service Provider
- CCNA Industrial
Since the candidates have such a broad number of options to choose from, we highly recommend that they stick to the one which they are passionate about.
Individuals under the age of 13 are not allowed to sit for the test, even with parental approval. Individuals who are 13-17 years old may take the test and obtain certifications (excluding written and practical CCDE, as well as written CCIE and labs). Any candidate who is at least 18 years old can take the tests and get the certificates without any restriction related to age.
The retake policy are as follows:
- After an unsuccessful attempt for Associate, Professional, and Specialist exams, the candidates are required to wait for at least five days, starting the day following the failed test.
- For an Expert written exam, the students must wait for fifteen days to be allowed to make another attempt.
- If the students pass the exam, a wait period of minimum 180 days is required before sitting for thesame test again.
Different salary-analyzing sites such as payscale.com havehelpful salary charts to assist the learners in determining suitable pay scales for various job positions allied with the CCNA career path. An employee who holds the CCNA R&S certificate can gain a salary ranging from $56 thousand to $90 thousand per year. Most wide-spread roles for the CCNA Security certification holders are the following: a network specialist, a network administrator, a network engineer, a network engineer associate, and a network analyst.
Tips & Advices
Cisco has a vast collection of resources that can prove to be helpful for the students in the preparation process for the CCNA R&S exam.The candidates should also consider taking practice test, as they play a crucial role in getting the certification. Cisco provides practice tests for every certificate. They can be easily found on the official Internet page of the company.