How Hard is the New CCNA?

CCNA Certificate

 Last year, Cisco made a major overhaul of its certification programme, focusing particularly on the CCNA certification. The CCNA certification has been consolidated into a single credential, rather than a series of certifications connected to specific domains, such as cloud computing and security.

We may now assess the new CCNA certification because the February 24, 2020 release date has passed. Do these changes affect the CCNA certification? Is the new CCNA more difficult or less difficult than the previous CCNA, depending on your perspective?

Keeping up with the latest trends

Before February 24, you had the option of taking one of the following CCNA paths:

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

This option necessitated passing at least two tests, and in some circumstances even more, to get qualified. And it wasn’t always as simple as altering the path you were on if things changed while you were working on your CCNA Certification. Only one test is necessary to become certified with the new CCNA. If you’re just starting off with Cisco certifications, this provides you additional options.

How Difficult is the New CCNA Exam?

A year or two down the road, we’ll know for sure what’s going on, but we can draw some conclusions now. In general, the new CCNA is shaping out to be more difficult than the previous CCNA was.

The modifications necessitate a broader understanding of the subject matter. Once upon a time, you could begin your CCNA Routing & Switching journey with a CCENT (discontinued on February 24, 2020). As a result, you were better prepared for future CCNA certifications. That’s no longer an option, which might make the new CCNA certification more challenging.

To avoid losing emphasis areas, the new CCNA certificates have been replaced by Specialist certifications (more on that later). However, you’re about to take an exam that covers a lot more networking basicsby Sprintzeal. This necessitates a broader perspective and deeper comprehension of the subject matter. Although the original CCNA certifications covered the essentials, the new CCNA certifications go further. As a result, the test is likely to be more difficult than the previous CCNA.

This is because the new CCNA includes current network concepts end-to-end, making it tough to learn. That’s a lot of ground to cover in and of itself. New networking professionals, in particular, may find it difficult to master programmability and automation. DevOps and automation are already commonplace, but the idea of include programming in networking certifications is still somewhat unheard of. Cert takers who have some experience with networking but are new to automation may find this a challenge.

What Are the Benefits of the Changes?

Cisco hadn’t made significant modifications to its certification programme in a long time prior to this one. The needs of IT professionals have evolved throughout the years. Associate-level competence does not necessitate specialisation in any one field. In most cases, a person with a CCNA certification is seeking for someone with a basic grasp of Cisco applications and the ability to develop that individual into what is ideal for the employer. As your career progresses, you’ll have a well-defined route to follow.

A Cisco speciality is an excellent option when you’re ready for the next step in your career and want to tailor your skills to the demands of the company you work for. There is also a lot more freedom with this than there was before. You may simply alter your concentration to a new topic if your profession pulls you in a different direction. The new structure lays out a clear pathway for those pursuing the CCNA credential, increasing their chances of success. All of this is paving the way for a certification like a CCNP in the field you choose to specialise in.

It’s only logical that companies would begin searching for IT workers with the new abilities that have emerged over the last several years. 

In the 200-301 CCNA exam, 

For the new CCNA, you simply need to pass the 200-301 CCNA test to be eligible for the new credential. Cisco recommended that you have at least the following experience before taking this course:

  • The ability to deploy and operate Cisco products with at least one year of experience
  • The ability to identify and address IP addresses. Understanding the principles of networking is essential.

As a result, while it’s possible to go into the test without any preparation, it’s not a smart idea. You might as well get the most out of your training investment since you’re already making it. 

Taking the 200-301 test, which is 120 minutes long, covers a wide range of subjects. It expects you to have a firm grasp of the IT principles necessary to land a job in the field. To succeed, you’ll need to have a firm grasp on concepts like security, automatability, and programmability. The following subjects are likely to be discussed:

  • Network fundamentals
  • Network access
  • IP connectivity
  • IP services
  • Security fundamentals
  • Automation and programmability

This test is essentially a conglomeration of all of the associate-level certifications that are currently available. Networking fundamentals are what this test is designed to measure. The CCNA certification is valid for three years after passing the exam.

At a Glance: Specialist Certifications

Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals and earned your CCNA credential, you’ll be prepared to take on more challenging and specialised coursework. These certifications replace the CCNA certifications. This certification will help you improve your networking skills in the area that is most important to you.

You’ll be able to show off your badge for each Specialist certification you get this way. CCNP credentials can also be used as stepping stones to a CCNP certification if desired. Re-certification for Cisco Specialist certifications is required every two years.

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