Cisco certifications are some of the most respected and sought-after certifications in the IT industry. To adapt to modern changes in networking and cybersecurity, Cisco launched new and improved certifications on February 24, 2020.
Whether you already hold a Cisco certification or are considering earning your first, getting up to speed on the changes will help you determine where you need to start on the certification path!
Cisco Certification Structure Changes
The new Cisco certifications are meant to help network administrators and engineers become well-rounded in development, automation, networking and security. IT professionals can no longer afford to stick to routing, security or wireless networking because the modern-day network is intertwined.
As a result, there have been a few structural changes to the certification tracks. You will still be able to achieve a CCNA, CCIE or CCNP certification, but now, you can earn the Cisco Certified Specialist credential by taking any exam except for the new CCNA exam. The new Cisco Certified Specialist exam will act as a mid-point for people who want to gain a CCNP.
After achieving professional status, you can move on toward your Expert (CCIE) and Architect (CCAr) certifications.
CCNA Track Updates
As noted above, the CCNA track gives you access to all of the security and networking fundamentals and will include programmability and automation. The new, consolidated CCNA certification will replace all of the current CCNA specialty certifications, from CCNA Cloud to CCNA Wireless. It also replaces the CCDA certification.
The new CCNA track will not require any prerequisites. However, Cisco does recommend that you have at least one year of experience managing Cisco solutions, an understanding of general IP addressing and knowledge of networking basics.
Lastly, you will only need to complete one exam to earn the CCNA certification, rather than taking multiple exams to achieve the associate status.
New Re-certification Policy
Beyond the tracks you follow, Cisco will also update its re-certification policy across the board. Re-certification requirements previously ranged from two to five years, depending on your level of expertise. Now, all certifications will have a three-year re-certification deadline, except for the Architect level, which is still five years.
Certification holders will be able to re-certify by completing continuing education activities, taking exams or a combination of both within the three-year period. Continuing education activities include attending Cisco Live sessions, completing instructor-led training and taking online courses.
As a heads up, you must meet all re-certification requirements before your credential expires. Once it expires, you’ll have to repeat the track to regain your certified status.
Prepare for Cisco Certifications With Training Concepts
Cisco’s status as a leading enterprise networking solution positions it as one of the premier companies for earning IT certifications. However, transitioning from Associate to Professional to Expert isn’t easy — and you might need additional help as you navigate the new Cisco certifications.
Training Concepts’ team of experts can help you gain the training you need to prepare for Cisco’s new certifications.