How hard is it to clear CCNA?

Introduction to Cisco CCNA 200-301

Cisco Certification is one of the most common certifications that enable people to shape a great future.

With many students unable to have proper knowledge of this training certification, here in this Cisco CCNA article, we will look at the prime updates that were rolled out by Cisco.

On 24th February 2020, the changes were out, and therefore, here we will have a look at some of these changes.

Here we will discuss some of the most common things like the changes that were brought up by Cisco, what were the major reasons, when will it get in action, and a lot more.

Of Course, the older CCNA was complex, and now the new stress added to the candidates if this new update in CCNA is going to be really tough on them or not. The truth is it is more challenging as it enables shaping the candidates completely.

The new changes included in CCNA will require you to have an improved knowledge base.

In the previous days, candidates could seamlessly move ahead to the CCNA Routing and Switching with the CCENT.

This was to get into CCNA routing and switching. This becomes a lot helpful in easing the path.

However, it is no longer a feasible choice, and hence it now can be a lot harder than previous ones.

This new CCNA will offer you the chance so that you don’t lose focus. It has now been replaced by the Specialist certificate.

However, the challenge is this time; you will be able to sit for an exam that will be entirely concerned with networking fundamentals.

Hence, you will need a more expansive view and better knowledge of the learning materials.

This does not necessarily mean that the previous syllabus did not cover the basics. The truth is the new one is an elaborative and a great inclusion.

The primary reason for the difficulty comes from the newer version of CCNA, which entails modern networking fundamentals.

This can be a bit challenging for the new candidates who are into automation and programmability.

No wonder DevOps and automation is the latest norm; when mixed with the networking cert., it can become a new and improved concept. This is the additional layer that makes it very difficult for people.

Prior to this change, it was a long time back when Cisco had made such large-scale changes into their certification program.

Since there has been a need for changes in the IT professionals in the current years, this new change could actually become beneficial for professionals. Since people do not need any kind of specialization at the associate level, employers looking for entry-level professionals would love to hire employees with a basic understanding of the applications.

Besides, if you are looking forward to taking the next step, this certification can be a great choice. This offers more flexibility than the previous ones to improve the success rate.

Eventually, you will have the chance to shape a great career. Even if you are a professional, you can choose this to acquire new and improved skills.

Cisco CCNA Major Updates

There were a lot of changes that were made in the CCNA certification program. Let us have a look into them in detail.

Changes in CCNA Certification

All the candidates who are willing to take the certification will not need any prerequisites. However, Cisco still recommends having at least one year of experience and also the basic IP addressing. This would become helpful in understanding the basics of networking.

The New CCNA certificate will replace all the previous topics with the new one. These include all of the following:

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

On the date of launch, the certification of the associate level can be enfolded into the new CCNA apart from the CCNA Routing and Switching.

There will be badges provided that are related to the exams passed or the courses pursued. To help candidates get comprehensive knowledge, we will get into more details about the new CCNA.

This new 200-301 exam is a 120 minutes lengthy exam that would cover most of the topics. This exam will assess candidates to find their understanding of the fundamentals of IT.

Since this is one of the important requirements of the IT career, this becomes a beneficial choice. Having a better understanding of programmability, automation and security can become helpful in the career. Candidates are expected to cover these topics

  • Network fundamentals weigh 20%
  • Network access weight 20%
  • IP connectivity weigh 20%
  • IP services weigh 10%
  • Security Fundamentals Weight 15%
  • Automation and programmability weight 10%

The exam is definitely an excellent choice for the associate level. Having the certification can mean a lot for the associates in deciding their careers. Upon passing the exam, the candidates will again need to sit for the exam after three years as this is the validation period.

Date of Implementation

The update in the CISCO CCNA exam in 2020 is available for the candidates to become the CISCO Certified Network Associate. The changes get implemented on 24th Feb 2020 and are designed to prove expertise and skills. Taking this new exam becomes an excellent addition for the candidates as it shows the eligibility of the candidates in automation, programmability, networking fundamentals, and security.

The CISCO Certified DevNet Associate

The new release made by CISCO for the CISCO Certified DevNet Associate certification can become a great choice to offer engineers a chance to improve their skills and knowledge to program the networking environment.

With passing time as IT sectors becoming advanced, there is a need for having improved skills and knowledge.

Since automation and programmability are the new technology that is getting more advanced, the change can become a great choice.

The prime aim of this certification exam is to help the candidates develop the skill of network engineering or networking skills.

Especially in the current marketing condition, this can become an excellent choice for a newbie.

Why Cisco Released It?

CISCO offers entry-level certification for the candidates, especially the network engineers, before starting their careers.

Before this, CISCO previously issued the CCENT or the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician certification.

This was actually a step that was taken before CCNA. Post CCENT, various certifications were included to choose different career options, including CCNA Routing and Switching and the CCNA collaboration.

Currently, in the latest changes of the CCNA certification, it has unified all the tracks into one exam. Even when this isn't a need to choose the higher certification, the fundamental networking skills required by network engineers can benefit the job roles.

Specialist CISCO Certifications

Beyond just the new Cisco certification paths, the new certification included in the Cisco known as DevNet becomes a great choice.

The prime reason for taking the certification program is to improve the software developers, DevOps engineers, automation specialists, and professionals to enjoy a great career.

Taking the certificate enables you to improve your skills in automation, application, and infrastructure development. Besides, they also get the ability to work with cloud environments, IoT, cloud, and DevOps.

This will have a similar structure to others who are moving from the DevNet Associate to becoming a Professional or Specialist.

This means that DevNet will again have to follow similar guidelines. Candidates have the comfort to take the exam for the associate level and become specialists upon passing one or two exams for becoming a professional.

How can the changes become beneficial for you?

Just like anyone else seeking some kind of certificate, candidates seeking CCNA certificates enhance the success rate by participating in formal training.

This will help them to prepare for the tests. Such a significant change in the exam course can ensure that the employees are well prepared about the recent updates and help you go for the 2020 courses.

If you are looking for the seasons that makes it an excellent choice for candidates are:

  • This will become helpful in staying updated with the current changes in the industry
  • Ability to take new skills and competencies for the candidates
  • Structured learning program for the candidates
  • CCNA Certification can become a great choice for kick-starting your career
  • Acquire improved knowledge on Security, Programming, and automaton to satisfy the future needs
  • Lab exams give a realistic experience to the candidates
  • Acquire a recognized certificate
  • Adds value to the resume

An Overview of the CCNA 200-301 after 2020

The modules included in the new curriculum of CCNA can become helpful in improving and expanding your knowledge.

  • IP Connectivity: This topic will include OSPFv2 and IP Routing
  • Network Fundamentals: This topic include Cabling, switches, routers, IPv6 and IPv4, UDP and TCP
  • IP Services: This topic includes SNMP, DHCP, QoS, and NTP.
  • Network Access: This topic includes trunking and VLANs, along with EtherChannel
  • Security Fundamentals: This topic includes Port security, wireless security, and VPNs.
  • Automation & Programmability: This topic includes SDN, JSON, Chef, Rest APIs

Bottom Line

This new CCNA can be a great choice but can be a bit harder compared to the previous CCNA certification exam.

Since employers generally ask for displaying comprehensive skill sets, this can be a valuable addition for the professionals.

Including the certificate is a display that shows you have the skills to work on the networks. Besides, getting the CISCO certification offers you an edge when you are trying to find a job.

Since this is an ever-changing and evolving platform, the IT professionals at the associate level require being abreast with the changes. With basic understanding, it becomes an excellent choice for the candidates to start a career and enjoy great success.

So, make sure you are taking the exam irrespective of the challenge to make sure that you are able to surpass the requirements.

Curated by-

Ms. Mahima Garg

She is a technology enthusiast and an author who is passionate about ideation, planning, implementing, integrating, and managing business processes for business growth. This led her and the team to build a Global IT Certification and Preparation Platform for professionals which help them get certified and enhance their career growth. With 20+ years of experience in IT and Management, she believes to impart what she has learned in her exciting career.

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