The CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification was created by Cisco, to reaffirm your understanding of networking at a basic level. This certification breaks down the beginner’s capacity for the installation, configuration, operation and troubleshooting of medium-size switched and routed networks. The CCNA certification serves as an entry-level certification for computer networking.

The CCNA certification is often considered essential by IT managers when recruiting; you might also need to obtain a CCNA certification while refreshing your network skillset, or when seeking a promotion or a more meaningful leadership position.

The CCNA exam covers a wide scope of networking strategies, to prepare each certification candidate for the technologies you'll work with in current network environments.

What is CCNA?

CCNA, or Cisco Certified Network Associate, is a well-known certification in computer networking. Entry-level network engineers, network specialists, network support engineers and network administrators will benefit from a CCNA certification, which deepens your understanding of fundamental network ideals.

Since Cisco first launched the certification in 1998, more than 1 million CCNA credentials have been provided to fully accredited associates. The CCNA certification covers an expansive scope of networking concepts, and prepares candidates to plan for the most recent network technology advancements. 

Below are the CCNA certification topics:

  • OSI models
  • IP Routing
  • VLAN and WLAN
  • IP addressing
  • Network Device Security
  • Routing protocols (OSPF, EIGRP, and RIP)
  • Network security and management (ACL included)

It is important to note that Cisco certifications are valid for 3 years. When the certification expires, the holder must pass the CCNA certification exam once again for renewal.

Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions (200-301 CCNA)

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This course is designed for candidates that want to attain the new CCNA 200-301 certification. Become well-rounded and take your skills to the next level with a course that goes beyond CCNA for your current career as well. CCNA 200-301 is the new industry standard networking certification for network administrators, engineers and data center operations

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Why should I get a CCNA certification?

There are several reasons why you might consider obtaining a CCNA certification. Here are a few:

  • The certification demonstrates your capacity to comprehend, work, install, configure and troubleshoot routed and switched networks
  • It teaches you how to cater to clients' requirements/demands by selecting the network's topology
  • It teaches you the most proficient method to configure routing protocols to connect networks
  • It teaches you how to create a point-to-point network
  • It teaches you how to develop network addresses
  • It teaches you to install, configure and manage LAN and WAN systems

The CCNA certification serves as a pre-requisite for some other Cisco certifications, including the CCNA Wireless, CCNA Voice and CCNA Security certifications.

What skills does the CCNA certification teach?

There are numerous skills that you can learn by becoming a CCNA certified professional. These can include:

  • Switching and routing of the networking frameworks
  • WLAN setup and optimization
  • TCP/IP modeling
  • NAT and ACLs navigation
  • Tracert, ping, arp and other network commands
  • IP addressing and subnetting
  • Automation of network frameworks and programmability
  • VLANs and trunking

The CCNA certification reinforces a number of common skills that are crucial for network engineers. You'll also need to depend on a few soft skills, including communication, troubleshooting, organization and customer service. The CCNA certification additionally prepares expert network engineers with the information and capacities required to effectively use Cisco and Microsoft Office Suite products. This certification enables aspiring and current network engineers to use industry-specific tools in fulling their positions each day.

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What jobs can I get with a CCNA certification?

After you successfully obtain your CCNA certification, you'll be fully eligible for a variety of different career paths. These can include:

  • Network Administrator
  • Systems Administrator
  • Network Analyst
  • Network Design Engineer
  • Infrastructure Engineer
  • Unified Communications Engineer
  • Solutions Design Engineer
  • Cloud Engineer
  • Cloud Architect
  • VoIP Engineer
  • Collaboration Engineer
  • Telecom Engineer

Depending on your skillset, years of experience, active certifications and other factors, your aptitude might be better suited for one career over another.

Wrapping up

After you obtain your CCNA certification, your role and responsibilities will vary based on a few influences. For example, the size of the association, your office's location and current IT technology stack will all affect your work environment.

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