Cisco certification program will be drastically changed from Feb. 24, 2020. There will no longer be multiple different CCNA exams and certifications – only a single, comprehensive exam will be available. The new exam’s code is 200-301 CCNA and its full name is Implementing and Administering Cisco Networking Technologies. According to Cisco, the new exam “covers a broad range of fundamentals based on the latest technologies, software development skills, and job roles“.
Under the current CCNA certification program, there are multiple concentration exams for different learning paths. However, under the new rules, the following certifications will all be replaced by the new CCNA:
- CCNA Cloud
- CCNA Collaboration
- CCNA Data Center
- CCNA Industrial
- CCNA Routing and Switching
- CCNA Security
- CCNA Service Provider
- CCNA Wireless
- CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate)
So, the specialization at the CCNA level is going away – you will now choose your specialization at the CCNP level.
Current CCNA certificates
Your CCNA certification will be active until its expiration date. When the new program goes into effect in February 2020, your current CCNA certification will be transitioned to an equivalent in the new program. So if you have any of the current CCNA certificates (e.g. CCNA Industrial or CCNA Routing and Switching), you will automatically be granted the new CCNA certificate.
If you’re working toward a current CCNA certification, make sure to complete it before Feb 23, 2020. CCNAs who pass any of the old CCNA exams before the Feb. 24 deadline will automatically receive the new CCNA credential and a training badge that represents the pre-Feb. 24 concentration the candidate completed. So if you pass (for example) the CCNA Wireless exam before the deadline, you will get the new CCNA credential and a CCNA Wireless training badge.
CCENT will be retired in February, 2020, and it will not apply toward the new CCNA certification. Make sure to pass the both ICND exams and obtain the CCNA certificate before February 24, 2020. If you don’t, you will need to take the new exam to complete CCNA certification.
About the new exam
200-301 is a single exam, consisting of 120 questions. It covers a wide range of topics, such as routing and switching, security, wireless networking, and even some programming concepts. As with other Cisco certifications, you can take it at any of the Pearson VUE certification centers.
About the new curriculum
The modules comprised in the new CCNA curirculum are:
- Network Fundamentals – routers, switches, cabling, TCP and UDP, IPv4 and IPv6
- IP Connectivity – IP routing, OSPFv2
- IP Services – NTP, DCHP, QoS, SNMP
- Security Fundamentals – VPNs, wireless security, port security
- Network Access – VLANs and trunking, EtherChannel
- Automation and Programmability – REST APIs, Puppet, Chef, JSON, SDN
The following topics have been removed from the new CCNA curriculum:
- Network fundamentals – OSI model
- LAN Switching – Frame, VTP, Switch stack
- Routing – EIGRP, RIPv2, OSPFv3, Inter-VLAN routing
- WAN – PPP, MLPPP, PPPoE, GRE, BGP, WAN access
You can download the new exam topics here. Added topics are in bold.
Prerequisites for 200-301
There is no formal requirements for taking the new exam. However, these are the recommendations from Cisco:
- have an understanding of all exam topics
- one or more years of experience with computer networking and Cisco equipment
- good grasps of network fundamentals
The recommended training program that can be taken at a Cisco academy is called Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions (CCNA). The successful completition of a training course will get you a training badge.
There is currently no pricing available for 200-301. However, according to Cisco official document, the total cost to achieve certification has been reduced.
Your specialization will begin when you decide to go for your CCNP certification. The biggest news regarding the CCNP exam is that you will no longer be required to pass the CCNA exam in order to take the CCNP exam.
As of February, 2020, the following CCNP tracks will be available:
- CCNP Enterprise
- CCNP Data Center
- CCNP Security
- CCNP Service Provider
- CCNP Collaboration
To earn any of the CCNP certifications listed above, you need to pass two exams: a technology core exam (covers foundational and common concepts) and a concentration exam (a deeper dive into the technology). For each track, you have a single core exam and multiple concentration exams you can choose from. For example, to obtain the CCNP Enterprise certification, you will need to pass the 300-401 ENCOR core exam and one of the following concentration exams:
- 300-410 ENARSI – Implementing Cisco Enterprise Advanced Routing and Services (ENARSI)
- 300-415 ENSDWI – Implementing Cisco SD-WAN Solutions (SDWAN300)
- 300-420 ENSLD – Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks (ENSLD)
- 300-425 ENWLSD – Designing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks (ENWLSD)
- 300-430 ENWLSI – Implementing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks (ENWLSI)
- 300-435 ENAUTO – Implementing Automation for Cisco Enterprise Solutions (ENAUI)
Cisco also announced a new cetification called DevNet that will go live in February of 2020. The program focuses on DevOps, automation, and development. It is aimed at software developers who write network applications or network engineers who would like to cross-train in programming.
There are four levels of this certification:
- DevNet Associate
- DevNet Specialist
- DevNet Professional Developers
- DevNet Expert