The Cisco certification program was drastically changed on Feb. 24, 2020. There are no longer multiple different CCNA exams and certifications – only a single, comprehensive exam is 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 old CCNA certification program, there were multiple concentration exams for different learning paths. However, under the new rules, the following certifications have all been replaced by the new CCNA: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 now choose your specialization at the CCNP level.
Older CCNA certificates
Your CCNA certification that was acquired under the old rules will be active until its expiration date. In February 2020, your current CCNA certification has been 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.
CCENT is retired and it will not apply toward the new CCNA certification.
About the new exam
200-301 is a single exam, consisting of about 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, DHCP, 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 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 completion of a training course will get you a training badge.
The 200-301 CCNA exam price is $300.
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 are 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 went 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
Download our Free CCNA Study Guide PDF for complete notes on all the CCNA 200-301 exam topics in one book.
We recommend the Cisco CCNA Gold Bootcamp as your main CCNA training course. It’s the highest rated Cisco course online with an average rating of 4.8 from over 30,000 public reviews and is the gold standard in CCNA training: