|Staff Reporter |||Jun 16, 2020 11:29 AM EDT|
CCNA is an associate-level credential offered through the Cisco certification program. Before the drastic changes on February 24, 2020, it had multiple tracks. However, the whole program has been overhauled. And today, there is only one compound CCNA badge that covers the domains of almost all the previous paths. In addition, instead of the multiple exams required to earn CCNA, the candidates now have to pass only one comprehensive test - 200-301. In this post, we will talk more about it. But first of all, let's look at the changes that were recently made by the company.
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Important changes to Cisco certification program
CCENT has been retired and is no longer the requirement for obtaining the associate-level certificate. Instead of the availability to choose a specialization in CCNA, you can now specialize in CCNP. Currently, CCNA gives you the foundational knowledge of the domains that you will need during your work, and CCNP offers you to get core professional skills and learn about the additional domain you are interested in. The specialization options have been narrowed to six. As for CCIE, it has the same core exam as CCNP. And another important change is that all the credentials of the new program don't require the badges from the previous levels. In other words, if you have mastered the topics of the tests that you need to take, it may be enough for you to pass.
The reason why Cisco made these changes is that the organization sees these prerequisites as a barrier to the experienced professionals who want to get certified. Many of those who have been working for years, especially the network engineers, have already developed their competence, skills, and knowledge required in the content of the CCNA certification level. Therefore, requesting, for example, that they take the CCNA exam before pursuing CCNP is like a waste of time and resources for them. With the new program, they can go ahead to study for CCNP and combine their knowledge with their hands-on skills to pass the prerequisite CCNP tests.
Detailed overview of Cisco 200-301 exam
Talking about the 200-301 certification test, it is important to remember that there is no official prerequisite for taking it. Apart from passing it, you don't have to fulfill any other requirements. Most applicants have one or more years of experience in the IT industry and also have a good grasp of network fundamentals. However, a full understanding of all the exam topics is the main factor for achieving success.
Cisco 200-301 is a 120-minute exam that evaluates the students' knowledge and skills associated with network administration, configuration, and implementation. It covers a wide range of topics and subtopics. You must understand all these domains before you attempt the test. The areas you need to explore are as follows:
Network Fundamentals (20%);
Network Access (20%);
IP Connectivity (25%);
IP Services (10%);
Security Fundamentals (15%);
Automation and Programmability (10%).
It is important to state that the number of questions is not officially stated by Cisco, but most examinees talk about 100 questions. The test has a range of question types, for instance, multiple choice, testlets, simlets, fill-in-the-blank, and drag and drop. You can check the tutorial videos available on the official website to get complete information about the formats that will be administered during your exam. The passing score has also not been disclosed but it will likely be within the standard mark of 825 points on a scale of 1000. The 200-301 CCNA test is available in English and Japanese. Registration is done through Pearson VUE and the exam can be taken in one of its testing centers across the world or online. You should check the available one at the point of registering for the exam to find one that is nearest to you.
To be able to cover all the exam objectives, you need reliable resources and a great study plan to use all of them the right way. Frankly speaking, there are various preparation options available for Cisco 200-301. Thus, Cisco recommends the official training course. By completing it, you will get the training badge and you can display this on your LinkedIn profile. There are other platforms that you can explore. When choosing the best study materials, you must be careful about the websites you choose for your preparation. Make sure that prep tools on these sites align with the domains of the test. That is why go for the ones that you can trust, such as YouTube, ExamSnap, PrepAway, Exam-Labs, and others.
Career prospects for Cisco CCNA certification holders
The CCNA badge provides you with numerous career opportunities in the IT field. Some job roles you can take up with your certification include network engineers, network administrators, and network support specialists, among others. The average salary ranges from $59,000 to $130,000 per annum.
To sum it all up, we can say that the changes that Cisco recently made have increased the chances of different specialists to get the desired certification. Thanks to this, you can start your IT career with one of the most popular and sought-after credentials in this area. Good luck!
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