Cisco CCNA Certification: Complete Guide


CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) is a certification that tests the ability of IT professionals to manage, configure and troubleshoot Cisco routers and switches. This credential is ideal for IT graduates who wish to pursue a career in network engineering. Without it, they would simply occupy the position of network support staff. The CCNA certificate helps professionals meet the requirements of the market at the associate level.

Certifications that are industry based are favored by organizations when it comes to hiring because they trust that professionals with these credentials have the expertise that the industry needs. When it comes to technology, there is no room for error. A business network holds the business operational channels and it is important that a skilled Network Engineer is trusted to manage it.

How to Qualify for CCNA Certification

There are two entry-level certificates offered by Cisco before you get the CCNA certification. They are the Cisco Certified Entry Level Technician (CCENT) and the Cisco Certified Technician (CCT). The CCENT tests whether network professionals have basic network support skills. The certification shows that you are able to diagnose, repair and manage vital Cisco networking components.

The CCT has 3 specializations which include routing and switching, data center and CCT TelePresence. The most popular specialization is routing and switching because it is needed on-site for maintenance and support of Cisco equipment and brand systems. These two certifications help network professionals to operate Cisco switches, routers, cables, and other accessories. They are the basic requirements for the CCNA certification application.

Options for CCNA Certification

The topics covered in this certification include cloud, security, collaboration, industrial, wireless, data center, service provider, cyber ops, routing and switching. Most companies are using cloud-based technology to enable them to maintain flexibility and agility.

The CCNA Cloud certification is specifically intended for network administrators and engineers in order to advance and expand their cloud base knowledge and skills. The CCNA Security credential is a minimum requirement for IT professionals dealing with network security. Getting this certification means that professionals are able to detect threats, reduce network vulnerabilities and manage complicated security infrastructures. The CCNA Routing and Switching certificate is the most popular associate-level program.

It covers network solutions like video communications, collaboration environments, and video services. The training modules offered in the CCNA are relevant because they align with the tasks performed by network professionals. The skills taught are design and configure networks, and provide specialized technical support.

Overview of CCNA Exams

The CCNA exams are very comprehensive; they include questions from different topics based on IP/TCP studies. With so much content for you to learn, we recommend you focus on the ICDN examination that is the basis for almost all types of Cisco exams.

The exam contains about 45-55 questions and takes you 90 minutes to complete them. Do not be hasty in answering the questions, no matter how well prepared you are since you may be stressed out and omit certain vital answers. Keep your experience and training in mind since most of the questions cover real-world issues.

Benefits of CCNA Certification

The CCNA certification is the stepping stone towards your career in the network engineering industry. Here are the benefits of these Cisco certifications:

  • The CCNA certification enables candidates to understand the core principles of network engineering.
  • Network professionals keep up with the advancements in the industry and refresh their existing knowledge and skills.
  • This credential gives you a CV boost when you apply for jobs since it is an added advantage.
  • It helps you advance your career by gaining other advanced credentials due to your exclusive certification and training. Expert certificates in the Cisco hierarchy are considered to be the highest form of a certification in the IT industry. Certifications like Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) and Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) will be a game changer for you.
  • You will be able to get promotions at work, as well as new job opportunities which mean your salary will increase gradually.
Tips for Passing CCNA Certification Exams

It is time to prepare for the certification examinations. Here are tips you can rely on to pass the CCNA tests:

– Find the proper study materials
You need the right study materials to prepare for the exam. The books you acquire should preferably be the latest edition, so that you get the necessary knowledge you need with the current system. You can check out Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND 1 100-101. You should prepare for the exam a month before you do it in order to increase your chances of doing well. Practice the questions from your reading materials and lab exercises.

PrepAway CCNA Exam Prep Materials here:

– Gain practical experience
You will not pass the CCNA exam by dwelling on theory alone; you need practical knowledge as well. Try to use the knowledge you get to solve troubleshooting and networking issues in the real world. For example, you could try to establish alternative communication troubleshooting between nodes over IP because it is considered unreliable.

– Create a schedule for practice tests
Organize a routine for your practical tests before the date of your actual exam. You can push yourself further by setting a deadline for which you can evaluate everything that you have learned. By doing this, you will discover the areas that need your utmost attention and you can polish them before the test.

– Refresh your memory just before the exam
Right before your exam, you should go over everything you have learned. This will keep the knowledge fresh in your mind and enable you to identify any areas that you might have overlooked. Search for commonly asked and new questions from the Internet and try answering them correctly. You should only do this after you have understood the content you have been reading. The little time left before the examination should be devoted to answering questions in order to wire your mind to the exam atmosphere.

– Take a break
With a couple of days left to the exam, you should relax and take time off from studying and practicing. Ensure you have a good night’s sleep the night before the test to rest your brain and get it ready to function during the exam.

Bottom Line

The CCNA credentials do not just help you get jobs or promotions but enable you to build your own brand through your expertise. Give yourself an opportunity to grow by getting the Cisco CCNA certification.