A Cisco CCNA certification, or Certified Network Associate certification, is the first step in Cisco certifications. From a CCNA certification, you move up to "Professional" and then "Expert" levels. Training in Cisco certifications can be completed at a college or university. While many schools offer courses on campus, more and more universities are offering online courses as well.
A CCNA certification shows that you have the skills and abilities in networking that many companies want and even require. It increases your chances of being selected for the prime jobs and it can also mean an increase in your salary. But training is imperative in order to obtain the skills that are required for the certification. When you enroll in a CCNA training program, you will learn basic skills in networking, including:
- Both IP and non-IP Networks
Information technology is constantly growing and expanding. This makes a career in network management a smart choice. The demand for qualified personnel is expected to grow exponentially over the next decade due to the lightning fast developments in information technology. A Cisco certified network associate has the potential to earn more and choose top jobs, particularly if they continue up the ladder and obtain further Cisco certifications.
In order to obtain a Cisco CCNA certification, people must be able to pass the CCNA exam where they must exhibit a grasp of the following skills:
- A basic history of networking
- Basic network design
- OSI reference model
- LANs and WANs, Ethernet and VLANs
- IP addressing
- TCP / IP protocols ARP, RARP, BOOTP and ICMP
- Routing protocols, routers, bridges and switches
- Cisco's IOS (Internetwork Operating System)
- Network security and management
There are several ways to prepare for the CCNA exam. You can study through one of the official Cisco learning partners, at a university or college, or online. Your employer may offer training for their employees so it would be a good idea to check. One of the online study options is Cisco's e-learning system which offers a great deal of study materials and practice tests for free. You can learn what you need to know to get your CCNA certification.
When you take the CCNA exam, be prepared to spend about two hours. You must answer about 80% of the questions correctly in order to pass the exam and receive your certification. There are approximately 78 questions on the exam. There is a fee to take the exam. It is generally $ 100 and must be paid either before the exam or on the day of the exam. The CCNA certification, however, is valid for three years. If you wish to recert, you can take an official recertification exam at the end of the three years.
There are three certificates that Cisco offers. The first rung on the networking ladder is the CCNA, Cisco Certified Network Associate certificate. This level is best suited for help desk engineers, field technicians and beginning net workers. The second rung in the networking ladder is the CCNP, Cisco Certified Network Professional. Network administrators and network technicians with a little experience under their belts most benefit from this level. The last rung on the networking ladder is the CCIE, Cisco, Certified Internetwork Expert. This is the highest certification level and senior network administrators benefit most from it.
Obtaining a Cisco CCNA certification can be the doorway to a lucrative, rewarding career. Your future is waiting.