Out with the old, in with the new! A wave of change has swept over the tide of Cisco certifications. Specifically, its Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) credentials have currently undergone an update that sweepingly modified the course of the company. You may have heard about this change somewhere as a concerned Cisco certified or a hopeful soon-to-be. As to what this change led and when it ensued, we’ll take care of in this post.
So here, we’ll exclusively dismantle the newly rebooted CCNA certification for your broader and profounder understanding. Moreover, we’ll offer you a plan on how to get ready for 200-301 exam effectively. And now, let’s count the ways which make this present badge different from the previous ones. Off we go!
Changes Made to CCNA in 2020
This latest renovation goes in accordance with the newest technologies and associate-level job positions surrounding the IT industry. Just this February 24, 2020, the new CCNA credential went live. Its commencement announced an offshoot of possibilities for many young and trained specialists. This goes for you, too!
- There are no more specializations at the CCNA level
Before the change was issued, there was a selection of more than five CCNA credentials with various specializations. Each of them concentrated on varied areas of network infrastructure with a corresponding exam(s). They were classified as the CCNA Cloud, Collaboration, Data Center, Industrial, Routing and Switching, Security, Service Provider, and Wireless. Hence, you can imagine the range of badges that specialists could pick and choose from the former certification track. Currently, the whole CCNA path is simplified into one accreditation associated with only one test. This leads us to our next point.
- There’s only one required exam for the new CCNA certification
There’s a single assessment you need to pass for your CCNA. It’s known as 200-301. This 120-minute test, among all alterations, is definitely a breath of fresh air. Although there’s only one exam to date, the level of its difficulty and length isn’t something to kid about. Remember that CCNA badge authenticates a wide scope of fundamentals for specialists. So you must try hard to eventually achieve it.
- Previous CCNA badge-holders are safeguarded from the reboot
If you’ve obtained the old credential, let’s say the badge in CCNA Routing and Switching, or any other specialization, you’re still considered a CCNA certified specialist. That is, of course, on the grounds that it has not yet reached its respective expiration date.
- Insertion of two more topics
Two domains now joined the curriculum of the updated CCNA. The following are security fundamentals along with automation and programmability. Overall, the CCNA 200-301 exam is a well-balanced mix of different themes: other topics that you must be interested in learning include basics of networking, network access, IP connectivity, and IP functions. Do take note that PPP and some WAN technologies have been cleared from the course.
- A better networking certification for varied specialists
CCNA came in this year with a pile of changes. And these changes were received positively by the community of IT specialists. For network engineers, network administrators, help desk technicians, data center operations, network support technicians, there’s no other associate-level badge from other credential vendors that could top Cisco CCNA.
Treading Preparation Process for 200-301 Exam
Soon, you’ll catch yourself dedicating your days to this one glorious moment: the CCNA exam date. Before the momentous, nerve-wracking event at the testing center, let’s focus on your preparation today and the forthcoming days. Within this period, the company of the most helpful materials is important in passing your 200-301. Right below is a checklist of study techniques you can adapt as you head on to the process.
- First, uncover the Official Cert Guide, Volumes 1 & 2 by Wendell Odom
Books are an indispensable material for any Cisco exam, not to mention, 200-301. Knowledge amassed in both volumes 1 and 2 is useful in your entire approach to the CCNA test. You can take hands-on information on the required domains. The well-versed instructor and author Wendell Odom walks you thoroughly through your prep so you learn all important things. It’s a knockout material strongly recommended to every candidate.
- Make sure to master the added topics
A smart way to boost your learning experience is to hop on the new topics immediately. Be very vigilant in mastering wireless, controllers, and security concepts. This will give you a head start of what areas of the curriculum to prioritize. Likewise, you have to get a good command of the vital protocols, quality of service, virtualization, and so on. For you to understand the syllabus better, investing in Packet Tracer and VIRL is an efficient step.
- Rely on an all-embracing Cisco course
Cisco’s own training course known as Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions (CCNA) is up for grabs. Its variety of learning strategies helps you get in the rhythm of the CCNA 200-301 exam. The feasible and organized study package unlocks hands-on labs, instructor-led, and self-study lectures.
- Revise with practice tests
As to the final phase of preparation, you can revise what you know with practice tests. At present, there are a few names that stand equally in terms of quality and affordability, and these are ExamSnap, PrepAway, and ExamCollection. They offer valid sets of questions and answers provided by recent test-takers to show you what you may face when sitting for the exam. Notice, that a big part of their materials is offered for free but you can always advance your prep by obtaining paid files whose content is expert-verified.
After passing the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam, you’ll seal your very own CCNA certification. As an associate-level badge, this can simultaneously act as foundational accreditation to lead you in any area you may want to direct your career later on. Everything is attainable once you complete your CCNA. So, do your best during exam studies, cover all the topics with the help of Cisco course and practice tests, and materialize your aspirations now!