Everything You Wanted To Know About CCNA

CCNA Certification is globally recognized and it is respected by most companies across the globe. CCNA is an abbreviated form of Cisco Certified Network Associate. This certificate is suitable for professionals from networking background. This certificate confirms that the certificate holder has gained the ability to understand, operate, configure and troubleshoot medium-level switched and routed networks.

Pre-requisites and examination format

There are no pre-requisites set by CISCO for writing CCNA certification exam. The exam duration for core CCNA certification is 90 minutes. Listed below are set of topics covered under CCNA certification exam:

  • Wide Area Network and Land Area Network design

  • OSI models

  • IP addressing

  • VLAN and WLAN

  • Routers / routing protocols

  • Network Security and Management

CISCO also offers other certifications like CCNA Voice, CCNA Wireless and CCNA Security, apart from core CCNA certification. By obtaining this certification, individuals  will gain mastery in the corresponding area of computer networking.

CCNA certification comes with three years validity. After three years, the certificate holder has to once again take the certification exam. This is because of constantly changing technology and software upgrades. Certified professionals can also appear for the advanced level certifications such as CCIE [Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert] and CCNP [Cisco Certified Network Professional] certification.

Eligibility Criteria

To receive the CCNA certificate an individual must have passed either of two exams:
1. ICND1 Exam (100-101) and the ICND2 (200-101)
2. Combined CCNA Exam (200-120)

Benefits of CCNA Certification

CCNA certificate is globally recognized and respected by most companies. In fact, companies look for professionals who hold CCNA certification. According to a survey, there are more than one million candidates who have taken CCNA certification exam and cleared the examination. This certificate, not only enhances the career growth opportunities, but also provide the candidates with a higher pay scale.   

Higher Pay Scale

By obtaining CCNA certification , professionals not only enhance their skills and knowledge about networking concepts but also gain an opportunity to increase their salary potential. 

Enhances Knowledge Horizons

To appear for CCNA examination, there are no educational or professional prerequisites. This means that any individual who is seeking to enhance their knowledge in the field of computer networks can take this exam as they will thoroughly gain knowledge about the networking concepts and how to implement them in the real-time scenarios. Professionals with two plus years of experience will find this certification beneficial as they gain additional knowledge by preparing for this certification exam. By preparing for this exam, candidates will also come across new networking concepts and also know about the latest advancements in the field of computer networks. 

Better Job Opportunities

CCNA certificate holders have better job opportunities in comparison to the people who don’t. CCNA certificate has three years validity and within these three years certificate holders can find better job opportunities. Many companies are looking for CISCO certified professionals for handling their networking projects.

Quick Career Advancements

As a CCNA certificate holder, an individual can expect to have a quick career growth. Because these professionals have an edge over their peers, as they possess complete knowledge about the networking concepts and principles. Companies also give first preference to the certified professionals, when they have plans to promote their staff members.

Eligibility For Higher Certification Programs

After obtaining core CCNA certificate, professionals gain an eligibility to write higher certificate exams. They can write other certificate programs such as CCNA Security, CCNA Wireless and CCNA Voice and other certifications offered by Cisco.

Global Recognition

CCNA certified professionals gain a global recognition. This certificate is globally accepted and professionals can also apply for overseas jobs as well.   

Expected Job Profiles

As a CCNA certificate holder, an individual can apply for the position of IT network administrator, network engineer, systems engineer, IT Manager and even an IT Director.


CCNA certificate holders are in good demand and there no two ways about it. According to a US survey report, the average increase in salary after a CCNA certification is around 20%, and an individual can expect a pay package between $30,000 and $90,000. Some companies have made it mandatory that the applicants must hold a CCNA certification to apply for a position in IT networking domain.

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- Author
Shivam J


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