It has been a few months since Cisco announced major changes to their certification program. Now that things are a little more settled, it’s time for a comprehensive look at the bigger picture. What will it mean for the industry and, more importantly, for learners?
We previously reviewed the new CCNA exam and what you can expect from it. We’ll be looking at the “why” of the new CCNA. You can also take a look at the new CCNA training if you wish.
Cisco’s CCNA was a success story for quite a while. It’s a highly-respected IT certification and one of the most sought-after. This means they must have good reasons to make the changes. We believe they did.
These changes were made to better align the CCNA and IT’s future direction, and to empower cert-seekers. Let’s now look at the reasons for the new CCNA.
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It’s easier to start trainingA new CCNA is easier to track
There are many paths you can take under the current CCNA. There are many areas you can specialize in, depending on your area of focus.
CCNA Cyber Ops
CCNA Data Center
CCNA Routing & Switching
CCNA Service Provider
To be certified, these paths require passing at least two exams. If you want to earn CCENT certification, you must choose a path that counts towards that CCNA.
While choice can be a virtue, it could have become too complicated. There are many things to keep in mind. This can make certification novices feel even more intimidated. This is changing, however, on February 24, 2020.
All current CCNA certifications will now be covered by one CCNA under the new changes. All will be on the same track, with only one exam. This logic makes sense. Associate-level IT professionals don’t need to be specialists yet. Give them the foundation they require. They can become specialists as they go, while still obtaining the certifications that will help them advance their careers.
Market Needs Better with a New CCNA
This point is directly connected to the previous one. Associate level doesn’t require you to focus on any one area. It is not useless, but it is not necessary at this level. Cisco recognized the necessity to create a certification that is useful at the associate levels.
Employers seeking to hire Cisco Certified Network Associates will often be looking for professionals with a basic understanding about networking. The problem with the current CCNA certification is that you will choose your focus before having the necessary knowledge and experience. The old path was a good starting point.
The new CCNA will give you the skills and knowledge to work in a Cisco environment. Once you have enough experience, you will be able to look into becoming a Cisco Certified Specialist, and eventually, a CCNP.
The CCNP is also changing! Here’s a list of the latest changes.
New CCNA Keeps up with the changing IT Landscape
Some people might not like the changes or any changes. These changes are a sign that Cisco is listening to the community and watching the entire industry. This is evident in the introduction of a new DevNet program. DevOps is growing in popularity and Cisco’s DevNet certification directly supports that.
DevOps engineer is a hot job in the industry. The DevNet program is designed to help you achieve that goal. It also certifies skills in IoT (Internet of Things), code as code, and automation. Cisco can be positioned to remain a leader in IT by focusing on these areas. Cisco would fall behind the market if they didn’t keep up with the times.
It may seem strange at first that a company could change its cert program to help it become a market leader. It makes sense if you consider it.