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Is CCNA Entry Level ?

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By: Divya Bora

January 3, 2022

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WHAT IS CCNA?

Cisco Certified Network Associate is an entry-level information technology (IT) based networking certification issued by Cisco. It was designed to authenticate the person's knowledge of fundamental networking concepts, usually required for some IT positions. It is a perfect fit for aspiring network professionals. It is usually recommended for entry-level candidates, so the exam is not difficult and generally doesn't have tricky questions.

Exam: 200-301 CCNA Duration: 120 minutes Exam Cost: $300(+ taxes as of June 2021) Passing score: 82.5% approx

BENEFITS OF CCNA

A CCNA certified professional has acquired the following skills:

1. Knowledge

Being CCNA certified validates the professional's experience when it comes to installing or configuring hardware and software, the ability to set up a network, and expertise in implementing future developments in the networking field.

2. Skills

The professional gains practice in a wide range of tasks and skills like working under pressure, communication skills, analytical skills, organization skills, troubleshooting, and customer service skills with the willingness to consider creative alternatives.

3. Credibility

CCNA being listed on the resume increases the professional's worth in front of the employer as they are validated by Cisco and are well versed with the wide range of its networking products.

4. Skill Enhancement

The certification is not just for entry-level IT professionals. Still, it is also valuable for seasoned IT professionals who hold experience in networking or are planning to shift their profile to a networking one.

5. Versatility

As the hiring of IT freshers has increased from 6% to 15%, this will be a valuable certification for entry-level jobs.

6. Better salary packages

The various positions that a CCNA certified professional become eligible for are:

  • Senior Network Engineer

This position is responsible for the design and implementation of the organizational network infrastructure, which also encompasses the resolution of support issues and overseeing the workflow of the network and junior networking staff duties.

Salary: $116,165

  • Network Administrator

It is responsible for the maintenance of computer networks and resolving the issues that may occur. Tasks that are part of the job are installing and configuring computer network systems with identification, followed by resolving the problems that may arise.

Salary: $69,243

  • IT Support Specialist

It is qualified for providing IT support to boost operational efficiency within the organization. The task that is a part of the job is the maintenance of hardware or software with their installation, resolution of technical issues, and IT support to customers.

Salary: $53,051

This position is qualified for installing and maintaining an organization's digital communication networks by establishing wireless networks and developing communication networks.

Salary: $85,822

  • Network Specialist

It can deploy and maintain IT network infrastructure for organizations. Monitoring network security, collecting network performance data, optimizing server capacity, network upgrades, and fixing network issues are some examples of its task.

Salary: $64,430

The network administrator role is among the top 10 most in-demand tech jobs of 2021, making CCNA a valuable certification.

CCNA QUESTION TYPE

The various type of questions that are on the CCNA exam are:

1. Multiple Choice Question

This is just a typical MCQ question and is generally of two types:

a) Single answer: there will be four options, and the candidate has to select one.

b) Multiple answers: there will be six options, and the candidate has to select more than one appropriate answer.

2. Fill in the blank

This type requires the candidate must type in the appropriate options.

3. Testlet

This question is where the scenario will be described, followed by multiple choices, and the candidate has to select the appropriate answer to gain marks.

4. Drag and Drop

This type of question requires the candidate to drag and drop the given choices under the correct categories.

5. Simlet

It is a lab scenario where the candidate will be given access to the devices to configure them. The candidate is responsible for appropriately reconfiguring it to fix the issue and will be granted marks accordingly.

6. Simulated Lab

The candidate gets a network topology within a lab scenario to access the devices. The question will be followed by a multiple-choice question consisting of information regarding the scenario, and the candidate must select the appropriate options to gain marks.

CCNA SYLLABUS

So the CCNA syllabus comprises:

  • Network Fundamentals (20%)

Role and function of various network components like switches routers, firewalls, access points, controllers, servers. Network topology architecture characteristics WAN, SOHO, and cloud. Physical interface, cabling types, and issues. TCP, UDP, IPv4 addressing, and subnetting. IPv6 address types, IP Parameters for Client OS(Linux, Mac OS, Windows), virtualization fundamentals, and wireless principles.

  • Network Access (20%)

VLANs configuration with multiple switches and Interswitch connectivity. Configuration of Layer 2 discovery protocols and Layer 3 EtherChannel. Basic Rapid PVST operations, Cisco wireless architecture, and AP models. Infrastructure connections of WLAN components and WLC management access connections. Wireless LAN component configuration using GUI.

  • IP Connectivity (25%)

Interpret the routing table components, determine router forwarding decisions, and config of IPv4 static routing, IPv6 static routing, and OSPFv2.

  • IP Services (10%)

Configuration of NAT and NTP. Understanding the functioning of DHCP, DNS, TFTP/FTP, and SNMP. Using Syslog features. Configuration of DHCP client and remote network devices using SSH.

  • Security Fundamentals (15%)

Understanding key security concepts, security password policy elements, security program elements. Configuration of access control lists, layer 2 security features, and WLAN. Discerning wireless security protocols, remote access, and site-to-site VPNs. Understanding the difference between authentication, authorization, and accounting concept.

  • Automation & Programmability (10%)

Knowing the impacts of automation, REST-based APIs, controller-based, and software-defined architecture. Recognizing the difference between traditional network and controller-based networking. Comparison of traditional campus device management and Cisco DNA Center enabled device management. Interpretation of JSON encoded data and configuration management mechanisms.

Cisco CCNA Course Prep is designed to train the CCNA exam takers and covers most exam topics. CCNA Course Prep Virtual Labs is a must for any networking person to gain some hands-on training on the topics included. After exam preparation is complete, CCNA Practice Exam is a practice exam that will have similar questions as given in the evaluation to prepare the candidates.

REFERENCES

  1. https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/s/ccna-exam-topics
  2. https://www.naukri.com/learning/what-is-ccna-cisco-certified-network-associate-st315-tg35#benefits
  3. https://www.techtarget.com/searchnetworking/definition/Cisco-Certified-Network-Associate
  4. https://www.cio.com/article/3235944/hiring-the-most-in-demand-tech-jobs-for-2021.html
  5. https://www.coursera.org/articles/what-is-the-ccna
  6. https://study-ccna.com/what-ccna/
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