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About 200-301 Exam
The Cisco 200-301 exam, officially called Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions, tests the learner’s competence in network fundamentals. It seeks to validate the candidates’ skillset required for network professionals such as network engineers, network technicians, network operators, and network analysts. Moreover, it is the only test one has to pass to qualify candidates for the Cisco Certified Network Associate, or CCNA certification.
About the Cisco CCNA Certification
As the name suggests, Cisco CCNA is an associate-level accreditation that acts as a massive step towards a brilliant career in information technology. It is on the same level as the Cisco Certified DevNet Associate and the Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate certificates and lays the foundation for propelling your career towards the desired path. It targets all candidates whose preferences involve verifying the key networking skills. And although CCNA is not a strict requirement for obtaining higher-level certificates, it can serve as a good foundation and ensure your career development.
Cisco 200-301 Exam Details
The Cisco 200-301 exam covers not just networking fundamentals but also network access, IP connectivity and services, security, and programmability. These topics form the CCNA holder’s technical acumen. In summary, here is a breakdown of the factual details:
- Candidates are given 120 minutes to complete this exam
- 200-301 costs $300
- Candidates with Cisco credits can redeem these for exam vouchers, making it slightly cheaper
- The available languages for taking the test include English and Japanese
- The applicants can sit for 200-301 online or at physical Cisco testing centers worldwide
For those candidates who want to improve their skills in the exam objectives using the official training resources, there is the Cisco-provided training, Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions. It prepares individuals through diverse learning methods.
Cisco 200-301 Exam Domains
The Cisco 200-301 exam addresses the main areas of networking that are compiled into 6 domains. This is a brief look at what each of them entails:
- Network Fundamentals
The first domain requires candidates to demonstrate their familiarity with the role of network components, including access points, controllers, routers, servers, and endpoints. Also, they will be required to describe the features of architectures of network topology architectures such as WAN, 2 tier, 3 tier, and spine-leaf. Other testable skills cover comparing cabling types and physical interface, identifying interface and cable issues, comparing TCP and UDP, configuring and verifying IPv4 addressing, and explaining the significance of private IPv4 addressing. Lastly, a candidate’s ability to verify IP parameters for clients’ Operating Systems as well as the knowledge of wireless principles and the fundamentals of virtualization will be assessed.
- Programmability and automation
This exam section revolves around software-defined and controller-based architectures, traditional networks and modern controller-based networking, the impact of automation on network management, and the main concepts related to APIs that are REST-based. Also, it recognizes the skills associated with mechanisms of managing the configuration as well as an interpretation of JSON encoded data.
- Fundamentals of security
Here, the candidates are required to show their knowledge of the essential security concepts such as threats and vulnerabilities, the elements of a security program, and how to configure device access control with local passwords. Also, it will outline a description of the elements for security password policies, site-to-site and remote access VPNs, and protocols for wireless security. To conclude, this domain involves the objectives of setting up and verifying access control lists, configuring the security features of Layer 2, differentiating the concepts of accounting, authentication, and authorization, and configuring WLAN with WPA2 PSK and GUI.
- IP services
This section requires candidates to demonstrate their acquaintance with the role of DHCP, DNS< and SNMP in networks. Also, it addresses the tasks associated with the configuration and verification of inside source NAT, NTP, DHCP client, and network devices. Finally, it asks one to prove the knowledge of the functions and capabilities of TFTP/FTP and the role of Syslog features such as levels and facilities.
- IP connectivity
This domain requires candidates to learn how to interpret the key elements of a routing table, determine the concept of forwarding decision as a role of routers, configure and verify single-area OSPFv2 as well as IPv6 and IPv4 static routing, and. Also tested is the examinee’s aptitude for describing the role of first-hop redundancy protocol.
- Network access
This section focuses on a candidate’s ability to verify and configure VLANs. It also tests the skills in the configuration and verification of Interswitch connectivity, protocols for Layer 2 discovery, and EtherChannel. What's more, candidates are required to be able to compare AP modes and Cisco Wireless Architectures and describe connections for physical infrastructure in WLAN, as well as know the need and operation of Rapid PVST+ Spanning Tree Protocol. Lastly, it asks the candidates to understand WLC and AP management access connections and configure the key elements of a wireless LAN access that are vital to client connectivity.
As you may be aware, CCNA is among the widely accepted and highly rated associate-level certificates that opens doors to endless opportunities. This means several jobs are available for holders of this certification, including the following:
- Network Administrator
This role involves maintaining computer networks and solving potential problems. Also, these professionals are required to install and configure computer systems and networks. According to PayScale.com, the average salary for these specialists with the CCNA accreditation is about $60 per year.
- Systems Engineer
Systems engineers, on the other hand, are responsible for monitoring installed systems and infrastructure and ensuring systems availability. On that note, they earn a salary of $80 per year, on average.
- Network Analyst
Finally, network analysts are tasked with ensuring the smooth running of network operations. Also, they may be involved in configuring computer software and hardware and analyzing client requirements. Ultimately, they make an average annual salary of $60.
Once you have passed the Cisco 200-301 exam and earned your CCNA certificate, you can seek to broaden your career prospects by taking the professional and expert-level exams offered by Cisco. Remember your options are practically limitless and include the CCNP Enterprise, CCNP Collaboration, CCNP Security, and CCNP Service Provider for an intermediate stage. If you choose to aim higher, you should pursue the CCIE Collaboration, CCIE Service Provider, or CCIE Data Centre.