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200-301 Exam - Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
CCNA Certification Facts
Earning the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a great way to launch a career in IT within the worldly known organization Cisco or companies that use Cisco products and services. This certification is of the associate-level and validates one’s knowledge and technical skills in basic networking. It aims to instill in professionals a broad understanding of the key concepts required to function in a wide range of roles in the IT industry. The CCNA validation is a good start for IT professionals as it has an impressive reputation in the IT world.
In-depth Look in the Cisco CCNA Certification?
The CCNA certification verifies an individual’s skills and knowledge related to networking concepts, network basics, security basics, IP services and connectivity, network access, and automation as well as programmability.
The main advantage of obtaining the CCNA certification is that certified specialists can maneuver their careers in any direction since this accreditation aims to produce professionals that are dynamic and resourceful. Such professionals who have managed to complete this challenge work with a talented group of technicians, engineers, architects, and specialists.
One more reason to consider earning this endorsement is a simple path required. The applicants must only pass the 200-301 Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam to become certified. Moreover, they will have an opportunity to share their digital badge on the Internet and include it in their resumes to attract employers. Many companies prefer accredited individuals over their non-certified counterparts because of the diverse skillset and professional validation.
The Cisco CCNA certification is designed for specialists aspiring to enter the networking industry. However, it is also a suitable choice for professionals with some experience in the field such as entry-level network engineers, network administrators, and help desk technicians seeking to climb higher. This is a great starting point for ambitious individuals interested in carving out a career for themselves. Additionally, it provides and validates the basic skills required to install, manage and verify Cisco networks for support technicians.
Prerequisites for the Cisco CCNA Certification
The good news is that Cisco does not have any formal prerequisites for the CCNA certificate. However, candidates should be well acquainted with network fundamentals and the exam domains before sitting for the exam. Preferably they should also have basic knowledge of IP addressing and at least one year of expertise with implementing and managing Cisco solutions.
About 200-301 CCNA Exam
Cisco 200-301 is a challenging exam that covers a variety of technology-related topics. It has a duration of 2 hours and consisting of questions of different types such as multiple-choice and multiple response items, and drag-and-drop tasks. Candidates have the option of sitting for the exam in English or Japanese and in both cases, they have to pay an enrollment fee of $300. Furthermore, one can schedule a proctored test to be done online or they can opt for the in-person assessment at a secure testing center in their location.
Skills Measured in 200-301 Exam
The knowledge and main skills tested in the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam can be divided into six main areas as described below.
- Topic 1: Basics of networking
Candidates must have a good understanding of the functions of networking devices, network topology architectures, wireless fundamentals, virtual machine basics, and switching concepts. They should also be familiar with cable types and issues, IPv4 addressing and subnetting, and IPv6 addressing as well as prefix.
- Topic 2: Programmability and automation
Candidates are expected to be able to interpret JSON encoded data and be aware of configuration management mechanisms, which include Ansible, Chef, Puppet. Also, they need to have a good understanding how automation influences on the network management, and be able to differentiate traditional networks from controller-based networking, and controller-based from software defined architectures. In addition, exam-takes should be familiar with data encoding, CRUD, and HTTP verbs.
- Topic 3: Basics of security
The applicants’ knowledge of key security theories, security password policy elements, remote access, wireless security protocols, site-to-site VPNs, and security program elements will be tested in this area. Candidates should have the skills to configure WLAN, Layer 2 security features, device access control, and access control lists.
- Topic 4: IP services
Under this section, students will be tested on their understanding of DHCP, DNS, SNMP, and TFTP/FTP in networks, as well as syslog features. One should also demonstrate their ability to configure and verify NTP, DHCP client, and inside source NAT.
- Topic 5: IP connectivity
Candidates should have the ability to configure and verify IPv4 and IPv6 static routing and single area OSPFv2. They should also be familiar with the routing table and first hop redundancy protocol. One will also be tested on their understanding of how a router makes a forwarding decision.
- Topic 6: Network access
Finally, applicants are expected to have strong skills in configuring and verifying VLANs, Interswitch connectivity, Layer 2 discovery protocols, and EtherChannel. Candidates should also have a good knowledge of Rapid PVST+ Spanning Tree Protocol, WLAN, and WLC management access connections.
Career Opportunities and Future Professional Development for Certified Professionals
The Cisco CCNA certification provides professionals with an edge in the IT industry. Many networking jobs around the world require candidates to be Cisco CCNA certified. Therefore, it has become the benchmark qualification for networking. Accredited individuals often work as network administrators, systems administrators, network analysts, and infrastructure engineers. Moreover, they get some of the well-paid roles in the IT industry. The average annual salary of a CCNA certified professional is $84k according to ZipRecruiter.
One of the key advantages of gaining the Cisco certification is the potential for future development and growth. Thus, CCNA is just the first step in an individual’s career journey. After acquiring it, one can aim to obtain the professional and expert level certificates offered by Cisco. These include CCNP Enterprise, DevNet Professional, CCNP Security, CCIE Security, and many others, so you can focus on the area you want to develop in.