In the previous post we provided an overview of Cisco’s Associate-level certifications. These are great certifications that are highly valued by both employers and candidates. Some CNAAs don’t require any prerequisites which can make it easy to boost your IT career. But is it really that simple? We know there is always one, if not more. Every certification comes with its challenges. Let’s look at them.
CCNA Routing & Switching
There are many reasons why CCNA Routing and Switching has become a popular Cisco certification. This certification opens up opportunities for a better career. This certification validates the candidate’s skills and ability to set up, configure, operate, troubleshoot, and maintain medium-sized routed and switched networks. It also confirms their knowledge of routing and switching and other aspects of network infrastructure, including IP technology, wireless access, security, and connectivity using WAN. Employers love this certification, which can lead to a salary increase.
Candidates have two options to earn certification: they can either earn combined passing scores on the 100-101 ICND1 or 200-101 ICND2 exams. (Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Parts 1 and 2). Or, they can pass the combined exam: the 200-120 CCNA exam. The best part about choosing the first option is that you can get the CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician), certification by passing the ICND1 exam. This means that instead of just one certification, you can get two. Many people are right to take advantage of this opportunity.
What can you expect from the exams? We have already discussed ICND1 on the Cisco Entry Level Certifications blog. If you are planning to take the 200-120 exam, it is worth noting that the exam is not easy. Many claim that passing both ICNDs will be easier. If you have your reasons, such as employers who are familiar with the exam and can offer additional incentives to employees who pass it; or getting Cisco Associate-level certification after sitting only one exam, then we recommend that you set aside enough time to study. Consider the pros and cons of each option and decide which one you prefer.
CCNA Data Center
Although Cisco keeps its certifications job-oriented, CCNA Data Center is a winner. It allows candidates to maximize their education and professional skills. CCNA Data Center assists candidates and employers in increasing the value of their data centers, enhancing data center design, and saving money on equipment installation.
This certification is not only notable for its focus, but also causes complaints from candidates about the high price.
Candidates must pass two exams to become CCNA Data Center certified: 640-911 DCICN or 640-916 DCIT. The cost of these exams is currently more than USD 500. Many candidates find this amount too high and it’s difficult to disagree.
It is important to remember that CCNA Data Center for many people is not their first certification. Many people realize that they want to continue their career in Data Center once they have at least CCENT and a few years of industry experience. The cost of CCNA’s adds up. Add to that the cost of preparation materials and some equipment for those who are unable to play all the Nexus and other toys’ at work in order to gain practical experience (and the need to recertify CCENT/CCNA) and the CCNA Data Center becomes very expensive!
Some believe that the solution is to make the 640-911 DCICN exam voluntary for those who already hold a valid CCNA. Cisco however states that the r