Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is an associate-level IT certification from Cisco Systems. CCNA is one of the most important exams for aspiring IT professionals, and Cisco offers several specialized certifications focusing on different skills. These include exams for Routing and Switching, Cloud, Security, Data Center, and more. Exams typically consist of multiple-choice and performance-based questions, so deep knowledge of the appropriate systems is required. These exams are the best chance for candidates to prove their knowledge and apply their problem-solving skills.
CCNA certification opens up possibilities for work in a wide variety of IT jobs ranging from Cybersecurity Engineers to Network Administrators. While there are no strict prerequisites for CCNA, it’s recommended that candidates have at least basic knowledge of network fundamentals and preferably experience with Cisco solutions. Certification is valid for three years, and exams change periodically to stay up to date. The newest exam goes live on Feb. 24, 2020.
Certification exams can be difficult and nerve-wracking for some candidates, but fortunately, there are CCNA practice tests to help you prepare. These practice tests are paired with a machine learning app that evaluates your current knowledge and tracks your progress throughout your study sessions, so you’re always presented with challenges appropriate for your level. Whether you’re totally new to the subject matter, or you’ve been preparing for your CCNA for years, you’ll receive the best help to pass your exam.
You can also take part in advanced courses online to prepare for the CCNA and similar exams. These offer in-depth videos explaining the subject matter, e-books, and practice tests based on real exams used in the past. With certain packages, you can even get one-on-one time with expert instructors to assist you in areas you’re struggling with. Many online courses and practice tests even offer student discounts or free trials, so you can try out study materials with relatively little risk.
Jobs After the Exam
The CCNA isn’t an easy exam to pass, so having this certification definitely shows you in a positive light for employers. It’s somewhat uncommon to “only” have CCNA certification, largely because its difficulty means it won’t be the first certification most candidates try for. Still, having just the CCNA can certainly lead to lower-level IT and cybersecurity jobs, but if you want to stay in these positions and advance to higher-level ones, you’ll likely want to pair the CCNA with a specialization. Here are several kinds of jobs you can hope to get with the CCNA.
Network Analyst: These analysts frequently implement hardware and software configurations for businesses and other organizations based on their needs. This includes setting up computers and software solutions across all locations and ensuring the organization can meet its network goals. You can gain entry into this field through certification, although some continuing education may be required to advance.
Cloud Engineer: As you’d likely expect, this position prefers candidates who took the CCNA Cloud exam. Cloud engineers basically help organizations transition their functions into cloud-based systems. These positions are in increasingly high demand as cloud infrastructures become more popular, and it’s advantageous for any network engineers and administrators to have knowledge of cloud systems.
Telecom Engineer: CCNA Collaboration certification is great for any IT professional working in communications. Telecom engineers work primarily on teleconferencing and videoconferencing systems. This can include things like setting up ringless software for voicemail blasts, transitioning legacy phone systems to digital, or simply supporting existing communication systems.
Security Analyst: These are the professionals that protect an organization’s information systems from cyberattacks and malicious infiltration. Cybersecurity is extremely complex and offers a diverse range of opportunities. These jobs typically favor those with CCNA Cyber Ops certification, and additional certifications may be required for certain positions.
Ultimately, obtaining CCNA can open up opportunities in many technological fields. It’s a great foundation for your career, and building on it with specializations and additional skills can land you the high-level jobs.
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