Cisco CCNA Certification Refresh Could Provide Next Gen Skills

Cisco CCNA certification changes

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Cisco CCNA certification changesWell it seems like it’s that time again.  The time when Cisco starts to change up their certification exams and requirements.  This seems to happen every several years or so where Cisco, in an effort to keep up with the changing technologies of computer networks, revamps their certification exams.

This time Cisco has announced they are changing up the CCNA certification… and from what we can tell it maybe for the better!

How is the CCNA Certification is Changing?

What Cisco is doing to the CCNA certification is expanding it into several multiple certifications that align each with the various roles within the networking industry.

This  is very similar to what they have done with the higher level certifications, such as CCIE and CCNP.   With both the CCIE and CCNP these certifications were expanded to include focused certification in Data Center, ISP, Voice, Security, Wireless, as well as Routing and Switching.

Cisco already had some of this in place with the addition of the CCNA Voice certification.  But what has changed is a complete expansion into each of the various technologies while creating a separate certification for each.

The CCNA follows this same paradigm where the test will now focus on the various technologies within networking.

  • The following new certification will require a single exam:
    • CCNA Routing and Switching
    • CCNA Security
    • CCNA Voice
    • CCNA Wireless
    • CCNA SP Operations
  • The following certifications currently require two exams:
    • CCNA Data Center
    • CCNA Video
    • CCNA Service Provider
    • CCNA SP Operations

For standard entry level exams, specifically the CCENT and the CCNA Routing and Switching, Cisco has split these up into the follow exams:

  • ICND1
  • ICND2

Beginning today March 26th 2013, these new exams and study materials are available.  Updated tests will be available through Pearson VUE.

This expansion of the associate certifications looks to be a very positive move for Cisco allowing new engineers to better align with job roles and demand in the work place now and in the future.

This will also allow for Cisco to concentrate study materials and training in specific areas to allow candidates a better opportunity to learn and fully understand each technology.

” The evolution of the CCNA Routing and Switching certification will provide learners with skills and knowledge that are in demand today, adding substantial value for themselves and their employers.” — Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, vice president and general manager at [email protected]

The CONS to The Change

Some may argue this is another ploy by Cisco to capitalize on the training market by creating more tests and more certifications. With each test costing about $150/ea, this new expansion will enable Cisco to turn a single CCNA exam costing $150/ea and turn it into potentially thousands.


Whether you like it or not, expanding and focusing the associate level exams into job roles should help to create better trained engineers and allowing engineers to become more deeply exposed to each individual technology.

This should also benefit business who hire these engineers as candidates will be better equipped to “hit the ground running”.

Check out the official press release announcement  of this change here:

Let us know what you think about the changes in the CCNA certification program by leaving your comments below!

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Senior Network Engineer, technology enthusiast, guitar and bass player. Joe Wilson is the creator of as well as other niche websites that can be found around on the Internets.

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