CCNA is an IT network certification course offered by Cisco. CCNA certification confirms your expertise in networking and validates your ability to operate, install and troubleshoot medium-level switched and routed networks. CCNA is the second level of the five-level career certification process. The five levels are termed as Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert and Specialist.
Though there are no prerequisites for CCNA, the Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) is recommended to prepare for more advanced CCNA certifications.
CCNA certifications are valid for 3 years, after which a recertification is mandatory. Recertification ensures that the certification holder is up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies and is still eligible for benefits that the certification brings with itself.
Topics Covered under CCNA
CCNA topics focus on troubleshooting, routing, switching concepts, understanding packets and basic configurations. Here is the list of topics covered under CCNA.
- Network fundamentals
- LAN switching technologies
- Routing technologies
- WAN technologies
- Infrastructure services
- Infrastructure security
- Infrastructure management
Cisco Certified Network Associates specialise in at least one of the following seven technology paths:
- Routing and switching
- Network security
- Service provider
- Storage networking
Types of CCNA Certifications
- CCNA Cloud – demonstrates your advanced level skills in cloud computing
- CCNA Collaboration – validates your expertise in collaboration and video skills
- CCNA Cyber Ops – enables you to understand cybersecurity skills
- CCNA Data Center – confirms your skills in installing, configuring and maintaining data centers
- CCNA Industrial – enables you to implement industry standard protocols required for connected networks
- CCNA Routing and Switching – allows you to enhance your knowledge about foundational technologies and adopt next-generation technologies
- CCNA Security – demonstrates your ability to maintain integrity, confidentiality and availability of data and devices
- CCNA Service Provider – confirms your expertise in configuring, implementing and troubleshooting networks
- CCNA Wireless – makes you capable of managing Cisco wireless networks
There is a huge demand for networking professionals who know how to configure networking devices and troubleshoot connectivity problems. As Cisco is a well-known provider of networking devices and opted by many companies, Cisco certifications provide you with an edge over others and prove your expertise in maintaining a small scale network.
CCNA certifications are industry standard and recognised globally. Earning a CCNA certification enhances your knowledge horizons and makes you eligible for higher pay scales and quick career growth. Candidates seeking jobs come across better job opportunities. As these certifications hold global recognition, individuals can apply for jobs anywhere in the world.
The job roles offered to CCNAs are:
- Network Engineer
- Network Administrator
- Systems Engineer
- Information Technology Manager
- Software Engineer
- Technical Support Engineer
- Network Security Associate
The median salary range starts from $57,000 per year for a Network Administrator and goes up to $90,000 per year for a Sr. Network Engineer, according to a survey.
If we look at the data, women holding CCNA certifications earn higher wages than their male counterparts. The average salary for a female CCNA ranges from $55,166 to $90,642 per year, while the average salary for a male CCNA falls between $53,514 and $89,797 per year.
A CCNA professional who is willing to pursue some advanced level course must opt for CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) which is a tailor-made program designed for specialists, administrators and consultants.