Digital transformation is the trending term now in the ever-changing landscape of Information Technology. With technology driving the world today, opportunities for IT engineers are on the rise. The changes in technology and related fields are drastic, and the engineers are expected to be up to date. As a result, companies seek certified engineers, especially in networking. In a study conducted by CompTIA in 2015, 60% of employers depend on certifications to confirm their expertise in the subject, and about 72% have a certification requirement for job openings.
There are numerous certifications available, but the leader in this domain is CISCO. It is the backbone of most IT companies across the globe. In this article, we shall provide a brief about CCNA certifications and their importance to an individual aiming at a career advance in networking
What Is CCNA Certification?
CCNA is an entry-level certificate in IT issued by Cisco. This Cisco Certification is designed to test an individual’s skills in networking fundamentals and validate their expertise in the subject. The individual must appear for and pass the 200-301 CCNA exam to get the certification. The certification is valid for 3 years, post which recertification is required.
CCNA training for the exam is available both online and offline. The Cisco CCNA certification exam is for 120 minutes and has 6 domains. The format is MCQs for 1000 marks. The pass mark is 849.
1. Network Fundamentals (20%)
It covers network components (routers, switches), topology architectures, IPv4 and IPv6, IP parameters, fundamentals of switching, wireless and virtualisation
2. Network Access (20%)
This domain covers the configuration and verification of VLANs, Layer 2 discovery protocols, Cisco wireless architecture, AP modes, AP and WLC Management, wireless LAN access
3. IP Connectivity (25%)
The individual is tested on routing tables, router decision making, IPv4, v6 static routing, first hop redundancy protocol, amongst others
4. IP Services (10%)
Configuration of NAT and NTP, verifying them, DHCP, DNS, SNMP, syslog features are covered in this domain
5. Security Fundamentals (15%)
Security concepts, physical access control, Layer2 security features are tested in this domain
6. Automation and Programmability (10%)
Traditional networks vs control-based networks, automation concepts, JSON data are covered in this domain
CCNA Course And Cost
Many reputed firms now offer CCNA courses online. They also help in taking up the exams. The course is split into modules based on the six exam domains.
The CCNA certification cost is $300. It covers the CCNA course fee and exam fee. Few organisations have CISCO credits that can be utilised by the individual. The certification adds value to the organisation too.
Importance Of CCNA To A Networking Career
The benefits of CCNA certifications are manifold. They include the following
CCNA certifications help in expanding the knowledge of the individuals. The networking fundamentals are tested, and the individual leans on its operations. It adds to their existing command on networking that can benefit the career. It is a validation that the rest of the world accepts.
A salary hike comes into the picture with a CCNA certification in the same or another organisation. A CCNA in the resume helps the individual better negotiate their salary package. According to Simplilearn, an individual is offered at least a 20% hike on average after completing CCNA certifications. As per Global knowledge, CCNA certified individuals had an increase in their salary to the tune of $13,000. It is a strong indication that training and certification have paid off.
A CCNA certification accelerates the career growth of the individual. It is also the steppingstone to other networking certifications that give more promotions in the organisation
Cisco, as mentioned earlier, is the leader in the field of networking. It has created that infrastructure that connects businesses today. Most of the networking traffic is through Cisco pathways, and having expertise in it will aid an individual to stand out in the crowd. The certification helps be relevant in the field of networking and emerge as the leader. It is also a credible one.
Improve non-technical skills
Being Cisco CCNA certified professional enhances the individual’s technical skills and contributes to their non-technical enhancement. It exposes them to innovative thinking, problem-solving, creative thinking, etc. If the tried and tested methods aren’t helping to solve the problem, the individual must develop innovative ways to set things right.
Value to professional growth
The CCNA certifications add knowledge, skill, validation to an individual who is willing to take up more responsibilities in their career. In addition, it adds value as a successful performer in the eyes of a recruiter.
The digital era keeps everyone on their toes. The pace of innovation in networking makes it difficult for the individual to keep up. CCNA certifications help them keep updated in their field and remain relevant amongst the tough competition. It pushes them continuously to stay a step ahead of the rest. The CCNA training and certifications help transform the career and skill sets. It also instilled confidence in the individuals to chase their networking dreams.