About Cisco CCNA Certification
The Cisco CCNA certification is designed to validate the specialists’ skills in the ever-changing IT landscape. The certificate confirms their expertise in network access, network fundamentals, IP connectivity, security fundamentals, IP services, as well as programmability and automation. To obtain this associate-level certification, the applicants must pass a single exam, Cisco 200-301.
Cisco CCNA and Its Potential Applicants
The certification is intended for the professionals looking to prove their technological skills in administering and implementing IT infrastructure and networking. The potential candidates are those with a good knowledge of IP connectivity, including IP routing and OSPFv2; network fundamentals, covering routers, switches, UDP and TCP, cabling, IPv4, and IPv6; automation and programmability; security fundamentals; and network access.
Cisco CCNA and Prerequisites
This Cisco certification and its associated exam have no formal prerequisites. However, it is recommended that the learners understand all the topics of the test before attempting the exam questions. Additionally, they should have at least one year of hands-on experience with Cisco equipment and computer networking. It’s also important that the test takers have a good understanding of network fundamentals.
Cisco CCNA and Associated Exam Info
Cisco 200-301 is a 120-minute test that is a qualifying option for the Cisco CCNA certification. The exam is available in English and Japanese. It is designed to evaluate one’s knowledge on a broad range of IT fundamentals required to perform in a real-world IT environment. The candidates for this test will be required to register with Pearson VUE. The details of the exam fee can also be found at the point of registration. The 200-301 CCNA test covers different question formats and some of these include multiple choice, short answer, drag and drop, build list, active screen, and scenario-based. There is no penalty for wrong answers. Therefore, you should answer all the questions to improve your scores on the exam.
Cisco CCNA and Skills Outline
This certification exam covers a wide range of topics and components that the students must study before taking the test. Each objective comes with a list of subtopics that highlights the areas to be understood. The percentage of each domain indicates how many questions you can expect from it. Below are the details of the subjects covered in the Cisco 200-301 exam.
Network Fundamentals: 20%
- Describe the roles and functions of network elements, such as routers, L2 and L3 switches, next-gen firewalls and IPs, servers, endpoints, access points, and controllers;
- Explain the attributes of network topology architectures, including 2-tier, 3-tier, WAN, Spine-leaf, home office/small office, Cloud, and on-premises;
- Compare physical interface and cabling types, which covers single-mode fiber, copper, and multimode fiber; PoE concepts, and connections (point-to-point and Ethernet Shared media);
- Identify cable and interface issues, such as errors, collisions, mismatch duplex, or/and speed;
- Compare UDP to CP;
- Configure and validate subnetting and IPv4 addressing;
- Explain the requirement for private IPv4 addressing;
- Configure and validate prefix and IPv6 addressing;
- Compare types of IPv6 addresses, including unique local, global unicast, link-local, multicast, anycast, and modified EUI 64;
- Validate IP parameters for Client operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and Mac OS;
- Explain wireless principles, covering RF, SSID, Encryption, and Nonoverlapping Wi-Fi channels;
- Describe virtualization fundamentals;
- Explain switching concepts, including a MAC address table, Frame flooding, MAC learning and aging, and Frame switching.
Network Access: 20%
- Configure and validate VLAN spanning multiple switches, including default VLAN, connectivity, and access ports;
- Configure and validate inter-switch connectivity, which covers trunk ports, native VLAN, and 802.1Q;
- Configure and validate L2 discovery protocols;
- Configure and validate L2/L3 and EtherChannel;
- Explain the requirement for basic operations of Rapid PVST+ (Spanning Tree Protocol);
- Compare API modes and Cisco Wireless architectures;
- Describe physical infrastructure connections of WLAN components;
- Describe AP and WLC management access connections;
- Configure the elements of wireless LAN access for client connectivity with UI only.
IP Connectivity: 25%
- Interpret the elements of routing tables, such as prefix, routing protocol code, network mask, metric, next hop, and administrative distance;
- Determine the way a router achieves a forwarding decision on default. This entails administrative distance, routing protocol metric, and the longest match;
- Configure and validate IPv6 & IPv4 static routing, such as floating static, network route, host route, and default route;
- Configure and validate single-area OSPFv2, covering router ID, broadcast, point-to-point, neighbor adjacencies;
- Explain the goal of a first-hop redundancy protocol.
IP Services: 10%
- Configure and validate inside source NAT with the use of static and pools;
- Configure and validate NTP operating within a server mode and in a client;
- Describe the function of DNS and DHCP in a network;
- Describe the role of SNMP within network operations;
- Explain the usage of Syslog features, which include levels and facilities;
- Configure and validate DHCP client and relay;
- Explain forwarding PHB (per-hop behavior) for QoS, such as marking, shaping, policing, queuing, classification, and congestion;
- Using SSH, configure network devices for specific remote access;
- Explain the function and capabilities of FTP/TFTP within a network.
Security Fundamentals: 15%
- Describe key concepts of security, including threats, exploits, threats, and mitigation methods;
- Define security program elements, such as training, physical access control, user awareness;
- Use local password to configure device access control;
- Explain security password policy components, such as complexity, password alternatives, and management;
- Explain site-to-site VPNs and remote access;
- Configure and validate access control lists;
- Configure L2 security features;
- Differentiate between authorization, authentication, and accounting models;
- Explain wireless security protocols;
- Configure WLAN with the use of WPA2 PSK with GUI.
Automation and Programmability: 10%
- Explain the effect of automation on network management;
- Differentiate controller-based networking and traditional networks;
- Explain controller-based and software-defined architectures;
- Compare Cisco DNA Center-enabled devices management with traditional campus device management;
- Explain the features of REST-based APIs;
- Interpret the JSON encoded data;
- Identify the abilities of configuration management mechanisms such as Ansible, Chef, and Puppet.
Cisco CCNA and Career Opportunities
Cisco CCNA is undoubtedly the most respected and widely recognized associate-level certification, so having it under your belt can help you launch or enhance your career. Whether you are an entry-level specialist or an experienced professional, this certificate can land you a decent job with attractive remuneration. Some job titles for the certified individuals include a Network Administrator, a System Administrator, a Network Analyst, a Data Center Manager, an Industrial Network Specialist, an Information Security Analyst, a Network Engineer, and a Network Infrastructure Engineer. The salary varies and largely depends on one’s job role and experience. However, the specialists with any of these positions can earn an average of $93,000, while some can get as high as $187,000.