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01: Introduction - What is CCNA and who needs it

Introduction - What is CCNA and who needs it


CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) is an entry-level certification granted by Cisco, Inc. after passing CCNA exam. Cisco is the world's most famous technology company that designs, manufactures, and sells networking equipment. CCNA curriculum has recently been changed by adding and removing some topics for the sake of keeping abreast of the technological development. CCNA is especially important for those who want to gain great knowledge in computer networks, so it may be the first step for them. Importantly, the actual course covers all topics included in CCNA 200-120 Routing & Switching program from scratch. Besides, this training course is addressed to everyone no matter how low or high his/her level in computer science because this course uses simple language (English), examples of analogy to make the candidates familliar with the networking concepts, and much more other assets.

 Who needs this training course

 This course works for everyone wishes to enter the world of networks, especially the students of computer networks, no matter what school they study in or level they have. It is perfectly suitable for students of engineering schools, vocational schools, universities, etc. Significantly, even having no background in computer networks, this course is still convenient because it starts with students from scratch. Furthermore, this course is addressed not only to the students of the above mentioned institutions, but also to self-educated students because the current course is well thought out and carefully organized in order to facilitate the learning processing by dint of arranging the lessons and labelling them with numbers according to CCNA curriculum.

 Cisco's other certifications

Cisco has a number of certifications granting them to candidates according to their level or the determined certificate the candidates are prepared for . The following pyramid shows all Cisco's certificates in a hierarchical manner.

 To start with, CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician) is the first entry-level certification. Remarkably, the CCENT certification's program is already contained in CCNA, so there is no need to start with this level except for one reason which is elucidated below (ICND1 and 2 reason)

The second certification is CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate). This level is the current course's interest. As stated previously, CCNA includes all CCENT topics which means that CCNA can be the starting level of computer networks. This certificate is said to be equivalent to a bachelor's degree because of the fact that it embraces all topics found in  programs lasting 3 years. Students who have this certificate are deemed to be technicians.

The third certification is CCNP (Cisco Certified Network professional). This certificate is granted to students after getting CCNA, which means that holding CCNA is mandatory when applying for CCNP. This certificate is said to be tantamount to a master's degree or 5 years of studying. Students holding this certificate are considered to be engineers.

The fourth certification is CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert). This certificate is given to students after successfully passing CCIE exam which is not an easy one, for it needs more experience and hard work. This certificate is said to be equivalent to Ph.D, doctoral degree or 8 years of studying. Students who have successfully earned this certificate are regarded as experts in computer networking.

The last level is CCAr (Cisco Certified Architect). This is the highest level of accreditation that one may achieve within the Cisco certification program. CCAr recognizes those who can effectively translate complex business strategies into infrastructure requirements and clearly communicate and advocate the proposed architecture. In short, this certificate has no special training course, or rather there is no training course for such certificate, it is all about years of experience.

The difference between  CCNA 640-802 and CCNA 200-120

Cisco updated CCNA 640-802 in 2013 to become CCNA 200-120 Routing & Switching. The old version of this certificate is no longer supported on the grounds that its curriculum becomes out of date. CCNA program has been updated so as to keep pace with new technological development and also to meet some job requirement. The new version has some features which make it better suitable for the present time. A comparison between the old and the new version is made in what follows:

                CCNA 640-802 (old)                                          CCNA 200-120 R & S (new)

-The duration of the exam is 90min                          - The duration of the exam is 90min
-The languages available in this version                    - Unfortunatetly, the new exam supports    
 are English, Japanese, Chineese, Spanish,                   only two languages which are English and
 Russian, Korean, Frensh, and portuguese.                   Japanese. This is the only thing that may be 
                                                                                       regarded by some as a drawback.
                                                                                 - Some topics are taken profoundly such as: 
                                                                                    ACLs, Subnetting, Vlans, OSPF, IPV6, EIGRP,
                                                                                          GRE tunnels, and SNMP.      
                                                                                 - Some topics have been removed such as:  
                                                                                       RIP and Wireless LANs 

Note !! In the day of the exam, Cisco grants 30 minutes time extension to the non-native speakers of English or Japanese. If English is not your native language, Cisco will give you 30 minutes as an extra time when sitting for the exam. 

N.B. (this note has been made later after the lesson was done and published, and the emergence of the new CCNA 200-125 version). Thus, it is of paramount importance to provide what lessons CCNA 200-125 inculde. To discover the new lessons that this CCNA version focuses on, please watch this brief video below. 

What is ICND1 and ICND2

Cisco Inc. offers its CCNA 200-120 R & S candidates an option. CCNA might be devided into two parts, the first part is called 100-201 ICND1 and the second part is called 200-201 ICND2. This division has been made so that cadidates are not obliged to take the whole CCNA exam, they may prepare just for the first part ICND1 and if they successfully obtained it, they could then apply for the second part (of course if they are well prepared and ready). Moreover, thanks to this division, candidates will not lose all the money they are supposed to pay in order to pass the whole exam. The fees for the whole exam are nearly 300$, so if the cadidates are to pass the first part, 300$ might be also divided by 2 which gives 150$, thus only 150$ that can be paid to pass one part. Consequently,  If  ICND1 is successfully passed, the candidate will receive a certification called CCENT, which we discussed previously, that allows him to sit for the second exam ICND2, then if this latter is also successfully passed, the candidate will receive CCNA 200-120. To put it simple, 100-201 ICND1 + 200-201 ICND2 = CCNA 200-120 R&S.

 Cisco's exam conditions

 Cisco has some conditions that each candidate must pay attention to. Minors are not allowed to take the exam. Candidates who are under 13 years old may not test or receive certification even with parental consent. But candidates whose ages are aranged from 13 to 17 years can take the exam provided that they have parental consent. The parental consent works for all exams except CCIE, and of course candidates who are 18 years or older are eligible for any certification without any age-related restriction.

Where to take the exam

After getting ready and prepared for CCNA exam, the next step is to schedule a test appointment. Cisco has many authorized testing centers throughout the world and candidates can locate a center in their vicinity. All is needed is signing up in this website  and following the procedure until ascertaining the day and time of the exam (fees are paid through the website)

01: Introduction - What is CCNA and who needs it Reviewed by BOUFTIRA on 4:48:00 PM Rating: 5

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