Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Massive Cisco CCNA, CCNP, CCIE certification changes incoming February 2020

Massive Cisco CCNA, CCNP, CCIE certification changes incoming February 2020

IT giant, Cisco, has announced a dramatic restructure to their existing certification portfolio that will consist of culling the number of certifications they offer. Cisco will launch this massive update on the 24th February 2020.

In terms of the skills you’ll learn, Cisco will now be focusing more on software skills in contrast to traditional hands-on hardware knowledge. All certifications will now focus more on modern tools and techniques like programmability and automation. And with Cisco certifications leading to some of the highest-paying jobs in IT today, this change is even more important.

As an official Cisco Learning Partner, Firebrand is on the front-line of this dramatic update. Read on for the top four major changes.

1. Your CCNA is retiring

The current CCNA Routing and Switching is one of the most respected networking certifications and is about to see the most change.

Currently, there are 10 CCNA certifications but by February 2020, there’ll only be two. Just one CCNA (yes, just “CCNA”) will be reintroduced as a sole replacement.

The new CCNA – launching February 2020 – will cover a broad range of networking fundamentals for IT professionals, and is designed to prepare you for today’s associate-level job roles. This certification will also cover skills like security fundamentals as well as new topics like automation and programmability.

Plus, you’ll only have to take one exam to achieve the new CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate (200-301 CCNA). Currently, you will need to take multiple exams to achieve a CCNA certification.

While there are no official prerequisites for the new 200-301 CCNA exam, Cisco does recommend you have at least one year experience implementing and administering Cisco solutions, a basic knowledge of IP addressing and a foundation in networking knowledge.

The following CCNA certifications will retire next year:

The new CCNA certification will be far more challenging and you will study more topics in a shorter amount of time,” adds Dave Petts, senior Cisco instructor for Firebrand Training.

2. The new CCNP structure

Like the culling of the Associate-level certifications, Cisco’s CCNP will also undergo a dramatic restructure and most CCNP certifications will be retiring.

Currently, to achieve a CCNP, you must first pass the relevant associate-level exam. However, after February 2020, Cisco will scrap their CCNP prerequisites.

This means that there will be no formal prerequisites to the CCNP exams – which is a huge change. However, you may still want to build your skills through the CCNA before specialising at the CCNP level.

Otherwise, the structure of the certifications remain the same – you’ll still have to pass a core exam and one of three to eight concentration exams to earn your CCNP.

This is the complete list of the new CCNP certifications:

When you pass any concentration exam, you’ll also earn yourself the Cisco Certified Specialist certification. To become a Cisco Certified Specialist, take any exam – except the CCNA (200-301).

3. Introducing: Cisco DevNet Certification

Alongside, the vast changes to existing certifications, Cisco are also introducing the Cisco DevNet training and certification program in February 2020.

The Cisco DevNet certifications aim to prove the skills of software developers, DevOps engineers and automation specialists.

The new qualifications will build your skills across automation, infrastructure for the network, DevOps, Internet of Things (IoT) and Webex.

The Cisco DevNet comes in four levels:
  • Cisco Certified DevNet Associate (CCNA-level)
  • Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist
  • Cisco Certified DevNet Professional (CCNP-level)
  • Cisco Certified DevNet Expert (CCIE-level)
These certifications follow the same format as Cisco’s other new certifications – you’ll take a core exam to get certified at CCNA level, then pass an exam to become a Specialist and/or take two concentration exams to earn the CCNP-level certification.

4. The new CCIE structure

Cisco is also changing their CCIE-level certifications. Starting February 2020, there will be six CCIE certifications that will no longer have dedicated written CCIE exams – instead you’ll need to pass the relevant CCNP core exam and sit an 8-hour lab test.

In the case of the Enterprise track, you have two options: CCIE Enterprise Wireless and CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure.

Both of these tracks adopt the CCNP Enterprise exam (ENCOR 300-401) as their written exam, which then diverges at the lab requirements.

They each have a dedicated lab requirement specific to the track: CCIE Enterprise Wireless v1.0 and CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0.

This is the complete list of new CCIE certifications:
  • CCIE Enterprise Wireless
  • CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure
  • CCIE Security
  • CCIE Service Provider
  • CCIE Collaboration
  • CCIE Data Centre

Should you hold off on getting your Cisco certification?

Don’t let these updates stop you from getting Cisco certified! You can still test on current certifications, like the CCNA Routing and Switching, until February 2020.

There are no transition exams for the new CCNA and you’ll automatically gain it in February if you hold any existing CCNA.

Plus, if you achieve a CCNP before February 2020, you’ll still receive credit. For example, pass the CCNP Routing and Switching now and you’ll receive the new CCNP Enterprise in February.

Cisco has launched a migration tool to help you work out what certification you’ll have (if you hold any now) come February 2020. You can also use the tool to calculate the resulting certification of any exams you pass before the update.

Whatever you’re working towards, you’ll benefit from certifying before the update. And with Firebrand’s accelerated Cisco training you’ll get certified with months to spare.