Starting in early 2020, huge changes are coming to the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification. The CCNA certification has been an industry standard for years, but it’s time for an update. Read on to find out what changes are coming for CCNA and how it might affect you.
If you want to read the full FAQ, you can get it here. For the highlights, check out our TL;DR version below! Cisco also created a fancy infographic with a lot of great information.
Why is the CCNA changing?
The CCNA is evolving to meet new networking and employer demands. Cisco has been pushing for advancements in the way networking is done. It’s all about “Unleashing the full capabilities of the new network” which requires new skills, including programming. Cisco also wants to make sure the CCNA is as relevant as possible and meets employer demands.
What’s changing about CCNA?
CCENT and CCNA are now consolidated into a single certification, “one comprehensive exam that covers entry-level networking skills across technologies, such as basic IP fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity, and basics of automation and network programmability, and security fundamental skills.”
Those who complete their CCNA will be able to pursue further certifications at the specialist, professional (CCNP) and expert (CCIE) levels. Concentration exams at the professional level allow specialization in different areas of networking.
At the professional level, users will need to take a core exam and their choice of concentration exam in the same technology track. At the expert level, users will need to take a core exam the corresponding lab exam. Specialist certifications will be awarded for passing any written, proctored exam, with the exception of associate level exams.
Options for concentrations include:
When is this change coming?
New certification exams, including those for CCNA, CCNP, CCIE, Cisco Certified DevNet Associate, Cisco Certified DevNet Professional and Specialist certifications will be available February 24, 2020. Continuing education will be available for CCNA, Cisco Certified Specialist and CCNP beginning February 24, 2020. You’ll be able to start earning training badges for courses completed after February 24, 2020.
LeaderQuest will be offering updated course content for the new exam starting the first week of 2020. If you’re interested, get in touch here.
What new certifications are coming?
Two new certifications will be added to the Cisco family: DevNet Associate and DevNet Professional.
DevNet certifications are a subset of Cisco certifications, intended to validate software skills, such as programming, application development, DevOps and automation.
These new offerings will help unlock the full capabilities of the new network by educating network infrastructure engineers and software developers in application development, automation, DevOps, Cloud, and IoT.
Why it’s urgent to consider getting your CCENT/CCNA now
If you’ve been preparing for the exam, now is the time to complete your studies and take the exam! If you wait too long, you’ll have to start all over again studying for the new, combined CCNA that will be released at the end of February 2020. Don’t lose the head start you already have earned toward becoming certified and accelerating your career.
LeaderQuest offers CCENT/CCNA training with expert instructors to help you understand all the material inside and out. Get training around your schedule: you can attend on campus or online, during the day or in the evening. When your training is complete, our Career Services department will help you perfect your resume and interview skills, and then connect you with local employers looking to hire I.T. specialists. Let us help you crush the exam and take the next step in your career!
Today, we are living in a digital economy. Every business can see that technology has become a critical part of their current operations and their future success, and leadership is pushing for digital transformation. In order to remain competitive, companies know they must invest in IT. This includes everything from the computers that workers use every day, to the networks they communicate with the internet over, to data storage, to cloud computing, and more.
CompTIA A+ is the industry standard for launching IT careers into today’s digital world. Why? Because it’s performance-based, trusted by employers, regularly re-invented by IT experts, and offers a complete skills development solution.
Getting your CompTIA A+ certification will enable you to join this digital revolution and ensure a competitive salary and great job security. Read on to learn about why A+ is so powerful and what you’ll learn.
What Makes the A+ Certification Valuable?
CompTIA A+ vendor-neutral certification is the preferred qualifying credential for technical support and IT operational roles. A+ demonstrates comprehension of hardware, software, operating systems, system troubleshooting, technology repair, networking, mobility, security and operational procedures.
- Directive 8140/8570: The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes CompTIA A+ certification for information assurance technicians under DoD Directive 8140/8570.
- Mapped to NICE: CompTIA A+ maps to the Customer Service and Technical Support specialty area of the framework developed as part of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE).
- Highly In Demand: CompTIA A+ ranked 7th in U.S. job listings showing the certification is required or recommended for potential candidates. (Source: CompTIA IT Employment Snapshot, Q4 2017)
If you want to learn more about this certification, download CompTIA’s A+ Certification Guide.
Targeted Job Roles
The A+ certification is ideal for those looking to get started in the Information Technology industry. It was created to certify that readiness and skills for job roles such as Service Desk Analyst, Field Service Tech, Help Desk Tech, and IT Support Specialist.
Employers look for candidates with their A+ certification because it helps them know they’re making a great hiring decision. Being able to pass the exam is a form of 3rd party skills verification that gives hiring mangers confidence that this hire will be able to do the job and do it right. In fact, 96% of HR managers use IT certifications as screening or hiring criteria during recruitment!
What Does the A+ Certification Cover?
This in-depth certification covers the most important basics of the IT industry: security, infrastructure and hardware, networking, operations, operating systems, software and troubleshooting. For a more in-depth look at what you could learn, read through the exam objectives below.
Tech support teams face a growing challenge to accurately triage a flood of security issues.
- Physical and logical security
- Social engineering
- Malware detection and removal
- Device hardening
- Biometric authentication
- Privacy concerns, including GDPR and handling PII
- Summarize the importance of physical security measures.
- Compare and contrast wireless security protocols and authentication methods.
- Given a scenario, detect, remove, and prevent malware using appropriate tools and methods.
- Given a scenario, implement security best practices to secure a workstation.
Infrastructure & Hardware
Connectivity is the lifeblood of productivity. Troubleshooting device connectivity issues are table stakes for IT support professionals.
- Cloud and virtualization
- IoT devices and protocols
- Internet appliances, including endpoint management
- Different network types, including wireless mesh networks
Mobile Devices Objectives
- Given a scenario, install and configure laptop hardware and components.
- Given a scenario, install components within the display of a laptop.
- Given a scenario, connect and configure accessories and ports of other mobile devices.
- Given a scenario, configure basic mobile device network connectivity and application support.
- Compare and contrast TCP and UDP ports, protocols, and their purposes.
- Compare and contrast common networking hardware devices. (Routers, switches, access points, firewalls, bubs, repeaters, etc)
- Given a scenario, install and configure a basic wired/wireless SOHO network.
- Compare and contrast wireless networking protocols.
- Explain basic cable types, features, and their purposes.
- Given a scenario, select and configure appropriate components for a custom PC configuration to meet customer specifications or needs.
- Given a scenario, install and configure motherboards, CPUs, and add-on cards.
- Given a scenario, select, install and configure storage devices.
- Given a scenario, use the best practice methodology to resolve problems.
- Given a scenario, troubleshoot problems related to motherboards, RAM, CPUs, and power.
- Given a scenario, troubleshoot common wired and wireless network problems.
- Given a scenario, troubleshoot hard drives and RAID arrays.
As the systems that users connect with increase in both number and variety, the definition of competency for an entry level IT support pros has expanded.
- Working with log files
- Knowledgebase best practices
- Change management
- Basic disaster prevention and recovery
- Using remote access
Operational Procedures Objectives
- Compare and contrast best practices associated with types of documentation.
- Given a scenario, implement basic change management best practices.
- Given a scenario, implement basic disaster prevention and recovery methods.
- Explain the processes for addressing prohibited content/activity, and privacy, licensing, and policy concepts.
Hardware knowledge underpins tech support competency, but the day-to-day requires software expertise.
- Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome OS, Mac OS
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- iCloud, Exchange, Google Inbox
- Active Directory
Operating Systems Objectives
- Compare and contrast common operating system types and their purposes.
- Summarize general OS installation considerations and upgrade methods.
- Given a scenario, use appropriate Microsoft command line tools.
- Given a scenario, configure Microsoft Windows networking on client/desktop.
Software Troubleshooting Objectives
- Given a scenario, troubleshoot Microsoft Windows OS problems.
- Given a scenario, troubleshoot and resolve PC security issues.
- Given a scenario, use best practice procedures for malware removal.
- Given a scenario, troubleshoot mobile OS and application issues.
Are you interested in IT training?
Does the idea of installing and configuring motherboards make you grin? Do you want to learn the ins-and-outs of running virtual machines? A career in IT could be the perfect choice for you. If you enjoy working with your hands, fixing broken things, and understanding the latest technology, consider giving IT a chance.
LeaderQuest can help you get the training you need to get hired in IT. Our training courses take 5-10 days to complete and are taught by instructors with years of industry experience. We include hands-on labs in every course so that you’ll have the skills you need to excel. Finally, we offer one-on-one career services to help you with your resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, interview skills and more. We’ll even connect you with local IT employers that are looking to hire.
So what’s stopping you? Your IT career is waiting for you!