Cisco Certified Network Associate is a credential offered by Cisco to validate the associate-level skills and knowledge of applicants. The CCNA program trains applicants and professionals to implement, plan, verify and troubleshoot local and wide area networks (Loans and WANs). The CCNA certification exam was introduced by Cisco for associate-level applicants with domain understanding and fundamental knowledge of key technologies and skills required.
Overview and Benefits of a CCNA Certification:
Several changes affecting the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification were made in February 2020. Before that, CCNA course could be described as an assortment of several certifications at an associate level. At that time, employers and hiring managers required that CCNA professionals should hold one or more certifications. The various certifications under CCNA were:
- CCNA Collaboration
- CCNA Routing and Switching
- CCNA Wireless
- CCNA Industrial
- CCNA Data Center
- CCNA Security
- CCNA Service Provider
- CCNA Cloud
Since February 2020, all individual certification programs have been retired and replaced by a single CCNA certification. This move was made for the simplification of the exam process for all candidates aspiring to earn this credential.
If you want to take this exam, you first need to ensure that you meet the preset requirements for the exam. Every IT certification you will attempt has a set of prerequisites. However, there are no prerequisites for the CCNA credential. Even the previous version of the certification did not have any fixed prerequisites. That being said, there are some skills that can give you an edge and increase your chances of clearing the exam on the first attempt. These are:
- Basic IP addressing knowledge and understanding
- At least one year of experience working with Cisco solutions
- A foundational understanding of network fundamentals
The change in the certification process and the number of certifications under CCNA have not affected the benefits that this certification offers. These benefits are multifold, including
- Recognition among employers and recruiters
- Career advancement acceleration
- Higher remuneration
- Opening up avenues towards other Cisco certifications.
- An edge over other colleagues and hiring applicants
- Global recognition for your credential
- Skills and technical knowledge updating
Job Roles and Opportunities for CCNA Professionals:
What everyone wonders about any certification before preparing for it is what the job opportunities will look like for a certified professional. According to the BLS in the USA, there is a forecasted 8% growth rate in the opportunities for IT professionals with a networking certification like CCNA. There is a reason for this.
With the increase in usage of cloud-based solutions and networking technologies in the global IT industry, the demand for skilled professionals goes up too. The corporate business world is also projected to make disruptive networking infrastructure changes by 2024.
In terms of remuneration, as a certified CCNA professional you can expect a pretty lucrative remuneration package. PayScale reports showed that CCNA certification-holders earn an average pay of $78,701 per annum, about 30% higher than the entire United States’ average salary.
Most Popular Job Roles and Salary Packages for CCNA Professionals:
CCNA is a highly-reputed certification recognized around the world. This is because it prepares you for a wide range of job roles and all of them pay very well. Here are some of the most popular and lucrative roles:
- Network Engineer – average salary: $75,000
- Network Administrator- average salary: $63,000
- Sr. Network Engineer – average salary: $101,000
- Information Technology Director – average salary: $106,000
- Information Technology Manager – average salary: $86,000
- Software Engineer – average salary: $89,000
- Senior System Engineer – average salary: $100,000
- Network Security Engineer – average salary: $87,000
- System Administrator, Network – average salary: $64,000
- Network Administrator, IT – average salary: $60,000
- Cyber Security Analyst – average salary: $78,000
- Senior Systems Administrator – average salary: $85,000
- Information Technology Specialist – average salary: $63,000
- Systems Engineer, IT – average salary: $78,000
- Network Analyst – average salary: $62,000
- Information Security Analyst – average salary: $69,000
- Senior Network Administrator, IT – average salary: $82,000
- Security Engineer – average salary: $88,000
You should also know, this list is neither exclusive nor comprehensive. There are many more roles you can choose from once you earn a CCNA credential. But this should be enough to show you the various avenues that open up once you get a CCNA certification.
Start Your Journey:
As an IT professional, there are two reasons why you would enroll in a certification – to either become a network admin or to validate and hone your networking and cloud capabilities. We’ve said this before – a CCNA certification is the perfect launchpad for IT professionals looking at new IT domains and aiming to switch fields. This certification does not bind you to a single job role, like a network administration.
Instead, this credential validates an individual’s knowledge and IT skills and also opens up new avenues and job opportunities for them. Elevate your career and enroll in a CCNA certification course today.