Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching certification was introduced in 1998 as an entry point for CCNP credentials. Cisco itself was founded in 1984 and has been specializing in developing, manufacturing, and selling networking hardware, equipment for telecommunication, and other technology-based services and products. Besides this, Cisco has also been involved in offering IT certification programs for millions of professionals across the world. Their certification program has been transformed over the years to ensure that it’s aligned to the evolving IT industry requirements.
Cisco offers a number of certifications from the associate to expert level. This great IT vendor also has a special program for architects. The programs span across different technical fields. They include routing and switching, network security, storage networking, service provider operations, data center, wireless, and more https://www.examsnap.com.
This article delves deeper into what Cisco CCNA Routing & Switching (R&S) certification is all about and what it takes to attain it.
So, what does CCNA Routing and Switching certification include?
CCNA R&S is an associate-level credential that validates the learner’s skills and knowledge in networking fundamentals. The skills tested include installation, support, and troubleshooting of wired or wireless networks. To obtain this credential, you must pass the following exams:
- OPTION 1: The composite CCNA 200-125 exam
This exam focuses on testing your skills in installing, operating, configuring, and verifying basic IPv4 and IPv6 networks. The successful candidate should know how to configure LAN switches and work with IP router, how to connect to WAN as well as how to identify basic security vulnerabilities and threats. CCNA 200-125 exam consists of 60-70 questions and lasts 90 minutes.
- OPTION 2: Exams 100-105 ICND1 and 200-105 ICND2
100-105 exam validates your skills in network fundamentals, routing technologies, LAN technologies, infrastructure services as well as infrastructure management. The exam consists of 45-55 questions and lasts 90 minutes.
The second 200-105 exam tests your skills and knowledge in LAN and WAN technologies, IPv4 & IPv6 routing technologies, infrastructure services as well as infrastructure management. It consists of 55-65 questions and the candidates are allocated 90 minutes for completion.
The fee for ICND1 and ICND2 exams is $165 each, while exam 200-125 costs $325. CCNA R&S credential has no prerequisites. Cisco does not disclose the passing scores for their exams. The exam questions formats include multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, simlet, simulation, testlet, and more. Once you have attained your certification, you’ll have to renew it every 3 years. All Cisco certification exams are administered by Pearson VUE.
What are the reasons to become CCNA R&S certified?
- You’ll gain the most in-demand skills.
- The credential has no prerequisites making it possible for anyone with basic IT knowledge to register and sit for the exams.
- The certification is well recognized and globally accepted. This is because CCNA Routing and Switching exams are known to be among the most difficult exams. Once you obtain your certification, this will prove your competence in providing IT solutions.
- You have an opportunity to advance to other higher certifications like CCNP and CCIE.
- The possibility of career growth is real. The chance to pursue other Cisco advanced credentials gives you room to grow your career. So, you can be sure of meeting your career and personal objectives.
- High salary of Cisco professionals makes this credential very attractive. PayScale indicates the average pay $75,000 per annum in the US, depending on your job experience.
Best exam prep resources for your CCNA Routing and Switching exam
- Training courses
There are training courses offered by qualified Cisco authorized instructors across the world. Enrolling for a course helps you understand the exam topics better as you’ll be guided by someone who’s already an expert in it. Courses also provide in-depth coverage of exam topics and concepts when an instructor is involved. You can opt for classroom training or e-learning. Some of the courses are:
- Interconnecting Cisco Devices Part 1 by Cisco
- Interconnecting Cisco Devices Part 1 E-learning/self-paced course by Cisco
- Interconnecting Cisco Devices Part 2 by Cisco
- Interconnecting Cisco Devices Part 2 E-learning/self-paced course by Cisco
- 200-125 Training Course (150 lectures) from ExamSnap
- CCNA R&S study guides
You can find a number of helpful resources in form of study guides. You can use them alongside your training and other prep resources. Some of the eBooks for this certification include the following:
- CCNA Routing and Switching 200-125 Official Cert Guide Library by Cisco Press
- CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-105 Official Cert Guide by Cisco Press
- CCNA Routing and Switching ICND2 200-105 Official Cert Guide by Cisco Press
- CCNA Routing and Switching Complete Study Guide: Exam 100-105, Exam 200-105, Exam 200-125
- 200-125 Study Guide at ExamSnap
- Exam dumps
Past exam questions, as well as actual, can be an effective method to study and pass your CCNA R&S exams. These are questions uploaded online by previous exam candidates and other experts. They mostly come as .vce or .ete files that require a special exam testing software to access. The software is also available online. Your task is to find the most reliable web resource that offers the most updated exam dumps. One of such is ExamSnap website. It offers dumps which have proven to be reliable in exam preparation. This is because they provide a clue on how the actual exam looks like and also allow you to practice the questions as many times as you want. CCNA R&S exam dumps available at ExamSnap are the latest and they have been checked by IT experts. The files are in .vce file format and can be opened with the help of the VCE Player. This great tool makes it possible for you to know which areas you still need to improve. It is advisable to use exam dumps along with other exam resources like study guides or training courses, to enhance your preparation process. By the way, all these materials you can find on ExamSnap website as well. As for some other popular providers of Cisco dumps, they include ExamCollection, PrepAway, Exam-Labs, etc.
- Modeling/virtual Labs
Practical labs enable you to gain hands-on experience while preparing for your exam. You can arrange a lab in your home to allow you to practice. This is the best way to gain skills that will help you succeed as a networking professional. Theory alone is not sufficient since the tasks are all hands-on. You can visit The Cisco Learning Network and check out some of these Cisco labs and other study materials.
CCNA R&S job roles
Once you attain your CCNA Routing and Switching certification, you qualify for the following job roles:
- Network Engineer
- IT Network Administrator
- Network Administrator, operational technology
- Network Operations Engineer
- Junior/senior Network Routing Engineer
Any credential must meet the required industry standards. This is what CCNA Routing and Switching certification does. With continued improvement in Cisco exams and certification program, this credential remains relevant at all times. Passing your exams and attaining this popular credential will boost your career options and help you meet your professional goals in the long run. For that, focus on the preparation process first: get the official prep materials at Cisco website and browse ExamSnap website to make your preparation process more effective.