CCNA, or Cisco Certified Network Associate, is a highly sought-after Information Technology certification that was developed by Cisco to recognize basic competency in the installation and support of small- to medium-sized networks.
To obtain the core CCNA certification, the candidate must pass either two individual exams or a single combination exam.
Alternative 1: take ICND1 and ICND2 exams. Passing both of these exams will lead to CCNA certification. ICND1 exam is 90 minutes long whereas the ICND2 is only 75 minutes in duration. Both exams are comprised of between 40 -- 50 questions.
Alternative 2: take combination CCNA (CCNAX) exam. This is one 90-minute, proctored, multi-choice exam, of between 45 and 55 questions, which covers a wide range of topics pertinent to a basic understanding of network administration.
Before we look at the topics that are covered let's first consider who might be interested in obtaining CCNA certification.
What is CCNA Certification and is it Right for Me?
If you are interested in computer networks and looking to enter the workplace as an IT Engineer then the answer is a resounding 'YES'.
This certification can assist you in landing your first networking position. Without the CCNA certification, not only will you not be taken seriously by companies when looking for a networking position, you also will not be able to specialize in areas such as security, voice, or wireless networks. Cisco also provides separate exam-based certifications CCNA Security, CCNA Voice and CCNA Wireless along with a number of other tracks that recognize those respective areas of networking.
For those already in IT, the CCNA certification can be instrumental in further career progression.
The types of positions open to IT engineers that hold the CCNA certification include Network Administrator, Network Technician, Network Engineer or Systems Engineer, Information Systems Manager, Network Programmer, Network Analyst, to name just a few.
IT engineers for such positions are sought after and demand good salaries.
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