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What is CCNA?

Author : PyNet Labs
Last Modified: March 8, 2024 
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As we all know, the networking industry is developing rapidly, and all companies are becoming increasingly dependent on networking technology. The demand for network engineers is also increasing; hence, people are focusing on this field due to the enormous demand. If you are also interested in making a career in it, you must know about CCNA because it is the first step towards your goal in the networking journey.

Now you’re wondering what exactly CCNA is and what makes it such a valuable certification?

So, let’s dive deeper into the blog and understand it in detail.

What is CCNA?

CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate, a globally recognized certification provided by Cisco Systems. It is an introductory level for both professionals and freshers who want to enter the IT or networking field and want a career in this field. It is offered to validate your skills and knowledge about the fundamentals of networking as it covers basic routing and switching, security, and wireless networking knowledge. It helps you learn about networking technologies like IP addresses, subnets, and routing protocols.

The Cisco Certified Network Associate serves as a foundational certification for individuals interested in pursuing a career in networking, as it demonstrates your dedication to professional development. With a CCNA certificate, you have the knowledge and skills to solve challenges in network-related tasks, which is why employers value certified network engineers. It opens the door to achieving advanced Cisco certifications and offers diverse career opportunities in network administration, engineering, and security.

cisco certified CCNA 200-301

Prerequisites for CCNA

There are no strict requirements for the CCNA as it is offered as an entry-level certification, but you should have a basic understanding of networking concepts such as:

  • You should have a basic knowledge of computers and networks.
  • You should also have good communication skills that help you understand the concepts easily.

CCNA Syllabus

Cisco has designed the certification topics to provide the knowledge and skills needed to operate, maintain, and troubleshoot any network-related issue. The Cisco Certified Network Associate exam covers the following topics –

Network Fundamentals – 20%

Roles and functions of network components; Network Topology Architecture; physical interface; Types of cabling; Interface and cable problems; IPv4 addressing and subnetting; IPv6, IP parameters; Fundamentals of Virtualization; Switching concepts

Network Access – 20%

Configuring and verifying WLAN and interswitching connectivity; Layer 2 Discovery Protocol and EtherChannel configuration and verification; Rapid PVST+Spanning Tree Protocol operations; Cisco Wireless Architecture and AP Modes; WLAN components; AP and WLC management access connections; Wireless LAN Access Configuration

IP Connectivity – 25%

Routing Table Component; Default forwarding decision by the router; configuring and verifying IPv4 and IPv6 static routing and single area OSPFv2; First Hop Redundancy Protocol

IP Services – 10%

Configuration and verification of internal source NAT, NTP, and DHCP clients; Role of DNS and DHCP; SMTP in network operations; Syslog Features; per-hop forwarding behavior; configuring network devices with SSH; Function of TFTP/FTP

Security Fundamentals – 15%

Fundamental Security Concepts; security programs; configuring device control, WLAN, and Layer 2 security features; security password; Remote access and site-to-site VPN; configuring and verifying access control lists; Wireless Security Protocols; Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting Differences

Automation and Programmability – 10%

Automation and Network Management; controller-based and software-defined architectures; REST-based APIs; Traditional and controller-based networks; Interpret JSON encoded data.

This is the CCNA Syllabus.

Cisco Certified Network Associate Exam

The CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) exam is a comprehensive exam that tests candidates’ basic knowledge and skills in several networking areas.

Exam details:

  • There is only one certification for the CCNA course, which is 200-301 and is available in English and Japanese languages.
  • It is an entry-level or associate-level exam.
  • The duration of CCNA certification exam is 120 minutes (2 hours).
  • The validity for this Certification is 3 years.
  • The exam covers many topics, including network fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity, IP services, security fundamentals, automation, and programmability.
  • The exam costs USD 300 + Taxes (Different for Different countries) and is conducted at one of their centers or virtually in a strict security environment.
  • The exam is MCQ and Multiple Response, and the total number of questions is 90-110.
  • Around 750-850 marks out of 1000 are required to pass the exam.
  • After this certification, students will get an A Level 200 training badge and 30 CE credits, which can be used to recertify the certification after three years.

CCNA Job Roles

CCNA-trained candidates have a variety of job roles, such as:

  • Networking Administrator: Performs tasks such as configuring, managing, and troubleshooting network devices.
  • Network Engineer: Responsible for designing and implementing computer networks, including local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN).
  • IT Support Specialist: Solves IT-related problems, troubleshoots, and deals with network connectivity issues.
  • Help Desk Technician: Assists end users with hardware and software problems, including network-related issues.
  • System administrator: Controls and maintains a company’s computer systems, including servers and networking infrastructure.
  • Technical Support Engineer: Assists customers with networking products and technical issues.
  • Field Service Technician: Travels to customer locations to provide support, including installing, maintaining, and repairing network equipment.
  • Security Analyst (Entry Level): Performs the duty of implementing and maintaining security measures throughout the network.

These are some of the most common networking jobs one can get after CCNA.

CCNA Salary

The average salary of CCNA-trained professionals ranges between 2.5 to 5 LPA, depending on their skills and experience.

Is CCNA worth it?

Yes, Cisco Certified Network Associate is worth it as there is a massive demand for networking experts in the market, and companies hire certified candidates for entry-level positions. CCNA Knowledge is also required for understanding and learning advanced Cisco certification and career development.

It is suitable for candidates interested in networking as it is at a basic level and provides fundamental networking knowledge. Since Cisco plays a significant role in the networking sector and has global recognition, it is essential for those working and planning to work with Cisco technologies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1 – What is CCNA used for?

CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) is used to certify your basic knowledge of networking concepts required in networking roles.

Q2 – Is CCNA in demand?

Yes, CCNA is in high demand in 2024 and will remain in demand in the future.

Q3 – What is the next certification after CCNA?

After completing CCNA, you can go for advanced certification like Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and then Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification.

Q4 – What is the cost of the CCNA exam?

CCNA certification fee in 2024 is USD 300 + applicable taxes, i.e., USD 354 or INR 29,000, including taxes.


Ultimately, CCNA certification is a golden ticket for those wanting to enter the networking field or start a career journey in IT. Since it requires strong fundamental networking knowledge, it opens the door to obtaining advanced Cisco certifications. Most companies hire candidates with the skills to solve network-related tasks, even if they have acquired them from training institutes.

I hope the information in this blog will help you in your career journey.

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