Since its founding in 1984, Cisco Systems has been a leader in creating and deploying the technology that runs the internet.
Likewise, Cisco has also helped define the roles and skillsets for the internet’s most influential architects and administrators. Its certifications articulate and validate career paths for each level of expertise in network operations.
The iconic Cisco® Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification has set the standards for associate-level performance in network management and administration. The CCNA is intended as preparation for those who want to install, operate and troubleshoot Cisco networks.
While the CCNA exam will undoubtedly keep changing as technology evolves, here are some of the top CCNA skills to add your skillset.
Key CCNA skills for 2020 and beyond
Effective February 24, 2020, the CCNA certification will consist of a single exam that covers each of the following skill clusters. In the past, each of these skills was the basis of its own CCNA certification. But, as of February 2020, the CCNA 200-301 will cover them all in a single exam.
The cloud component helps cloud engineers and administrators, and network engineers to develop, enhance, and validate their cloud skill set. It enables IT professionals to scale their expertise and value as organizations transition to cloud-based computing.
The collaboration helps video, IP telephony, and IP network engineers develop and grow their skillsets for collaboration tools. As voice, video, data and mobile applications converge, collaboration specialists help their organizations keep up with these changing technologies.
Today’s data center is far more than a warehouse full of computers and wires. Moreover, the data center is crucial to competitiveness across all enterprises. It acts as the hub of rapid application deployment and highly elastic infrastructure.
Understanding the data center component prepares you to install, configure, and maintain data center technology. Key topics include:
- Data center infrastructure
- Data center networking concepts and technologies
- Storage networking
- Unified computing
- Network virtualization
- Data center automation and orchestration
- Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)
Every industrial facility runs on its network. Beyond this, plant administrators, control system engineers and network engineers in the manufacturing, process control, and oil and gas industries work in the middle of the overlap of IT and industrial networks.
Industrial networking prepares you to implement and troubleshoot networks built on industry-standard protocols.
Network performance, availability, and scalability begin with rock-solid design. Prior to the most recent exam changes, Cisco’s CCDA component covered the following:
- Design methodologies and objectives
- Addressing and routing protocols
- Network expansion
You’ll need to know how these considerations apply to basic campus, data center, security, voice, and wireless networks.
Routing and Switching
Directing traffic on a network – routing and switching – is the foundation of all network and internet activity. In fact, learning routing and switching via CCNA training will provide you with the foundational knowledge about state-of-the-art network technologies.
More importantly, it will arm you with the skills needed to work on networks as they become more automated and expand into next-generation technologies.
Every network is a gateway to potential hacking and intrusion. Understanding today’s IT security landscape will prepare you to secure Cisco networks. You will be ready to develop a cybersecurity infrastructure and recognize and mitigate security threats.
CCNA security training highlights core security technologies, installing, troubleshooting and monitoring network devices and competency in Cisco security technologies.
Cisco Service Providers use Cisco products to configure and operate the communication network services they offer. They range from mobile networks to data and automation centers.
The service provider component prepares network engineers, technicians and designers with skills to deploy and manage carrier-grade network infrastructures.
The ubiquity of wireless networks places a special burden on the network professionals who support them. So, understanding wireless networking is key to configuring, monitoring, and troubleshooting a wireless LAN.
Start your prepping for the CCNA 200-301 exam today!
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