Cisco Certs



About Cisco Certifications:  Cisco® Certifications are broadly classified into four groups:

    1. Entry level
    2. Associate level
    3. Professional level
    4. Expert level

Entry Level Certs:

      • CCT Collaboration
        • Required Exam: 100-890 CLTECH
      • CCT Data Center
        • Required Exam: 010-151 DCTECH
      • CCT Routing & Switching
        • Required Exam: 100-490 RSTECH

Associate Level Certs: The Associate level of Cisco Certifications begin with CCNA for network configuration & installation, security, operations & troubleshooting or Devnet Associate or CyberOps Associate. Though Cisco says that the Associate Level is the foundation level of networking certification, some certs like Devnet Associate and CyberOps Associate etc. require a lot of theoretical and applied skills to pass the exam.

    1. CyberOps Associate
      • Required Exam: 200-901 DEVASC
    2. CCNA
      • Required Exam: 200-301 CCNA
    3. DevNet Associate
      • Required Exam: 200-201 CBROPS

Topics to study vary according to the specialization. For example, topics covered on the CCNA Exam include

      • 1.0 Network Fundamentals 20%
      • 2.0 Network Access 20%
      • 3.0 IP Connectivity 25%
      • 4.0 IP Services 10%
      • 5.0 Security Fundamentals 15%
      • 6.0 Automation and Programmability 10%

For those interested in knowing the evolution of CCNA, the following chart explores different tracks available in Cisco Certs:

  • Entry Level: CCT
  • Associate Level:
      1. Devnet Associate
      2. CCNA
      3. CyberOps Associate

Download practice tests for CCNA Practice Exam.

Professional level certifications: The Professional level is an advanced level of certs that require more expertise in configuration and troubleshooting of enterprise networks. Just like in Associate level, there are different types of Pro level cert to meet varying demands by the Industry:

      • CCNP DevNet Professional
        • Required Exams:
          Core exam: 350-901 DEVCOR
          Concentration exam (choose one):
          300-435 ENAUTO, 300-835 CLAUTO, 300-635 DCAUTO,
          300-535 SPAUTO, 300-735 SAUTO, 300-910 DEVOPS,
          300-915 DEVIOT, 300-920 DEVWBX
      • CCNP Collaboration
        • Required Exams:
          Core exam: 350-801 CLCOR
          Concentration exam (choose one):
          300-810 CLICA, 300-815 CLACCM, 300-820 CLCEI,
          300-820 CLCNF, 300-835 CLAUTO
      • CCNP Data Center
        • Required Exams:
          Core exam: 350-601 DCCOR
          Concentration exam (choose one): 300-610 DCID, 300-615 DCIT,
          300-620 DCACI, 300-625 DCSAN, 300-630 DCACIA, 300-635 DCAUTO
      • CCNP Enterprise:

To achieve CCNP Enterprise, one needs to pass CCNP ENCOR and one of the optionals.

Pass one of the following:

      • 300-410 ENARSI Implementing Cisco Enterprise Advanced Routing and Services (ENARSI)
      • 300-415 ENSDWI Implementing Cisco SD-WAN Solutions (ENSDWI)
      • 300-420 ENSLD Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks (ENSLD)
      • 300-425 ENWLSD Designing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks (ENWLSD)
      • 300-430 ENWLSI Implementing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks (ENWLSI)
      • 300-435 ENAUTO Implementing Automation for Cisco Enterprise Solutions (ENAUI)
      • CCNP Security
      • CCNP Service Provider
    • CCNP Security
      • Required Exams:
        Core exam: 350-701 SCOR
        Concentration exam (choose one): 300-710 SNCF, 300-715 SISE,
        300-720 SESA, 300-725 SWSA, 300-730 SVPN, 300-735 SAUTO
    • CCNP Service Provider
      • Required Exams:
        Core exam: 350-501 SPCOR
        Concentration exam (choose one): 300-510 SPRI, 300-515 SPVI,
        300-535 SPAUTO
    • Cisco Certified CyberOps Professional
      • Required Exams:
        Core exam: 350-201 CBRCOR
        Concentration exam: 300-215 CBRFIR

Among all the Cisco Professional level certs,  CCNP (Enterprise) is the most widely taken certs.

Expert level certifications: The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification is the highest level of networking certification and a CCIE certified candidate is perhaps among the most experienced network engineer and most sought after in the industry. The various flavors of CCIE are as given below:

      • CCIE Collaboration
      • CCIE Data Center
      • CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure
      • CCIE Enterprise Wireless
      • CCIE Security
      • CCIE Service Provider
      • CCIE Wireless
      • Devnet Expert

There is one more level of cert that Cisco had introduces, CCArc short for Cisco Certified Architect. This is the highest level of certification that one can claim in the Cisco’s certifications armour.


          1. What is the scope of CCNA course?

Like any other course, CCNA (short for Cisco Certified Network Associate) has a limited and a well defined scope in the IT sector. When one wants to choose the path of pursuing CCNA certificate consider the following:

        1. That you have interest (or aptitude) to in networking technologies. For this purpose, you may read a few articles on networking and see if you are genuinely interested in networking.
        2. Like any other stream, networking engineers do have ups and downs. There are times when there seems to be not much opportunities open for network engineers and times when they are in good demand, career wise.
        3. Not every one would like to pursue Networking as a career, there are many that do CCNA to broaden their knowledge and skills. If you are interested in the same, I would say, go ahead!
        4. If one chooses to do CCNA (or Juniper JNCIA, which is an equally good cert), be aware that it’s only the beginning, and probably get you a job as a support engineer. One needs to do follow up with higher level certs to maintain the career growth. For example, after CCNA. one can do CCNP (short for Cisco Certified Network Professional), and then CCIE (it consists of a theory exam and an extensive lab test).
        5. Most importantly, your background. If you are a computer science student, B.E./B.Tech. (CSE), then you will have more options to choose, including Java, C++, web development, DBMS, scripting languages like Python/Perl, and of course networking. CCNA is more towards implementation of networks.
        6. Finally, it takes time, effort and money to do CCNA. You may consider meeting educational Councillors and take advise regarding your career development. There are other certs like OCP JP (Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer), MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Admin), CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer), and others.

On the other hand, if your intention is to know what topics are covered in CCNA course, given below are the broad objectives of the course:

            • 1.0 Network Fundamentals 20%
            • 2.0 Network Access 20%
            • 3.0 IP Connectivity 25%
            • 4.0 IP Services 10%
            • 5.0 Security Fundamentals 15%
            • 6.0 Automation and Programmability 10%

You may look at the detailed exam topics at Cisco official website

2. Where can I find good CCNA practice tests?

There are several vendors that provide CCNA practice tests. However, note that CCNA exam consists of not just MCQs but the following question types:

        1. Multiple Choice Questions Single Answer (MCQ SA)
        2. Multiple Choice Questions Multiple Answers (MCQ MA)
        3. Drag n Drop (both text and image based) Questions
        4. Testlets: Here a scenario is explained and you need to answers two or more questions based on the scenario.
        5. Simlets: Here you will be provided with a graphical network diagram and you would be able to query the network elements for configuration, etc. You need to answer the questions after viewing the same.
        6. Router Simulations: Here you may need to fix some network problem and save the corrected configuration. You will be provided with necessary commands (usually CLI) to answer the simulation.

Lot of vendors provide only questions based on 1, 2 and 3. Ensure that you get practice tests that provide all the above said question types. Of course, the difficulty level of questions should ideally reflect that of actual exam.

Some vendors that provide question bank include the following:

        2. CCNA Practice Tests
        3., and few others.

In addition to practice tests, it is very important to have good hands on experience in configuring routers and switches. Try packet tracer or Boson/ netsim for practice. It is always better to prepare from multiple sources to ensure success in the exam.

Q: Should I do Hardware and Networking course or CCNA first?

Hardware and Networking should take precedence over CCNA. Without knowing about networking hardware and basics of networking, it would be a bit difficult to proceed with CCNA. Another way to approach CCNA is to do networking hardware course in parallel with CCNA. There shouldn’t be much problem with simultaneous study as they complement each other giving better understanding of the subject.

If you are new to networking, it is recommended to go with CCENT and ICND2 instead of single exam (CCNA). It would be some what easy to complete two-path exams instead of CCNA exam (also known as composite exam) and the cost is almost same in both cases.

Check out some articles on networking at

Another resource, Check CCNA FAQ

Hope this helps, good luck!

Disclaimer: is not associated or affiliated with Cisco® Systems and CCNA®, DevNet®, CCNP®, CCIE® are the registered trademarks of Cisco Systems® and duly recognized.