2019 was a great year in the world of Information Technology. The industry has undergone significant changes, especially in the areas of certificates. 2020 is looking to continue the same line as 2019. It is expected that much will change and there will be numerous certification path updates for various vendors. In this blog post, the focus will be on Cisco. We will explore the changes that will take place in the Cisco certification program and how they will be useful for the professionals in the field.
New Changes to Cisco Certification and Training Programs
If you are planning to upgrade your skills and knowledge this year, Cisco has new learning options and credentials for you. According to this vendor, the new certification and training paths are designed to cover crucial skills in core IT areas and focus on the latest technology. It is important to note that adjustments have been made to CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE. Also, there is an additional layer to the certification track, which is called Specialist. The level of these certificates is between CCNA and CCNP. Additionally, there are new training courses that will be introduced soon, and the professionals in the field will begin to earn badges for the courses they have completed. This is slated to commence after the launch of new exams on February 24, 2020.
While you prepare towards earning your Cisco credential, it is important to bear in mind that the Cisco 100-105 ICND1 exam, which is designed to lead to the award of the CCENT and other certifications, will expire this year. As a matter of fact, February 23, 2020 is the last date for this well-known test. This means that those students planning to obtain CCENT as the first step towards their CCNA Routing & Switching, CCNA Security, CCDA, CCNA Collaboration, and CCNA Wireless will no longer be able to do this from February 24th. However, if you are still planning to take this certification test, you can do it before the final exam date.
Big Changes to Cisco Certifications in 2020
This year will be the end of many Cisco certificates that will be replaced by new streamlined credentials. Let’s look at some significant changes that will happen in 2020.
Changes to CCNA
Currently, there are nine CCNA certification paths offered by Cisco. However, from 2020, all credentials will be consolidated into a single CCNA certificate. This new certification is designed for those professionals who are taking up job roles in associate-level technologies. There will be only one exam that will cover the different IT fundamentals, the latest software development, networking technologies, as well as various job roles. As already mentioned, all previous credentials will be withdrawn by February. All these certificates will be replaced by a single CCNA certification the next day. If you were preparing for any of the current CCNA certificates, you can still take it before its expiration date. Your certification will be upgraded when the new credential is launched. It is essential to mention that there are no prerequisites for new CCNA. However, you have to recertify your certificate by earning CE units in educational activities within a period of three years.
Changes to CCDP and CCNP
The professional-level CCNP and CCDP credentials are also getting an overhaul. In the new edition of the certification path, CCNP Wireless, CCNP Routing & Switching, and CCDP will be incorporated into CCNP Enterprise, and the candidates will have to pass two exams: one Core test and one Concentration exam. For the concentration test, the students will have the opportunity to choose the one based on their career paths. Additionally, CCNP Cloud will be integrated with CCNP Data Center.
In summary, CCDP, CCNP Routing & Switching, and CCNP Wireless will be replaced by CCNP Enterprise. CCNP Collaboration, CCNP Service Provider, CCNP Security, CCNP Data Center will remain unchanged, while CCNP Cloud will be consolidated with CCNP Data Center. If you are preparing for any of the current CCNP or CCDP tests, you must complete them before the mentioned date. There are no prerequisites for the CCNP credentials, and any professional-level certification is valid for a period of three years.
Changes to CCIE
Some considerable changes have also been made to the CCIE certification track. As a matter of fact, some credentials under this path have been revised and will take effect from the specified date. Let’s look at these changes. CCIE Routing and Switching and CCIE Wireless will be withdrawn, and CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure and CCIE Enterprise Wireless will be newly introduced. Also, when you pass the 350-801 CLCOR exam, you will be awarded the Cisco Certified Specialist – Collaboration Core certificate. When you take the 350-601 DCCOR test, you will be able to earn the Cisco Certified Specialist – Data Center Core credential. By passing Cisco 350-701 SCOR, you will have the opportunity to obtain Cisco Certified Specialist – Security Core. Those candidates who pass the 350-501 SPCOR exam will get the Cisco Certified Specialist – Service Provider Core certification. All these certificates are valid for a period of three years. It is important to note that the CCIE credentials require recertification every two years. Instead of the 100 CE credit units, it will be increased to 120. When you maintain your CCIE for twenty years, you get lifetime tenure for your certification.
As you can see, Cisco is going to significantly change its certification program, and this will affect all the credentials that the vendor offers now. The day when the new paths will take the place of the old ones will be very soon. That is why you need to consider the certificate you want so that you can start preparing for the relevant exam as soon as possible.