A Deeper Insight in Cisco Routing and Switching Certifications
September 12, 2018

As you enter the world of Information Technology, you must prepare your defenses to survive in the digital battlefield. That is, you must have sharp skills and clever strategies.  Or simply, you must guard yourself with Cisco certifications.

Overview of Cisco Routing and Switching Certifications

The most in demand Cisco certification nowadays is Cisco certifications for Routing and Switching. Routing and Switching certifications deal with the mixed application of information technology and companies to aid them with their desired business outcomes. These certifications can be acquired depending on your level of expertise – may it be associate, professional, or expert level. Being R&S certified in all three levels means you are very much qualified to take on various related job roles such as network technician, support engineer and a lot more!

To know more about what each level of R&S certification requires and offers, take a look at this article and enlighten your mind with all new possibilities! This article will discuss the exams and prerequisites to be taken, the skills to be validated, and the job opportunities to be unlocked.

CCNA Routing and Switching

To earn the associate-level CCNA R&S certification, you should be able to pass its required exams. There are two options for you to choose – you can either take the one – exam option or the two – exam option.

The one-exam option, 200-125 CCNA R&S, is more extensive since it is a combination of two exams. Meaning, it covers a wider range of domains and can be lengthy. The exam has 60 – 70 questions and can be taken for 90 minutes. In contrast, the two-exam option is composed of the 100-101 ICND1 and 200-101 ICND2 exam. Although both exams are still a 90 – minute exam, the ICND1 and ICND2 are just composed of 45-55 and 55-65 questions, respectively.

As an entering individual, you may find it easier to take the two-exam option. With that, you will have more time to focus on the domains covered in one exam than the other after. This will help you not to be overwhelmed with the exam contents and be able to study one at a time. But if you believe that you can be certified in just one take, then you can always have the option to choose 200-125 CCNA R&S exam. The decision is entirely up to you. Just be sure to master and prepare thoroughly for the associate-level R&S certification.

Nevertheless, regardless of which option you choose, CCNA R&S certification will assess your ability in configuring, installing, operating and troubleshooting various networks. There are no prerequisites needed for you to be able to take the exam.

CCNP Routing and Switching

There are three certification exams you need to take for you to ascend to a higher level, which is the professional-level CCNP R&S certification. The first exam is the ROUTE exam (300-101), also known as the Implementing Cisco IP Routing. The ROUTE exam is a 2-hour exam composed of 45-65 questions. Subsequently, the second exam is the SWITCH exam (300-115), which is the Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks. It is still a 2-hour exam but now composed of 30-40 questions. Lastly, the third exam, TSHOOT exam (300-135), is comprised of only 15-25 questions. This 2-hour exam is known as the Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks.

These three exams for CCNP R&S certification assesses your knowledge and skills in planning, implementing, verifying, and troubleshooting networks, may it be a local or wide range of areas. Moreover, this certification validates your ability in advanced security solutions while collaborating with fellow specialists.

Prerequisites needed for CCNP Routing and Switching certification is either a valid Cisco CCNA Routing & Switching certification or a Cisco CCIE certification.

CCIE Routing and Switching

CCIE is tailored for expert-level professionals, including network managers, network engineer, managers and other-related professionals who can configure, implement and troubleshoot complex network infrastructures. In order to earn the certification, you must complete two exams: 400-101 Routing and Switching written exam and CCIE R&S lab exam. Good thing, the certification does not require any formal prerequisites or other training courses and professional certifications.

The written exam is a 120-minute test featuring 90 – 110 questions. It highlights the ‘evolving technologies’ that candidates should be able to connect the gap between their expertise and technologies such as network programmability and cloud. The exam certifies that you are equipped with the knowledge about infrastructure and its operational function.

Aside from the written exam, you must also pass an 8 – hour lab test to check your hands-on mastery in terms of configuring and troubleshooting different complex networks in different scenarios. Through this, your ability to diagnose and complete series of issues will be put into test.


Cisco remains to be the leading organization that issues several IT certifications around the globe. The Cisco Certification Program offers several certifications that suit your skills and ability as an IT professional. For the three levels of Routing and Switching certifications, the Cisco Learning Network offers several guides and exam preparation tools. You can choose from many learning opportunities – from books to practice tests, training courses, classroom training, video lectures and online courses.

Once again, having earned all three Cisco R&S certifications makes you the most qualified IT professional in the field of networking. You are more than deserving to be an engineer for various IT aspects such as network, support, and systems as well as in becoming a network technician.

As you ascend the certification tiers, you are not just guaranteed a career advancement but with a salary increase. From the average salary of around $53,000 – $91,000 of IT professionals with Cisco CCNA R&S, it can get higher as you earn the professional-level certification to approximately $65,000 – $151,000. The salary for the expert-level certification is all the more appealing, which is around $90,000 – $160,000.

What are you waiting for? With Cisco R&S certifications, you’ll surely be one of the most respected and important IT professional in the industry.

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