CCNA Certificate and Certification Information

Oct 20, 2019

Essential Information

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a designation bestowed upon individuals who have proven they can install, manage, and administer Cisco networks. Students in CCNA programs receive hands-on instruction and the technical abilities necessary to meet the networking requirements of medium-sized business or office systems.

CCNA certificate programs are designed for individuals who already have academic or professional experience in the information technology field. Students should have a basic understanding of networking systems, such as local area and wide area networks, networking protocols and Cisco hardware. At least one year of experience working in the IT field is preferred or required. Programs are two-to-three courses long. Most CCNA certificate programs consist of courses that provide students with the educational background and technical skills necessary to build, manage, and troubleshoot switched networks and medium-sized, routed networks.

Cisco offers training courses, while non-credit certificate programs are available from some schools and colleges.

Cisco Certified Network Associate Certification

Courses teach students overviews of network models, network security, network verification, and IP traffic. Some of the specific topics include:

  • Interconnecting Cisco networking devices
  • Network administration and data networks
  • IP addressing schemes
  • Networking security
  • Troubleshooting Cisco hardware
  • Router and switch configuration

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Graduates of a certificate program can qualify to work as network and computer systems administrators, though many positions also require a relevant bachelor's degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 383,900 network and computer systems administrators in 2018, and an 5% increase in employment of these administrators was projected between 2018-2028.

In September 2019, found that most CCNA-certified network associates earned salaries ranging from $42,000 to $150,000. Individuals holding certification and working as network administrators earned anywhere from $41,000 to $81,000 per year.

Certification Options

With education and experience, individuals should have sufficient knowledge to pass the necessary examinations in order to earn the CCNA designation from Cisco ( After three years, professionals must take another exam to recertify. Candidates are tested on network operations, switched and routed networks, administration, security, and connectivity procedures through a combination of multiple-choice, essay, and simulation questions.

Training courses and non-credit certificate programs for the Certified Network Associate exam for Cisco covers topics like networking security, troubleshooting and configuration. These programs are designed for those with experience in information technology.

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