FAQs for the New CCNA

Many people have questions about the redesigned CCNA announced by Cisco last week. Here are Jeremy’s answers for some common questions, as well as information about the new topics on the exams.
I am already studying for my CCNA. What are the “old” exams?
September 30, 2013, is the last day for the “old” exams ICND1 v1.1 640-822 and ICND2 v1.1 640-816. CCNA v1 640-802 is also available (composite).
What are the new exam numbers
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ICND1 v2 100-101
ICND2 v2 200-101
CCNA v2 200–120 (composite).
What’s changed? How different are the new exams to the old?
There’s more!
ICND1 is the foundation of all technology certification. VLSM has more subnetting. There is more depth (NAT and ACLs, VLANs). There is more modern technology (OSPF, IPv6).
A few things have been cut to make more room for all of this. There is less GUI. There is also less GUI.
Check out my MicroNugget about ICND1 2013 for a video breakdown on new ICND1 topics.
Because there’s so much more to ICND1, the ICND2 can go even deeper. The ICND1 is a “whoosh”, and then the ICDN2 allows you to slow down and take in the beauty around you.
ICND2 now offers a lot more troubleshooting. It also offers a lot of troubleshooting (EIGRP and multi-area OSPF, OSPF3), switching, management (SNMP, NetFlow), scandel prevention (IOS licensing), and routing.
Should I take the older tests before September or wait to take the new ones? Employers will appreciate a “new” CCNA.
If you can, take the old one. It’s simpler. The same logo and credential will still be available. You are a CCNA. An employer won’t ask you if your CCNA is “old” or “new”. A CCNA is a proof that you know what you’re doing.
The new CCNA will allow you to know more. However, it is more difficult and will require more study.
Bottom line: Keep the old one and remember that there is always more to be learned.
Do I need new equipment for my lab?
My lab recommendation still stands. IOS 15 is a new exam, but Cisco now requires that you have a license to use it. You must activate IOS 15. Does this mean you have to buy new equipment? You can still use the old stuff.
Are there any changes to the other Cisco certification tracks
The new ICND1 exam is extremely detailed because it is the introductory certification for all other certifications. It is the foundation for all things. There are no changes to the certification tracks (e.g. CCNP) at this time.
There is a lot of overlap between CCNA/CCNP. There will be a lot more “seen that, been there” conversations. I can see CCNP going though a revision, perhaps in a year.
Is CCNA still the best requisite to enter networking? Would you recommend Network+ (or any other cert) before taking the CCNA exam?
The best prerequisite for entering the networking industry is the CCNA. Network+ is a vendor-neutral certification that requires very little hands-on experience (quite a lot of theory and historical networking). As an employer, I would rather have a CCNA than a Network+ certification. Network+ will give you more knowledge and background about your networking abilities, but (in my view, this isn’t shared by everyone) there are far more valuable, current topics that you can study.
How can I find out more about the CCNA
Check out the Cisco CCNA site for more information:
I’m willing to study for this! Is there any training for SPOTO?
Yes! Yes!