Cisco announced a major update to their CCNA, CCNP and CCIE certification program at Cisco Live last week, with the changes happening on the 24th February 2020.
CCNA and CCENT Certification
The 10 current CCNA tracks (CCNA Routing and Switching, CCNA Cloud, CCNA Collaboration, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCNA Data Center, CCNA Industrial, CCNA Security, CCNA Service Provider, CCNA Wireless and CCNA Design) are being retired and replaced with a single ‘CCNA’ certification. The new CCNA exam combines most of the information on the current CCNA Routing and Switching with additional wireless, security and network automation content.
A new Cisco Certified DevNet Associate certification is also being released to satisfy the increasing demand in this area.
The current CCENT certification is being retired. There hasn’t been an official announcement from Cisco yet but rumours are saying that we might be seeing new ‘Foundations’ certifications which will focus on content from the retiring CCNA tracks.
Different technology tracks remain at the CCNP level. CCNP Routing and Switching, CCNP Design and CCNP Wireless are being consolidated into the new CCNP Enterprise, and CCNP Cloud is being retired. A new Cisco Certified DevNet Professional certification is also being released.
Only two exams will be required to achieve each CCNP certification – a Core and a Concentration exam. Being CCNA certified will no longer be a prerequisite for the CCNP certification.
If you pass any CCNP level exams before February 24 2020, you’ll receive badging for corresponding new exams and credit toward the new CCNP certification.
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The format of the CCIE remains largely the same, with a written and lab exam required to achieve the certification. The CCNP Core exam will be used as the CCIE Written exam though, there will no longer be a separate written exam at the CCIE level. Automation and Network Programmability are being added to the exams for every track.
All certifications will be valid for 3 years under the new program so you will no longer need to recertify CCIE every 2 years.
How the Changes Affect You
If you’re currently studying for any Cisco certification the advice from Cisco is to keep going. If you pass before the cutover your certification will remain valid for 3 years from the date you certify. If you pass some but not all CCNP level exams before the change you can receive credit towards the new certifications.
We've added a few resources to which you can turn to an obtain additional information:
The Flackbox blog has a comprehensive video and text post covering all the changes.
The official Cisco certification page is here.