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Everything We Know about Cisco's New Certification  Updates

Cisco announced a significant evolution of their certification tracks, set to release February 24, 2020. These changes will address the needs of the modern network, requiring both infrastructure and software expertise. This is Cisco’s biggest change to certifications in 25 years. New recommended training courses will be released in the coming months ahead of the new certification releases. Here is everything we know about changes to  CCNA, CCNP, CCIE and the New DevNet Certification Track.

Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCNA) Changes

The current Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) will be retired. At the Associate level will be the new CCNA, which will validate a broad range of foundational knowledge and skills. It will have just one exam covering networking and security fundamentals, as well as automation and programmability. Previously, CCNA candidates typically had to take multiple exams to earn one of 10 different CCNA certifications. The new CCNA exam (#200-301) is scheduled to go live Feb. 24, 2020. The new CCNA will replace these current certifications:

  • CCNA Cloud
  • CCNA Collaboration
  • CCNA Cyber Ops
  • CCNA Data Center
  • CCDA Design
  • CCNA Industrial
  • CCNA Routing and Switching
  • CCNA Security
  • CCNA Service Provider
  • CCNA Wireless

There will be a new course coming out for CCNA, expected this summer, which will cover the foundations now covered in both ICND1 and ICND2, while the more advanced info in both of those courses will be moving to the new CCNP level courses, expected to release prior to February 2020.

Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) Changes

Most CCNP certifications will also be retiring. Right now, networking professionals start a specialization track at the CCNA level. For example, CCNA Security leads to CCNP Security. However, after February 24, 2020, the one CCNA exam (200-301 CCNA) will cover networking basics and then you specialize at the CCNP level. You will be required to pass 2 exams: a core exam and one concentration exam. Here’s the complete list of the new CCNPs:

  • CCNP Enterprise
  • CCNP Security
  • CCNP Service Provider
  • CCNP Colaboration
  • CCNP Data Center
  • Cisco Certified DevNet Professional


Passing any one of these exams will earn you the Cisco Certified Specialist title in that concentration. Passing the second exam will earn you the CCNP in that focus area.

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Changes

There will be six CCIE tracks, and they no longer have dedicated CCIE written exams. Instead, candidates must pass the CCNP core exam and then take the 8-hour CCIE lab in the concentration of choice. For instance, to earn the CCIE Security you’d have to pass the CCNP Security core exam (SCOR 300-701) and then sit for the 8-hour lab, CCIE Security v6.0. That’s consistent across all the new CCIEs with the exception of CCIE Enterprise.

In the case of the Enterprise track, you have two options: CCIE Enterprise Wireless and CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure. Both of these tracks adopt the CCNP Enterprise exam (ENCOR 300-401) as their written exam, and then diverge at the lab requirement. They each have a dedicated lab requirement specific to the track: CCIE Enterprise Wireless v1.0 and CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0.

Here’s the complete list of the new CCIEs:

  • CCIE Enterprise Wireless
  • CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure
  • CCIE Security
  • CCIE Service Provider
  • CCIE Collaboration
  • CCIE Data Center

New Cisco Certification Track: DevNet

Cisco is launching a new certification track — DevNet. The DevNet track will combine programming (primarily with Python) and infrastructure. There will be four levels to the DevNet track:

  • Cisco Certified DevNet Associate (CCNA-level)
  • Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist
  • Cisco Certified DevNet Professional (CCNP-level)
  • Cisco Certified DevNet Expert (CCIE-level) 

These tracks follow the same conventions as the other five tracks. You can either take the associate-level core exam to get certified at the CCNA level, pass one exam to become a Specialist, or take two exams to earn the professional-level certification.

Benefits to the New Cisco Certification Structure

Anytime certifications are updated, new and existing certified individuals always ask why. Here are the top benefits to Cisco's new certification structure. 

  • The ability to start where you want depending on your current level of expertise - no prerequisites to start earning your associate, specialist, professional or expert level certification.
  • Continuing education credits for recertification and ongoing development are available for CCNA, Cisco Certified Specialist, CCNP and CCIE.
  • Easier path to CCIE status.
  • New Emeritus lifetime tenure for CCIE certifications maintained continuously for 20 years.
  • Badging for completing training courses.
  • No more continuing education administrative fee, as of February 24, 2020.
  • The recertification period for all certifications will be 3 years.

Cisco Certification Training from New Horizons

Cisco platinum learning partnerWhether you are new to Cisco, or ready to advance your existing skills, New Horizons provides the necessary training to achieve Cisco certification. Our hands-on lab environments allow students to experience real-life scenarios during their Cisco training that can easily carry over to on-the-job skills. As a Cisco-Authorized training partner, New Horizons is a trusted training provider of Cisco technologies. 

Learn more about Cisco Training and Certification Programs from New Horizons >>

Categories: Cisco, Certifications

Morgan Landry

Morgan Landry

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