CCNA Renewal Requirements

Cisco is one of the biggest network device manufacturers, and a university for millions of network professionals around the globe who want to learn advanced networking technologies. Cisco offers a series of certifications in various networking technologies, and Cisco-certified professionals are recognized worldwide and accepted by top companies.

The CCNA certification is valid for three years from the day of passing. Because of increasing business demands and technology advancements, Cisco updates its curriculum every two to three years to ensure a more role-focused certification program for network engineers. This helps them to gain meaningful and up-to-date industry knowledge in networking, proving to employers that their job candidate understands the latest and most advanced networking skills.

Certification renewal is essential for IT professionals to align their skills with the current job market and the latest Cisco technology; if you don’t follow the dedicated renewal process, your certification will expire or become inactive. In this article, we will discuss all possible methods and tools for CCNA recertification, certification validity extensions, exam costs and syllabus updates.

How long is the CCNA certification valid?

CCNA certification is valid for three years from the day you pass the exam. Other CCNA tracks (such as CCNA Security and CCNA Cloud) and all professional-level certifications are also measured in three-year certification spans.

One method of retaining certification is to pass a higher-level certification. If an individual holding a valid CCNA certification is willing to earn a CCNP Routing and Switching certification, the validity of his/her CCNA certification will automatically be adjusted with a new expiration date after passing the CCNP exam. For example, if my CCNA certification is going to expire on July 15, 2018, and I pass any of the CCNP Routing & Switching exams on May 25, 2018, my CCNA certification expiration date will automatically be adjusted with a new date of May 25, 2021. This means the higher exam expiration date will be the new expiration date of your CCNA certification. You can authenticate your certificate(s) on Cisco Certificates; you just need to enter your 16-digit certificate verification number as printed on the certificate.

Are there maintenance requirements associated with the CCNA?

So far, nothing is required to maintain an active CCNA certification: once you obtain it, it will be valid for the next three years from the day you pass the exam. If Cisco updates or changes the curriculum, your certification will remain valid and active, but it is always recommended that you update your skill sets per the current certification curriculum.

If you hold a Cisco certification, you can manage and track your profile/certification details at https://cisco.pearsoncred.com/; you just need to log in with your username and password. If you do not have username/password to log in, you can sign up. It’s also important never to lose or forget you CSCO ID because it is the key to maintaining your profile and future certification details. You can find your CSCO ID on your certificate or in your registered email inbox, as Cisco sends a scorecard with your CSCO ID after you’ve passed your exam.

Can I regain membership if my CCNA certification has been terminated?

If your CCNA certification is already expired, you will have to earn your CCNA certification again. There are two options for achieving CCNA certification:

  1. Pass a current CCNA Routing & Switching exam
  2. Pass two current ICND1 and ICND2 exams

CCNA recertification requires you to book and pass the appropriate Cisco exam(s) prior to the certification expiration date. A candidate with an expired CCNA certification must pass the above-listed exam(s) again in order to regain certification. That’s why it is recommended to recertify before the expiration date and keep visiting the Cisco Certification Tracking System Certification Tracking System tool on a regular interval to avoid the possibility that your certification might become invalid.

You can schedule your Cisco exams on www.vue.com/cisco/ and find all available Cisco-authorized test centers near you.

What is the best recertification strategy?

There are multiple options to recertify your CCNA:

  1. Complete the current ICND2 exam before the expiration date of your CCNA certification
  2. Complete the current CCNA exam before CCNA certification expiration date
  3. If you are interested in other networking domains, such as security, VoIP, wireless or data center, then obtaining the appropriate CCNA certification can also extend your CCNA R&S for the next three years
  4. Pass higher certification like CCNP Routing and Switching, any CCIE/CCDE exam, or the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview and board review
  5. Extend your CCNA certification by passing any of the Cisco specialist exams (except sales specialist or meeting place specialist exams)

For recertification, you have to study and practice the current syllabus only. If you are planning to recertify CCNA by passing the current ICND2, you have to prepare and review only on ICND2 topics. Per the current exam ICND2 200-105, a candidate will have to prepare LAN switching technologies, IPv4 and IPv6 routing technologies, WAN technologies, infrastructure services, and infrastructure maintenance.

How much does it cost to take the CCNA exam for recertification?

As there are several ways to recertify CCNA, exam cost will completely depend on your approach. If you are going to book the CCNA (200-125) exam, it will cost you $325, whereas ICND2 will cost you only $165.

Another option to extend the validity of your CCNA certification is to pass any of following listed CCNA tracks, each of which will cost you $300:

  1. CCNA Security
  2. CCNA Collaboration
  3. CCNA Service Provider
  4. CCNA Data Center
  5. CCNA Wireless
  6. CCNA Cloud
  7. CCNA Cyber Ops
  8. CCNA Industrial
  9. CCNA Wireless

The most expensive way to regain CCNA certification is by passing any CCIE/CCDE exam (written or lab). This option will cost you around $2,050 ($450 for the CCIE written exam and $1,600 for the CCIE lab exam).

Conclusion     

Holding active and valid certifications opens limitless possibilities and help individuals to align their skills with today’s network infrastructure, all of which is more dependent on virtualization, automation and cloud service management. To fulfill this need, a professional requires intimate understanding of advanced network infrastructure and protocols. Last but not least, “money matters.” Active certifications can help you to command a larger salary, and many organizations offer attractive rewards and positions for employees who earn Cisco certifications. For more information on other aspects of studying for the CCNA, please refer to the other articles in this series, or consider booking a training course.

 

Sources

Certification Tracking System, Cisco

Training & Certifications, Cisco

Expert Certifications, Cisco

Cisco Certifications, Pearson VUE

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