ICND1 has been enhanced to provide a solid foundation for specialization with the addition of IP Addressing (IPv4 and IPv6), virtual LANS (VLANS), subnetting, network address translation, access control list, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VLSM, etc.
With significant removal of content from ICND2 to ICND1 has also come the addition of new content to ICND 2. High value content covered in the updated curriculum include: FHRP, Syslog, SNMP, PPP, PPPoE, OSPF, EIGRP, RSTP and RVSTP
Gone completely are RIP and wireless. The wireless angle is assumed to emanate from the move to make CCNA wireless the sole source for subject matter expertise in foundational level wireless.
From 640-802 to 200-120
At Jidaw’s training centre, interest is high and our observation is that most candidates invest in the composite exam because it is the lower cost way of covering all topics in both exams. Routing and Switching is now itself a specialization. What impact will the trend towards specialization have? Will the strengthening of ICND 1 alter current testing taking preferences in a significant manner?
Jidaw insists that change in IT is a reality candidates and professionals in this terrain must not only accept, they must embrace. Some may feel certification changes are motivated by revenue generation. Others may even believe sponsors want to make the exam harder to achieve – the “toughness is a measure of value” thinking. While additional income may come to the cert provider, and new updates tends to make the exams more rigorous, Jidaw would pitch its tent with relevance which is critical to long term sustainability of any exam. Cisco and other certification have the final say in the content and substance of exams they sponsor, and it is in their interest to ensure their exams are up to date and relevant.
The IT world is fast changing and competitive. Exam change is usually driven by the need to meet demand while maintaining relevance and competitiveness. Cisco seems to saying there is significant industry demand for foundation level specialization (routing and switching, wireless, voice and security). Changes should meet current and foreseeable needs of the networking market. Jidaw believes that since we live in a world of fast change driven by IT, certification exams cannot afford to remain static.
Though there have been shifts, transfers, removals and a few new concepts, in the opinion of Jidaw overall content has not changed significantly. CCNA relevance and standing in industry are still quite high, and the new changes seek to maintain the certification’s advantage in a highly competitive market.
At the end of the day, Jidaw notes that the decision to invest in this update is still up to you. Have realistic expectations and work on other aspects of your career development. Don’t only have a focus on job benefits and recognition; your contribution, self development, attitude, experience and life skills are all important. Do your assessment well. CCNA is a standout certification but the real question is: is it for you? If it is, Jidaw urges you to prepare well, the exam takes no prisoners. Deliberate quality preparation will get you there!
HAVE YOUR SAY: What;s your take on the new CCNA update? Interested in specialization? Please share your comments, thoughts and opinions.
Innovation and Development Advisor, ICT at Jidaw
ICT Development Advisory Support and Consulting