Simplifying Cisco Certification Tracks

At NIL Learning, we are a global platinum learning partner (PLP) for Cisco Systems. This means we must understand the Cisco lingo and be able to explain it in the simplest ways possible.

So, let’s get into the Cisco certification tracks from Associate level through to Expert.

Simplifying Cisco Certification Tracks

Cisco Certification Levels

Cisco Certification Levels

Associate – CCNA

The associate level of the Cisco certifications is their entry-level and majority of engineers’ starting point for their careers. This level consists of three certifications now. These are namely:

  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • Threat Hunting and Defending using Cisco Technologies for CyberOps (CBROPS)
  • Developing Applications and Automating Workflows using Cisco Platforms (DEVASC)

These certifications provide individuals with entry-level knowledge of specific technologies. The CCNA certification provides a broad introduction to technologies such as Data Centres, Security, Collaboration and most important, Networking.

The CBROPS certification provides an entry-level certification into cyber security. DEVASC is Cisco’s entry-level DevNet certification.

Professional – CCNP

Cisco’s professional certifications are split into two. To be certified as a Cisco professional, you’ll have to pass at least two courses. A core course and a specialization course. The Cisco core courses are split up by technology:

  • Collaboration – Implementing and Operating Cisco Collaboration Core Technologies (CLCOR)
  • Cyber – Performing CyberOps Using Cisco Security Technologies (CBRCOR)
  • Data Centre – Implementing and Operating Cisco Data Center Core Technologies (DCCOR)
  • DevNet – Developing Applications Using Cisco Core Platforms and APIs (DEVCOR)
  • Enterprise – Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies (ENCOR)
  • Security – Implementing and Operating Cisco Security Core Technologies (SCOR)
  • Service Provider – Implementing and Operating Cisco Service Provider Network Core Technologies (SPCOR)

Once you have completed your technology core certification and you would like to get your professional badge. You’ll have to pass a specialization/ concentration exam. These are also broken into technologies:

  • Collaboration
    • Implementing Cisco Collaboration Applications (CLICA)
    • Implementing Cisco Advanced Call Control and Mobility Services (CLACCM)
    • Implementing Cisco Collaboration Cloud and Edge Solutions (CLCEI)
    • Implementing Cisco Collaboration Conferencing (CLCNF)
    • Automating Cisco Collaboration Solutions (CLAUTO) **
  • Cyber
    • Conducting Forensic Analysis and Incident Response Using Cisco Technologies for CyberOps (CBRFIR)
  • Data Centre
    • Designing Cisco Data Center Infrastructure (DCID)
    • Troubleshooting Cisco Data Center Infrastructure (DCIT)
    • Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (DCACI)
    • Implementing Cisco Storage Area Networking (DCSAN)
    • Automating and Programming Cisco Data Center Solutions (DCAUTO) **
    • Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure – Advanced (DCACIA)
  • DevNet
    • Automating Cisco Collaboration Solutions (CLAUTO)
    • Automating and Programming Cisco Data Center Solutions (DCAUTO)
    • Automating and Programming Cisco Enterprise Solutions (ENAUTO)
    • Automating and Programming Cisco Security Solutions (SAUTO)
    • Automating and Programming Cisco Service Provider Solutions (SPAUTO)
  • Enterprise
    • Implementing Cisco Enterprise Advanced Routing and Services (ENARSI)
    • Implementing Cisco SD-WAN Solutions (ENSDWI)
    • Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks (ENSLD)
    • Designing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks (ENWLSD)
    • Implementing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks (ENWLSI)
    • Automating and Programming Cisco Enterprise Solutions (ENAUTO) **
  • Security
    • Securing Networks with Cisco Firepower (SNCF)
    • Implementing and Configuring Cisco Identity Services Engine (SISE)
    • Securing Email with Cisco Email Security Appliance (SESA)
    • Securing the Web with Cisco Web Security Appliance (SWSA)
    • Implementing Secure Solutions with Virtual Private Networks (SVPN)
    • Automating and Programming Cisco Security Solutions (SAUTO) **
  • Service Provider
    • Implementing Cisco Service Provider Advanced Routing Solutions (SPRI)
    • Implementing Cisco Service Provider VPN Services (SPVI)
    • Automating and Programming Cisco Service Provider Solutions (SPAUTO) **

** All Auto exams are the exams for the Cisco xxAUI course. For example, The ENAUI course will have the ENAUTO exam.

So, not that you’ve seen all the exams that constitute the Cisco professional badge, let’s put these into an example. You or a member of your team would like to be a CCNP security, you’ll have to write the SCOR exam and at least 1 of the specialization exams. You don’t have to write them all to become a CCNP security.

Expert – CCIE

Once you have reached the CCNP level of Cisco certifications, you’ll most likely understand how Cisco works. For those that don’t, to achieve your CCIE badge you’ll have to write a CCIE Written and Lab exam. Luckily for those who have written their CCNP core exam, you have already done your CCIE written exam. Yes, that’s right. The CCNP core exam is the same as the CCIE written exam.

However, the most daunting aspect of the CCIE stage is the lab exam. This is an 8hour hands-on lab where engineers will be tested to the limit. The pass rate for first-time attempts is well below 20%. The main struggle people have is time, these exams are extremely long for the allotted time.

So, as stated above, to be accredited with your CCIE badge, you’ll have to pass your written and lab exams in your chosen technology.

CCIE Lab Exams:

  • CCIE Collaboration v3.0 lab exam
  • CCIE Data Center v3.0 lab exam
  • CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0 Lab Exam
  • CCIE Enterprise Wireless v1.0 lab exam
  • CCIE Security v6.0 lab exam
  • CCIE Service Provider v5.0 lab exam

CCIE certified individuals are some of the most sought-after engineers throughout the globe.

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