CCNA is among the associate level certifications offered by the leading networking solutions and products provider company Cisco. This associate level certification allows professional to start pursuing their career in the networking industry. This certificate is one step ahead of the Cisco's basic entry level CCENT however it does not come up with any formal prerequisites.
CCNA qualified technicians come up with the technical ability to install, configuring, operating and troubleshooting the network equipment. The CCNA Routing and Switching certification focus more on building up necessary skills for administrating devices for small and medium-sized enterprises. This certification is also the foundation of all CCNA courses however with effects from 2015, CCNA Routing and Switching comes up with no formal prerequisites. In fact, this CCNA Routing and Switching is one the evergreen track offered by Cisco.
With the rapid expansion in technology and evolution of computers, even small-scale enterprises are composed of electronic equipment like computers, printers etc which then requires a network expert to connect and secure them. This means that there will always be a need of networking staff in almost every business.
CCNA Security certification is another track of the CCNA, it is also an associate level qualification which validates that the certificate holder is able to secure and troubleshoot any given infrastructure. In this CCNA Security certification exam, the individuals are being tested either they are able to install, troubleshoot and monitor the devices from all possible threats of a data breach. They also check the integrity of these individuals by testing their skills of handling their day to day tasks through this exam. The CCNA Security certification is also the prerequisite of CCNP exam.
However, the individuals should have a valid CCNA Routing and Switching certificate in order to take their CCNA Security certification. CCNA average salary ranges from 40,000$ to 90,000$ according to PayScale. The average salary of CCNA Routing and Switching professional is around 40 to 50 thousand US Dollars however the salary of CCNA Security professional is more as compared to the CCNA R&S individual.
This means that individuals with CCNA Security are more preferable than CCNA Routing & Switching. However, for those who know the importance of foundation courses, CCNA R&S should be done by almost every individual who wishes to pursue their career in the networking industry. CCNA being an associate level entry is just a beginning of your career, it really requires a lot of passion and hard work to lead this entry level to an expert level i.e., CCIE which is the highest degree awarded by the Cisco.
Both CCNA certifications are high in demand because they promise a 100% job placement guarantee. They allow individuals to build up their career in network industry because this industry has still a lot more room to accommodate certified staff than any other industry in the market. In short, almost every business nowadays requires IT staff to troubleshoot their computer related issues. This means that Cisco certified profession can still maximize their benefits in this untapped industry which is expanding day by day.
The validity for all these CCNA certifications lasts for three years and they needed to be renewed by recertifying before their expiry. The candidates are allowed to recertify by passing either any similar level qualification or they can also move to higher level Cisco certifications like CCNP or CCIE.
CCNA certification exams duration is ninety minutes with fifty or sixty multiple choice questions. It also includes simulations to configure and troubleshoot any given network routers. So, whatever you decide to choose from CCNA tracks, better to go for CCNA Routing and Switching first and if you have done this CCNA R&S already then preference should be given to the CCNA Security.