That's the time! It's time to refresh. Like anything in technology, somethings need to develop. Cisco is doing this through their technical certification. The key is to maintain relevance to the latest technology as much as possible, while still providing the same value for previous certification. With this, some major changes will take place in Cisco certification next year.
Why is Cisco changing for certification?
The reason for these changes is that the network has undergone great changes recently. People are no longer routing or wireless or secure network engineers, but stick to their islands. Because the systems that make up modern networks are intertwined, people do need to master knowledge, at least basic knowledge, in all fields. The goal of Cisco's new certification program is to establish and certify comprehensive network administrators and engineers.
New Certification Structure
The structure will look somewhat similar for a lot of people. There is still a CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE to be achieved. There are a couple changes though too. Instead of earning a CCNA Security for instance, which was still an associate level exam previously, there was a new category created and that is the Cisco Certified Specialist. This is for those people who went on after a CCNA to do just that: specialize in a specific area. It is acting as that mid-point before moving on to a CCNP.
Introducing Cisco’s Expended Certification
I would like to take a moment to outline each change in the different certification levels and how it will affect everyone. There will be an exam for CCNA. Anyone who takes an CCNA will take an exam. A single core knowledge option for starting the Cisco certification journey. East is like that.
CCNP is beginning to have a significant impact on the way they work. CCNP will now change from 3 to 4 exams to only 2. This includes the "core" knowledge exam that everyone must take, followed by centralized exams in the CCNP area that you are focusing on, such as specific security areas.
The CCIE is changing as well. Well, ok, not that much when it comes to the number of exams you have to take. There is a “qualifying exam” which is a lot like a core knowledge exam in my eyes and then your lab exam. Very similar to the way things are today overall. Oh yea, there is one thing! The recertification window just became 3 years instead of 2! This will take place going forward for renewals after Feb 24, 2020.
Remember I talked about remaining relevant? This is a prime example. So much in networking is taking a turn towards programmability and automation, so it’s time that DevNet was shown some love in the certification realm as well. That’s exactly what’s happening.
Other Points of Interest
So, there are a few other things that I know people are asking themselves. The first is when does this take place and when do the new exams launch. That date is February 24th, 2020.
A lot of people like the continuing education option for the CCIE. Well now a lot of additional people have the chance to enjoy it as well. The CE program will now be in effect for all certifications as shown below. One callout is that the CCIE CE point value was increased due to it being a 3 years renewal now as well.