Cisco’s certification pyramid strategy allows you to step your way up the career ladder by upgrading lower-tiered certifications to higher ones as your skills and knowledge increase. At the bottom of that pyramid–at least until Feb. 24, 2020–is the Entry level, represented by the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) credential. A step up from that is the Associate level, or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). Certification candidates can start their journeys at the Entry level and graduate to the Associate level by first taking the Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices 1 (ICND1) exam and then taking ICND2. Or, candidates can skip the Entry level completely and hop straight to the Associate level by taking the CCNA exam. Therefore, Cisco has no prerequisite for obtaining the Associate-level credential.