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.
Now that you know that Cisco has migration paths that will allow you to continue your existing Cisco certification track and transition to the new one when it drops on Feb. 24, 2020, your blood pressure’s probably back to normal. However, you might be concerned about that bucket of Boson study products you purchased to aid you in the pursuit of your credentials. Maybe you’ve already bought our ExSim-Max for Cisco 200-125 CCNA product to help you study for your Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam, but life has happened, and you’re no longer sure you’ll be able to take the exam before the transition on Feb. 24. Have you just wasted your money?
So, you finally decided to obtain your first Cisco certification. Like many candidates, you had your eye on getting a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). You explored your options and decided you wanted to test the waters by plunking down the money for the Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1) exam and obtaining your Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) credential. Then you can use that credential as a stepping stone to your CCNA by taking ICND2 later, presumably after you spent some time studying for it.
Just like the Robert Frost poem, two paths diverge in the thicket that is your study for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching certification. Along one of those paths, you first earn the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) by taking the Interconnecting Cisco Networks Devices 1 (ICND1) exam, or exam number 100-105. After more study, you can then opt to take the ICND2 (200-105) exam to earn the CCNA certificate.