Along with the retirement of the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) credential in February 2020, Cisco recently announced that the revamped Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) will, as of Feb. 24, 2020, include knowledge from what had previously been separate but related CCNA concentrations. Specifically, the concentrations that are being replaced by CCNA 200-301 include all of the following:
- CCNA Cloud
- CCNA Collaboration
- CCNA Data Center
- CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate)
- CCNA Industrial
- CCNA Routing and Switching
- CCNA Security
- CCNA Service Provider
- CCNA Wireless
For example, if you are currently studying network design to earn the CCDA credential, you should know that after Feb. 24, 2020, the CCDA credential is being replaced by the primary 200-301 CCNA credential. This replacement means that CCNA candidates who were tested mainly on routing and switching in previous CCNA exams could now also be tested on design principles, cloud technologies, collaboration technologies, security, wireless technologies, and more. The current full list of exam topics includes main sections on security fundamentals and automation and programmability as well as subsections on wireless and wireless architecture.
If you are currently studying for any of the CCNA concentrations that are being replaced by 200-301, you might be wondering what will happen to that credential after Feb. 24. Never fear. Cisco has a plan for that. Unlike with the CCENT credential, which is being retired, CCNAs who pass any of the above concentration exams before the Feb. 24 deadline will automatically receive the new CCNA credential along with a training badge that represents the pre-Feb. 24 concentration the candidate completed. For example, if you pass the CCDA exam before it is retired, you will be awarded both the new CCNA credential badge and a CCDA training badge.
After Feb. 24, you can still earn training badges, although you will no longer be able to sit the concentration exams that 200-301 is replacing. In their certification FAQs, Cisco states that candidates will be able to start earning training badges for courses completed after Feb. 24, 2020.
So now that you’ve spent time and money studying for a CCNA concentration credential, such as CCDA, should you continue that path or wait for the new 200-301 exam? Cisco’s advice is to keep going. As of this writing, you still have more than six months to complete the credential on which you are working. All that work is not in vain because you will not only have obtained the new CCNA credential by passing your concentration exam, you will also receive the new training badge for the concentration you obtained.
Keep going. Although Feb. 24, 2020, will be here before you know it, you have more time now than not to complete your concentration.