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Roadmap to Success: Palo Alto ACE

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Roadmap to Success is a series of posts designed to help learners better understand certification pathways, career opportunities associated with those certifications, and next steps beyond certification.

Palo Alto firewalls have emerged as a real force in the IT industry. As a shocking number of organizations are turning to Palo Alto products to improve security, the Palo Alto Accredited Configuration Engineer (ACE) has become a highly sought after certification for employers. Roles for which the ACE is valuable include network security administrator, firewall administrator, network security engineer, and more.

Palo Alto Accredited Configuration Engineer (ACE)
The Palo Alto Accredited Configuration Engineer (ACE) certification is designed to test learners’ knowledge of the core features and functions of Palo Alto next-generation firewalls. The primary goal of the ACE exam is to serve as an objective indication of a learner’s ability to configure Palo Alto Networks firewalls using the PAN-OS. For the ACE certification, learners should be prepared to address issues including interfaces, zones, security policies, best practices, and more.

The ACE certification is made up of one exam, which is covered by CBT Nuggets training:

The ACE is an intermediate-level certification. Learners pursuing the ACE should have familiarity with networking concepts and basic understanding of security concepts. Most typically, learners on this path have 2-5 years of experience working directly with networking and/or security.

Learn more about Palo Alto Network Firewalls from these previous blog posts, webinars, and more:

Exam Registration and Authorization
Palo Alto administers certification exams through its Learning Center. To register for an exam, learners must first create an account.

Exam Details
The ACE exam is unique certification exam experience in several ways. Carefully review the information below to fully understand what to expect from the ACE exam.

Time allotted for exam: Unlimited — there is no time limit for the ACE exam.
Number of questions: 50
Passing score: Palo Alto does not publish the passing score, however, learners can retake the exam as many times as necessary to achieve a passing score.
Question types: Multiple choice
Exam registration: Palo Alto Networks
Exam cost: Free

Recertification
The ACE certification has no recertification requirements. However, the ACE certification changes with major revisions to the software that runs the Palo Alto Networks platform. Though the ACE is, effectively, a life-time certification, it may be outdated by more current versions of the credential.

The Next Step
The ACE certification is the first of just two certifications offered by Palo Alto Networks. Those who complete the ACE are eligible to continue on to the Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Engineer (PCNSE).

Some learners may choose to diversify their certification resume by adding certifications on related training pathways from other vendors. Those learners often choose to pursue:

Career Considerations
Simplyhired.com provides a helpful salary guide to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the ACE certification. Depending on professional experience, an employee who holds the ACE certification can earn, on average, $74,000. Roles or titles for ACE certified employees include senior network engineer, senior firewall engineer, network security engineer, and more.

Palo Alto Networks Certifications
Palo Alto Networks offers just two certifications. The first, the Accredited Configuration Engineer (ACE) creates the foundation which the Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Engineer (PCNSE) certification builds upon.

Concluding Thoughts
The ACE certification provides you with an area of specialization in a product that is taking the industry by storm! More and more organizations are capitalizing on the strength and flexibility of Palo Alto’s next-generation firewall product, making this a perfect moment to pursue a certification that will open up ever-growing professional opportunities.

Watch. Learn. Conquer Palo Alto ACE!

 

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