Roadmap to Success: CCNA Cloud
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.
As more organizations improve scalability, flexibility, and performance with cloud solutions, the need for IT professionals equipped to support those solutions is soaring. The Cisco Certified Network Associate Cloud (CCNA Cloud) certification is designed to ensure learners have the skills and knowledge to perform provisioning and support for Cisco cloud solutions.
Cisco Certified Networking Associate Cloud (CCNA Cloud) The Cisco Certified Networking Associate Cloud (CCNA Cloud) certification is designed for IT professionals who specialize in cloud solutions, in order to develop, advance, and validate their cloud skill set — and enable them to meet ever-changing business needs from technology transitions.
The CCNA Cloud certification is made up of two exams:
Cisco CCNA Cloud 210-455 CLDADM (coming soon from trainer Anthony Sequeira! Check our in-progress courses.)
The CCNA Cloud certification has no prerequisites. Unlike most other CCNA certifications offered by Cisco, the CCNA does not require the CCENT/ICND1 as part of this certification path. Cisco considers the CCNA Cloud an entry-level certification, but learners with some experience and other certifications (including CompTIA Network+, CCENT, and/or CCNA Routing and Switching) may have more success than those who are new to the industry.
Exam Details The CCNA Cloud certification is made up of two exams, detailed below.
210-451 CLDFND Time allotted for exam: 90 minutes Number of questions: 55-65 questions Passing score: Cisco does not publish the passing score for its exams Question types: Multiple choice/single answer; Multiple choice/multiple answer; Drag and drop; Fill-in-the-blank; Simulation; Testlet; Simlet Exam registration: Pearson VUEExam cost: $250 (USD)* per exam *Learn more about exam fees from Pearson VUEExam topics: Understanding Cisco Cloud Fundamentals (210-451) (free resource)
210-455 CLDADM Time allotted for exam: 90 minutes Number of questions: 55-65 questions per exam Passing score: Cisco does not publish the passing score for its exams Question types: Multiple choice/single answer; Multiple choice/multiple answer; Drag and drop; Fill-in-the-blank; Simulation; Testlet; Simlet Exam registration: Pearson VUEExam cost: $250 (USD)* per exam *Learn more about exam fees from Pearson VUEExam topics: Introducing Cisco Cloud Administration (210-455) (free resources)
Recertification Cisco's Associate-level certifications, including CCNA Cloud, are valid for three years from the date of certification. Learners can recertify by passing any Cisco 642-XXX or 300-XXX exam, any CCIE written exam, CCDE written or practical exam, or the CCAr interview and the CCAr board review.
The Next Step Many learners who earn their CCNA Cloud certification choose to continue to advance their careers in cloud specializations within the Cisco universe. Therefore, many will choose to pursue the CCNP Cloud certification, made up of a total four exams.
300-460 CLDINF (Implementing and Troubleshooting the Cisco Cloud Infrastructure)
300-465 CLDDES (Designing the Cisco Cloud)
300-470 CLDAUT (Automating the Cisco Enterprise Cloud)
300-475 CLDACI (Building the Cisco Cloud with Application Centric Infrastructure)
Some learners may choose to diversify their resumes with other cloud-related certifications. Learners often choose:
MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect (made up of three exams: 70-532, 70-533, and 70-534)
AWS: Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate (made up of just one exam: AWS SysOps Administrator – Associate)
Google Cloud Storage: Qualified Developer (made up of one exam: CPE302)
Google Cloud SQL: Qualified Developer (made up of one exam: CPE303)
VMware VCP-Cloud (made up of one exam: VCP-Cloud)
Career Considerations Payscale.com/ provides a helpful salary guide to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the CCNA Cloud. Depending on professional experience, Payscale.com/ reports a range of salaries for employees holding any CCNA certification between $40,283 and $122,332. Roles that are common for those holding a CCNA Cloud certification include cloud engineer, cloud administrator, network engineer, IT manager, systems administrator, and more.
Deciphering Cisco Certifications Cisco certifications are layered, with each layer building upon the knowledge and skills developed at previous layers — structurally designed as a pyramid. The layers are Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert, and Architect. Associate-level certifications include Cloud, Collaboration, Data Center, Industrial, Routing and Switching, Security, Service Provider, and Wireless.
Once a learner has earned an Associate-level certification, they are eligible to pursue Cisco Certified Network Professional-level certifications. Cisco offers a variety of Professional-level certifications, including Design Professional (CCDP), Cloud, Collaboration, Data Center, Routing and Switching, Security, Service Provider, and Wireless.
Finally, learners can choose to pursue expert-level certifications, which include Design Expert (CCDE), Collaboration, Data Center, Routing and Switching, Security, Service Provider, and Wireless.
Cisco provides an excellent certification overview that succinctly outlines each certification, its prerequisites, and related careers.
Concluding Thoughts The cloud is a growing area of expertise within the IT industry. Learners who can demonstrate their skills and understanding in cloud solutions and technologies can open up a world of opportunities for their careers.
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