Certifications / Cisco

Roadmap to Success: Cisco CCENT

by Karin Klinger
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Published on January 24, 2017

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.

The CCENT is the perfect place to begin your Cisco certification path. The CCENT certification provides a meaningful introduction to Cisco products and serves as the prerequisite to several Associate-level certifications, making it a wise first choice for certification. Typically, the CCENT qualifies learners for roles including network technician, systems administrator, network administrator, and more.

Cisco Certified Entry-level Network Technician

The Cisco Certified Entry-level Network Technician (CCENT) certification is designed to validate the skills required for entry-level support positions. The CCENT ensures that learners have the knowledge and skills to install, operate, and troubleshoot a small enterprise branch network, including basic network security.

The CCENT is made up of just one exam, the ICND1, which is covered by CBT Nuggets training:

The Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices, Part 1 (ICND1) includes topics like the operation of IP data networks, LAN switching technologies, IPv6, IP routing technologies, IP services (DHCP, NAT, ACLs), network device security, and basic troubleshooting.

Typically, learners pursuing the CCENT should have six months or more experience working in IT and have some familiarity with Cisco products. As an entry-level certification, the CCENT is perfect for those who are new to the field. Get started by reviewing the CBT Nuggets playlist for the CCENT. This playlist includes several supplemental courses to help ensure your success in pursuing the CCENT:

These supplemental courses are recommended to help learners deepen their learning and understanding of the content in order to be successful in earning certification.

Downloadable Study Plans CBT Nuggets offers a study plan that maps to Jeremy Cioara's Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-105 course. This downloadable Cisco CCENT study plan breaks down the course and supplemental learning resources to equip learners with a strategic and manageable approach to conquer training goals. Download the Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-105 study plan.

Exam Details

The CCENT is made up of just one exam, detailed below.

CCENT/ICND1 Time allotted for exam: 1.5 hours (90 minutes) Number of questions: 45-55 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 VUE Exam cost: $165 (USD)* *Learn more about exam fees from Pearson VUE Exam topics: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (100-105) (free resource)


Cisco's Entry-level certifications, including CCENT, are valid for three years from the date of certification. Learners can recertify by passing the current ICND1 exam or any Associate-level exam. Or, 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

The CCENT is a prerequisite for several Cisco Associate-level certifications, making it an excellent building block that enables learners to earn a variety of more advanced certifications from Cisco. After earning the CCENT, most CBT Nuggets learners take the next step by earning a CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) Routing and Switching or choose another CCNA specialization.

CCNA Options

The CCENT is the perfect foundation for an IT career. Once learners earn the CCENT, a variety of Associate-level certifications are typically just one exam away. Among CBT Nuggets learners who have earned the CCENT, the most highly sought-after CCNA certifications are (in order of popularity):

  1. CCNA Security (made up of just one additional exam: 210-260 IINS)

  2. CCNA Wireless (made up of just one additional exam: 200-355 WIFUND)

  3. CCNA Data Center (made up of two exams: 640-911 DCICN and 640-916 DCICT)

  4. CCNA Collaboration (made up of two exams: 210-060 CICD and 210-065 CIVND [broken into two CBT Nuggets courses: 210-065 CIVND1 and 210-065 CIVND2])

Career Considerations

Payscale.com/ provides a helpful salary guide to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the CCENT. Depending on professional experience, an employee who holds a CCENT can earn anywhere between $24,511 and $91,835. Roles that are common for those holding the CCENT certification include network technician, network administrator, system administrator, network engineer, systems engineer, and more.

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.

Begin exploring other Cisco certification options for which CBT Nuggets provides training to open up even more professional development opportunities.

Concluding Thoughts

The CCENT is the launching point for your IT networking career. The CCENT opens doors and provides you with growth-oriented job opportunities. It is the first step in creating the career of your dreams!

Watch. Learn. Conquer the CCENT!


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