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Jeff Kish
Nugget trainer since 2019
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2024 CCNA v1.1 (200-301) FAQs: Cost, Training, Value

Is CCNA worth it?

Yes, the CCNA is definitely worth it -- it’s one of the best certifications a network administrator could earn at any point in their career. The CCNA is worth it because Cisco technology provides service provider and enterprise router solutions to nearly 40% of the world. Of course, there are plenty of non-Cisco networks, but there’s basically no other certification that can all at once prepare you for all the devices and jobs that the CCNA does.

How much does the CCNA cost?

The CCNA costs $300. Since there are no prerequisites and no mandatory courses or training, $300 is the grand total cost for attempting the CCNA. The CCNA certification exam is so challenging that plenty of people don’t pass it on their first attempt, so an online course would be a good idea. Make sure you include the price of your training into the overall cost of the CCNA.

Is the CCNA difficult?

Yes, the CCNA is difficult, but most people who pass it agree that it’s not unfair or excessively difficult. The thing that makes the CCNA so difficult is that it focuses largely on Cisco-specific configurations and management. So basic networking knowledge will help you with some of the test, but the difficult part of the CCNA is the advanced aspects of using Cisco equipment for routing and switching.

Does the CCNA expire?

Yes, the CCNA expires - after three years. Just like all of Cisco’s certifications, the CCNA lasts for three years, and you can recertify during that window. Your three options for recertifying a CCNA before it expires after three years are retaking the original exam, completing enough continuing education credits, and advancing to the next tier of Cisco certifications. So even though your CCNA will expire three years after you earn it, you have options for what to do next.

How should I study for the CCNA?

The best way to study for the CCNA is with a course that prepares you both for the facts of the exam as well as the practical knowledge of configuration. There’s a lot about network theory to memorize and keep in mind when you’re studying for the CCNA. But equally important is practicing the actual skills that go into managing and configuring Cisco equipment.
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