If you work in or aspire to work in an IT role that's related to wireless network design, the CWDP is worth it. Although it's a specialized credential, it's meaningful and respected by employers. Preparing for the CWDP enhances your knowledge in wireless technologies, design principles, security considerations, and best practices for creating reliable and high-performance wireless networks, and earning it opens up many career prospects in the field.
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Certified Wireless Design Professional (CWDP-304) FAQs: Cost, Training, Value
To earn the Certified Wireless Design Professional, you have to pass CWDP-304, which costs $349.99. But the CWDP has a prerequisite: the Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA). Since the CWNA exam costs $274.99 and it must be valid at the time of earning your CWDP, the total cost of the CWDP is technically closer to $624.98 – and that's before any training or preparation you take in advance.
Generally speaking, it's agreed that the CWDP is a straightforward and relatively easy exam. It certainly requires a solid understanding of wireless technologies, design principles, and best practices, but the certification exam isn't about being exclusionary. The purpose of the CWDP is to encapsulate all the skills and knowledge a competent wireless network designer needs to have, and the test is a fair representation of that for the well-prepared.
Yes, the Certified Wireless Design Professional is good for three years. If you need to maintain the credential for your job or for compliance reasons, you'll need to renew it. Currently, the only option for renewing your CWDP is by retaking its exam (which will likely have been updated in the interim). When you renew any CWNP certification, all lower certifications are automatically renewed – so when you renew your CWDP, your CWNA will be automatically renewed.
The CWDP is a professional certification grounded in real-world principles about wireless network design, so the best way to practice is with hands-on practice surveying and designing an end-to-end enterprise WLAN. Not many people have one of those to fool around with, so the next best thing would be a course with virtual simulations and digital environments for you to experiment in and learn real-world skills in a safe environment.