Many of our best customers started off as a conversation with a CCIE or CCNA at Cisco Live. As certified networking experts they immediately saw the value of Uplogix in their networks. Cisco is now looking to ensure the value of a Cisco certification is keeping pace with market expectations for networking knowledge.

“Infrastructure is now a big software system,” said Susie Wee, senior vice president and CTO of Cisco DevNet, “We are inviting network engineers and developers to build these skills into their tool bags and expand their career paths.”

One factor driving the changes was that job descriptions posted by hiring managers to attract network professionals increasingly included more skills than the CCNA, CCNP and CCIE Cisco certifications were providing. Additional requirements like cloud and Amazon Web Services and Python scripting were not represented in the certifications.

Cisco says they’ve heard from network professionals that they needed more learning about supporting software-focused initiatives like programmability, multi-cloud, machine learning, artificial intelligence, automation, IoT and SD-WAN. On the flip side, developers were asking to learn networking fundamentals for their work with IT teams and to perform basic enterprise tasks.

Highlights of what’s changing:

  • The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification will only have one track with an exam covering wireless, security, routing and switching, and networking automation.
  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) is made up of two exams: a core exam in one of five technology tracks — enterprise, security, service provider, collaboration or data center, plus a secondary exam going into the weeds of one of the tracks.
  • The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) designation requires two tests: a technology core exam and a lab exam. Both need to be from the same technology track. The lab exam is being updated to better assess candidates’ skills through the entire network lifecycle.
  • There are no prerequisites for starting a certification. You can jump in at whatever level you feel ready to pursue.
  • BONUS! If you maintain your CCIE status for 20 consecutive years, you’ll have the option to choose Lifetime Emeritus Status with no yearly fee.