This document explains the new certification changes recently announced by Cisco at the 2019 CiscoLive! conference in San Diego.  (Source: https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en_us/training-events/training-certification-faqs.pdf as viewed on 8/9/19)

General FAQs

Why are you changing the Cisco certification portfolio?

This initiative is built on technology transition that Cisco has driven in the networking industry. “Unleashing the full capabilities of the new network” means that there are entirely new capabilities in the network, and this fundamentally changes “how networking is done”. To fully leverage the capabilities of the new network, networking and software skills are key.

The new Cisco Certification program introduces CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE certifications that maintain the high-quality standards known to the industry yet have been streamlined based on market demands and learner preferences. The program is designed for agility, value, and leadership. It lets people choose the skills they want to develop and encourages lifelong learning.

New DevNet Associate and DevNet Professional Certifications provide software skills for network engineers and software developers who work with Cisco  technologies.

This allows us to combine the strengths of our Cisco certified community, Networking Academy community, and DevNet community, and build the workforce for the next generation of businesses built on Cisco technologies.

What is changing exactly?

We’re enhancing the certification program to bring you:

  • Streamlined and updated certification paths, such as:
    • Consolidated and updated associate level training and certification for networking engineers - one course, one exam covers the fundamental topics for all network technologies.
    • Specialist certifications validate your skills in line with your job role and interests.
    • Your choice of concentration exams at the professional level that allows you to tailor your certification to your preferences.
    • CCIE achievement validates core knowledge on end-to-end practical skills through the entire network lifecycle of designing, deploying, operating and optimizing complex network scenarios.
    • New DevNet certifications at the associate, specialist and professional levels, to validate your software development skills.
    • The ability to start where you want - no prerequisites to start earning your associate, specialist, professional or expert level certification.
    • Continuing education credits for recertification and ongoing development are available for CCNA, Cisco Certified Specialist, CCNP and CCIE.
    • New Emeritus lifetime tenure for CCIE certifications maintained continuously for 20 years. 
  • Badging for completing training courses.
  • No more continuing education administrative fee, as of February 24, 2020.

What’s staying the same?

The following features of our program have not changed:

  • Multiple levels of certification, at associate (CCNA), specialist, professional (CCNP) and expert (CCIE) levels.
  • Learning on your schedule, in your preferred way – online or  in-person.
  • Core technology concentrations at professional and expert levels, in Enterprise, Security, Service Provider, Collaboration, Data Center and more.
  • Recertification exams available at all levels.

What is the anticipated launch date of the new training and certification portfolio?

The new training and certification portfolio will be announced on June 10, 2019. New and updated training courses will be rolled out over time beginning in June 2019, representing a breadth and depth of critical skills in key technology areas. New certification exams, including those for CCNA, CCNP, CCIE, Cisco Certified DevNet Associate, Cisco Certified DevNet Professional and Specialist certifications will be available February 24, 2020. Continuing education will be available for CCNA, Cisco Certified Specialist and CCNP beginning February 24, 2020. You’ll be able to start earning training badges for courses completed after February 24,  2020.

When will exam topics for the new certifications be available?

Exam topics will be available for all new exams, beginning June 10, 2019.

What certifications will be removed and what certifications will be added?

Certification technology tracks for CCNP and CCIE are being consolidated to Enterprise, Security, Service Provider, Collaboration and Data Center, which now include relevant topics from retired programs. You will see the topics from retired certifications reflected in new concentration exams. New DevNet certifications will include Cisco Certified DevNet Associate, Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist and Cisco Certified DevNet Professional.

How do I qualify for a training badge or a certification in the new portfolio structure?

For:

You get:

Successfully completing training

Training badge

Passing the CCNA exam

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Passing the Cisco Certified DevNet Associate exam

Cisco Certified DevNet Associate

Passing any written, proctored exam, with exception of the CCNA exam

Cisco Certified Specialist

Passing any DevNet written, proctored exam, with exception of the Cisco Certified DevNet Associate exam

Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist

Passing one core exam and one concentration exam in the same technology

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

Passing one DevNet core and one DevNet concentration exam

Cisco Certified DevNet Professional

Passing one core exam and the corresponding lab in the same technology

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)

With fewer technology tracks, how can I get certified in a technology that relates to my work?

We designed the new training and certification program to be customizable. For example, CCNP includes more options than ever before, with a concentration exam of your choice. And you can earn training badges for completing training and Specialist certifications for passing written, proctored exams in technologies and skills that relate directly to your job, interests, and aspirations.

How will the certification updates change the number of exams a user will take for certifications?

It will depend on each learner’s path. Our goal is to make it more convenient for learners to become certified and enable them to customize learning to best meet their needs. At the associate level, users  will take a single, comprehensive exam. At the professional level, users will need to take a core exam and their choice of concentration exam in the same technology track. At the expert level, users will need to take a core exam the corresponding lab exam. Specialist certifications will be awarded for passing any written, proctored exam, with the exception of associate level  exams.

What will happen to the CCDE and CCAr curriculum and certification?

In the enhanced portfolio, we’ve incorporated design subject matter into the CCIE lab exams. We are always evaluating our portfolio and will continue to make changes as needed. At this time, the CCDE and CCAr certifications will remain as they are today.

How is Cisco protecting the integrity and rigor of the certifications under the new structure?

As we enhance our program, our intent is to maintain and strengthen the integrity and rigor that Cisco certifications have today. At the CCNA level, we’ve broadened the topics within the exam to cover the range of skills required to manage digital networks. We’ve also embedded knowledge from across technologies into our associate level exam, making it more comprehensive than ever. At the CCNP and CCIE levels, we’ve increased the rigor of exams. The new core exams will cover essential knowledge for job roles within the network domain. And by offering concentration exams that cover depth of knowledge in specific topics, we’re validating your specific skills even more rigorously than in the past. Finally, CCIE exams will cover the entire network lifecycle of designing, deploying, operating and optimizing complex network scenarios.

Why were certain certifications removed from the portfolio? Does that mean my certification is no longer valid anymore? (examples CCNA Wireless, CCNA CyberOps)

We’ve consolidated the CCNA program into one, comprehensive exam that covers entry level networking skills across technologies, such as basic IP fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity, and basics of automation and network programmability, and security fundamental skills, because a breadth of skills is needed when first entering networking. We’ve refocused our CCNP and CCIE program to align with the five principal technologies, including Enterprise, Security, Service Provider, Collaboration and Data Center. Retired programs have been consolidated into these technology tracks. For example, we’ve consolidated Wireless into the Enterprise track, as wireless skills are critical in any enterprise deployment. Where subject matter fit into more than one potential track, as was the case with Automation and Programming, the subject matter became a concentration exam in multiple CCNP technology tracks. Where this is the case, the same content will be leveraged across tracks. Your  current certification is still valid and will be active until it’s expiration date.

How is Cisco working to protect the value of the certification that I currently hold today?

Cisco certifications are among the most valued in the industry. All our certification exams are designed and monitored by experts. They’re developed using a standardized, industry-accepted methodology, which generates valid, credible, valuable, and legally- defensible certifications. We are also constantly validating the integrity of the exams through test site monitoring, enforcement of candidate requirements, exam security practices, data analytics and investigations tied to the security tip line.

 How does this change impact Cisco Networking Academy?

We are expanding the Networking Academy to train students for the new CCNA certification and for the new DevNet Associate certification, which extends the program beyond developing networking professionals to also include developing software professionals for Cisco’s partners and customers.

What will happen to my existing certification when the new program goes into effect February 24, 2020?

  • For CCNA, Specialist and CCNP: Your current certification is still valid and will be active until its expiration date. When the new program goes into effect February 24, 2020, your current certification will be transitioned to an equivalent in the new program.
  • For CCIE: If you are an active CCIE, your suspended year will be converted to an active year. For example, if your active CCIE would have been suspended beginning April 21, 2020, you will sustain active status until April 21, 2021.

CCNA 

How is the new CCNA different from the previous CCNAs that Cisco offered?

We’ve consolidated and updated CCNA training and certification into one course, one comprehensive exam that covers entry-level networking skills across technologies, such as basic IP fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity, and basics of automation and network programmability, and security fundamental skills.

Will the CCNA certification still be required as a prerequisite for professional certifications?

The CCNA certification will no longer be required as a prerequisite for professional certifications, giving learners the ability to start where they choose in their learning journey.

CCNP

What is a technology core exam?

A technology core exam is one of the two exams required for CCNP, CCIE, and Cisco Certified DevNet Professional certifications. For CCNP and CCIE, there are five technology core exams available, focused on Enterprise, Security, Service Provider, Collaboration and Data Center. Technology core exams cover the foundational and common concepts that are required for a candidate to be proficient in a technology architecture. For Cisco Certified DevNet Professional, there is one DevNet core exam.

What is a concentration exam?

A concentration exam is one of the two exams required for professional-level certification (CCNP). Concentration exams take a deeper dive into a relevant and related technology to the core, allowing the candidate to choose a topic that is either of interest or related to his or her chosen technology area of focus. For CCNP, there are concentration exams for all five technology tracks, Enterprise, Security, Service Provider, Collaboration and Data Center. There are also multiple concentration exams available for Cisco Certified DevNet Professional.

What are the options for concentration exams?

Options for concentration exams can be found at the corresponding CCNP pages, listed  below:

Am I required to pass the technology core exam before I can take a concentration exam within the same track?

No, you may take the exams in any order you choose.

I passed my technology core exam. How long is it valid for and how much time do I have to pass the concentration exam or lab exam?

For passing your technology core exam, you’ll receive a Specialist certification, which will remain active for three years. You have until your Specialist certification expires to pass the concentration or lab exam to complete your professional or expert-level  certification.

I passed my technology core exam. Can I take and pass a concentration exam AND a lab exam to achieve my professional and expert-level certifications?

Yes, you can take and pass both a concentration exam and a lab exam within three years of passing the core exam to achieve your professional and expert-level  certifications.

CCIE

Is the technology core exam the same for both CCNP and CCIE exams?

Yes, the same written exam will serve as the core exam for CCNP certification and CCIE certification.

What are the options for CCIE lab exams in the new portfolio structure?

Learners will be able to choose between wireless and infrastructure lab exams within the Enterprise track. All other CCIE lab exams will be standardized to the technology track, including Security, Service Provider, Collaboration and Data Center.

Am I required to pass the technology core exam before I can take a lab exam within the same track?

Yes, you are required to pass the technology core exam before you take the lab  exam.

Why is the CCIE lab exam format changing?

The CCIE lab exam is being updated in order to assess candidates’ skills through the entire adoption lifecycle of designing, deploying, operating and optimizing complex network scenarios. The lab format will change to assess these skills  end-to-end.

How is the CCIE lab exam format changing?

The CCIE lab format is changing to assess candidates’ skills through the entire adoption lifecycle of designing, deploying, operating and optimizing complex network scenarios. The lab exam will consist of 2 modules that are fixed in time and will be delivered in a fixed sequence:

  • Module 1: Design (3 hours)
  • Module 2: Deploy, Operate and Optimize (5 hours)

Automation and Network Programmability skills are an integral part of both modules.

What are the details of the CCIE Lifetime Emeritus benefit?

A CCIE or CCIE Emeritus that maintains their active or Emeritus status for 20 years will have the option to choose a lifetime Emeritus status with no fee. For more information on the CCIE Lifetime Emeritus Benefit, please visit https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training- certifications/certifications/expert/ccie-program/emeritus.html.

If I’m an active CCIE today, when will my current certification expire?

If you are an active CCIE, your suspended year will be converted to an active year. For example, if your active CCIE would have been suspended beginning April 21, 2020, you will sustain active status until April 21, 2021.

 DevNet Certifications               

What is DevNet?

Cisco DevNet is Cisco’s developer program to help developers and IT professionals who want to write applications and develop integrations with Cisco products, platforms, and APIs. Cisco DevNet includes Cisco’s products in software-defined networking, security, cloud, data center, mobility, internet of things, collaboration, services and open-source software development. The developer.cisco.com site also provides learning and sandbox environments as well as video series for those trying to learn coding and testing apps.

The industry comes to DevNet to find Cisco Community resources like Code Exchange which includes code repositories related to Cisco technologies, Ecosystem Exchange to connect with the Global Cisco Partner Ecosystem and find solutions, and now DevNet Automation Exchange which is the industry leading code repository of network automation use cases.

Why is Cisco now offering DevNet certifications?

Cisco is announcing new DevNet certifications focused on validating the skill sets of software developers, DevOps engineers, automation specialists, and other software professionals.

The new offering will help unleash the full capabilities of the new network by educating network infrastructure engineers and software developers in application development, automation, DevOps, Cloud, and IoT.

How are DevNet certifications different than Cisco’s traditional certifications?

Cisco certifications are already known worldwide as some of the most prestigious networking credentials in the industry. DevNet certifications are a subset of Cisco certifications, intended to validate software skills, such as programming, application development, DevOps and automation.

While Cisco certifications are unique and distinct in their subject matter, they are very much complementary. Together, these certifications provide a comprehensive catalog that validates skill sets in both networking hardware and software. As Cisco has blended hardware and software to reflect the demands of the industry, so, too, are these certification programs aligned, making it easy for learners to fluidly move between technologies, solutions and programmability.

When will DevNet certification exams be available?

Exams for the Cisco Certified DevNet Associate, Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist and Cisco Certified DevNet Professional will be available February 24, 2020.

When will DevNet training courses be available to start preparing?

Simply visit https://developer.cisco.com/certification to learn the first steps needed to prepare for certifications. There you will find learning labs to get you started. Formal training courses will be available before the exams are released, and we will continue to provide updates on courses on our website as they become available.

How will I recertify my DevNet certification?

Details are forthcoming and more will be shared by February 24,  2020.

Can I just take a DevNet concentration exam alone?

Yes, you will earn a Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist if you successfully pass any professional-level DevNet exam.

Can I take more than one DevNet concentration exam?

Yes, you can take as many of the concentration exams as you’d like.

Can I get Continuing Education Credits for DevNet content?

Currently all DEVWKS workshops at Cisco Live events count toward a Continuing Education Credit. Further details are forthcoming and more will be shared by February 24,  2020.

How many continuing education credits will be required to recertify as a Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist, Cisco Certified DevNet Associate and Cisco Certified DevNet Professional?

Details are forthcoming and more will be shared by February 24, 2020.

Does Cisco plan to offer a DevNet Certified Expert certification in the future?

Yes, Cisco plans to offer a Cisco Certified DevNet Expert certification. Stay tuned at developer.cisco.com/certification to learn more.

What is the DevNet Automation Exchange?

Cisco DevNet Automation Exchange is an industry leading code repository with over 50 code repositories and use cases for network automation. This resource provides multi-domain network automation solutions to provide step-by-step guidelines with code repositories across your entire automation lifecycle. The Exchange use cases will solve our customers biggest problems and includes automation at scale, self-serve network operations, telemetry and insights, a holistic approach to monitoring your network and cross-domain automation of applications.

Utilize the Exchange to build more advanced and more capable networks with intent-based networking, multi-domain solutions, and APIs and programmability. You can share your code with the community and use code that has been created by the community. The Exchange is created by the community and curated by Cisco DevNet.

Specialist Certifications                     

What is a Specialist certification and how do I achieve it?

A Specialist certification covers a specific technology topic. You can earn a Specialist certification by passing any written, proctored exam in the certification portfolio, with the exception of associate-level exams.

Can you share a comprehensive list of exams that qualify me for a Specialist certification?

The complete list of exams that qualify for a Specialist certification can be found at https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training-certifications/certifications/specialist.html.

How will my current Specialist certification be impacted by these changes?

We are always evaluating our portfolio and will continue to make changes as needed. At this time, your current Specialist certification will remain as it is today.

How does NPDESI and NPDEV fit into the new portfolio structure?

We are always evaluating our portfolio and will continue to make changes as needed. At this time, NPDESI and NPDEV will remain as they are today.

Training & Training  Badges 

Will training courses be changing in response to the changes in our certification program?

Yes, this change represents a change to both our training and certification program. New training courses will align to the new certification structure.

When will training for the new exams be available?

Training for the new exams will be available beginning June 2019 and new training courses will continue to roll out over time.

What is happening to Cisco Expert Level Training (formerly CCIE 360)?

Cisco Expert Level Training will no longer be sold after August 2019.

Why will you stop selling Cisco Expert Level Training? What new training resources will be available for CCIEs?

Our new program will include training for the technology core exam, the new written exam required to become a CCIE. We will continue to assess training needs of CCIEs as we roll out the new portfolio.

How do I earn a training badge?

More details will be released when training badges are available February 24, 2020.

What do you mean by level 100, 200, 300 and 400 training courses?

More details will be released when training badges are available February 24, 2020.

When will I be able to start earning training badges?

You may start earning training badges beginning February 24, 2020.

Where do I track completed training courses and how do I obtain my badges? NOTE: This should be used as a responsive statement only.

More details will be released by February 24, 2020.

Pricing

Will there be any price differences between the current certification exams and the new ones?

The total cost to achieve certification has been reduced. When the new exams are released, you can find pricing for each at the Pearson VUE webpage for Cisco exams http://www.pearsonvue.com/vouchers/pricelist/cisco.asp

Recertification

How do I recertify as of February 24, 2020?

As of February 24, 2020, certified individuals, including CCNA, Cisco Certified Specialist, CCNP and CCIE, will be able to recertify by either taking exams, earning Continuing Education credits or a mix of both. Continuing education activities include things like attending Cisco Live training sessions, authoring content, completing online training courses, completing instructor-led training courses and more. Visit www.cisco.com/go/recertificaton  for  more information.

How many continuing education credits do I need in order to recertify?

  • To recertify as CCNA, you’ll need to complete 30 continuing education  credits.
  • To recertify as Cisco Certified Specialist, you’ll need to complete 40 continuing education credits.
  • To recertify as CCNP, you’ll need to complete 80 continuing education  credits.
  • To recertify as CCIE, you’ll need to complete 120 continuing education credits.

Visit www.cisco.com/go/recertificaton for more  information.

Can I recertify my CCNA, CCNP, CCIE or Specialist certification by successfully getting a DevNet certification?

Any exam, including DevNet certification exams, that you pass will count towards recertifying your CCNA, CCNP and CCIE or Specialist certifications, beginning February 24, 2020.

If my certification is being retired, how long do I have before my current certification expires?

Your current certification will be active until its current expiration date. If your certification is retired, any time remaining in your current certification lifecycle will remain unchanged.

How will the recertification cycle be changing under the new portfolio structure?

Beginning February 24, 2020, certified individuals will be required to recertify every 3 years. Candidates will be able to recertify by either taking exams, earning Continuing Education credits or a mix of both. Continuing education activities include things like attending Cisco Live training sessions, completing online training courses and more. Also, any active CCIE or CCIE Emeritus that maintains their CCIE Active or Emeritus status for 20 consecutive years will have the option to become a CCIE Lifetime Emeritus and will not have to pay additional Emeritus renewal fees.

How will these changes impact the continuing education administrative fee?

 As of February 24, 2020, the continuing education administrative fee will be retired. Candidates will no longer be required to pay the administrative fee.

Is my 3-year certification cycle based on my original certification date or based on the date that I most recently recertified?

Your certification status will be active for three years from when you earn your certification. Each time you complete recertification requirements, your certification status will be extended for an additional three years from the date you recertify. This marks a change for CCIE certified individuals, as previously CCIE certification was active for 2 years, and each recertification event extended certification status for an additional two years from the original certification date. For reference, here’s an example of how the new recertification cycle will work:

  • Certified: Feb 1, 2019 à expiration: Feb 1, 2022
  • Recertify: Nov 1, 2019 à expiration: Nov 1, 2022
  • Recertify: Aug 1, 2020 à expiration: Aug 1, 2023

Why did you increase the number of CCIE recertification credits required?

In the past, the CCIE recertification cycle was a two-year cycle. Now, the CCIE recertification cycle is three years. Due to this increase in the recertification cycle, we correspondingly increased the number of continuing education credits required for recertification to maintain the rigor of the program and ensure skills are continually refreshed.

When will the new recertification policy go into effect?

The new recertification policy will go into effect beginning February 24,  2020.

If I’ve accumulated a certain amount of recertification credits, will I lose my credits when the new recertification policy goes into effect February 24, 2020?

No, you won’t lose your credits. They will be applied towards your recertification under the new  policy.

What will happen to the CCIE suspended status?

The CCIE suspended status will be retired as of February 24, 2020. If you’re in a suspended status as of February 24, 2020, your certification will be considered active for the remainder of the suspended  term. To remain active beyond the suspended term, CCIEs must meet new recertification requirements. For example, if your suspended status ends in April 10, 2020, your CCIE will become active February 24, 2020 and will expire April 10, 2020 unless new recertification requirements are   met.

Does continuing education apply to DevNet certifications too?

Details will be forthcoming for these new certifications when they are available February 24, 2020.

Transition

What will happen to the people who are studying for their CCNA, Specialist certification, CCNP or CCIE right now?

Cisco will be there to help those in transition every step of the way. We have a plan to get them from where they are to where they want to be. There is an eight-month lead time to enable learners to complete certifications under the existing program OR plan to train and certify under the enhanced program. New and updated training courses will be rolled out beginning in June 2019, representing a breadth and depth of critical skills in key technology areas. New certification tests will be available February 24, 2020. Dedicated tools and resources will help you navigate the transition. For specific information on how your certification will transition, please visit the specific certification track page.

How long do I have to complete my CCNA, Specialist certification, CCNP or CCIE before the current exams expire?

There is an eight-month lead time to enable learners to complete certifications under the existing program OR plan to train and certify under the enhanced program. New and updated training courses will be rolled out beginning in June 2019, representing a breadth and depth of critical skills in key technology areas. New certification tests will be available February 24, 2020. Dedicated tools and resources will help you navigate the transition. For specific information on how your certification will transition, please visit the specific certification track page.

I’m in the middle of studying for an exam or just completed the first of two exams towards CCNA, CCNP or CCIE. What’s my transition plan?

Cisco will be there to help those in transition every step of the way. We have a plan to get you from where you are to where you want to be. There is an eight-month lead time to enable learners to complete certifications under the existing program OR plan to train and certify under the enhanced program. New and updated training courses will be rolled out beginning in June 2019, representing a breadth and depth of critical skills in key technology areas. New certification tests will be available February 24, 2020. Dedicated tools and resources will help you navigate the transition. For specific information on how your certification will transition, please visit the specific certification track page.

If my current Cisco certification transitions to a different certification in February 2020, will I receive a new certificate for my certification?

Yes, if you hold an active certification on February 24, 2020, you will be granted the corresponding updated certification. For example, if you have an active CCNA Routing and Switching on February 24, 2020, you will be granted the CCNA certification. Please note that when you are granted the updated certification(s), your recertification deadline will remain unchanged.

In the case where a single retiring exam doesn’t map to a new exam, what can I do?

There are certain situations in which two specific retiring exams will map to a single exam in the new framework. To get credit for the exam you’ve already taken, we encourage you to complete the second retiring exam within the eight-month transition window. For example, if you’re a CCENT today, you’ll have eight months to complete your second exam and become a CCNA in the  process.

If you have any additional questions or would like to schedule classes for the new certifications please contact your NterOne Sales Rep or send an email to Sales@NterOne.com