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Difference between the New CCNA and the Old CCNA

new ccna

What changes in the new CCNA certification:

The CCNA certification as we all know is revered as one of the top Cisco certifications. Cisco we all are aware shares a reputation of being the finest in the business. 
At Cisco Live in 2019, Cisco announced enormous changes to their current certification exams, including the Cisco Certified Network Associate or CCNA exam. Cisco has eliminated a major number of CCNA certification tracks, to further the new advanced CCNA exam.  Before we begin to learn more about the newer CCNA and the differences both have, let’s have a look at the history of CCNA.

The Updated CCNA Certification:

The CCNA certification has been updated in  a way that the certification seekers are to only take one exam:
The Cisco Certified Network Associate (200-301) CCNA. Candidates had always been taking several exams to earn the certification. The change was brought about in 2020 on 24 February. The exam was designed in a way that tends to prove an individual’s worth to deal with the evolving IT landscape. The new exam tests an aspirant for competency in numerous skills and expertise in various areas of need, like networking fundamentals and as well as programmability and automation. 


The aspirants do not need any such prerequisites for the 200-301 exam, but as per the recommendation by CISCO, the aspirants should have at least a year of experience in Cisco solutions,s and moreover, they should have basic knowledge of IP addressing. They should be well versed in all the networking basics

The below-mentioned associate-level certifications are now encompassed in the new CCNA. This cuts down the time invested and moreover, helps an aspirant focus on one exam thoroughly. 

The news of badges being allotted to all candidates for the exam taken and the courses undertaken by them, is doing rounds although, there has been no ground to this news. This exam now replaces the following tedious list of certifications an aspirant had to take initially:

  1. CCNA Collaboration
  2. CCNA Cloud 
  3. CCNA Industrial
  4. CCNA Wireless 
  5. CCNA Datacenter.
  6. CCNA Service provider. 
  7. CCNA Routing and Switching.

History :

Cisco has a reputation for setting a benchmark in the world of Information Technology. Cisco Certified Network Associate certification was introduced as a precursor to all the new Cisco Certifications. This entry-level certification was introduced in the year 1998 at the Philadelphia Networker Show. It was during this time that newer certifications were also introduced. 

Let’s have a look at the newer updated CCNA and know how it’s been improvised and how it has become better. 

What changes in the new CCNA?

The changes that have been brought in the CCNA certification, have been described as a revolution in the role of network professionals and software developers to enhance business practices for the good and also to drive technology innovation. To understand this better let’s have a look at the following instances:
DevNet; Cisco’s developer program, will now cover software developers and certified network professionals in one single community. 

Cisco has decided on releasing new software certifications to guarantee IT professionals are the needed standard to meet the demands for automation and programming. 

While preparing IT professionals for associate-level IT jobs, the new exam will encompass more skills and knowledge. Cisco sees the changes as incorporating software practices into networking, creating one community by having developers and networkers work together to solve network problems.

GOAL behind changing CCNA :

The Goal that Cisco evidently had in mind was to bring development and network professionals to work closely together. This move is enough to cast a change in the industry where automation and network careers are becoming aligned more closely, as the number of companies demanding this ability from IT pros is ever increasing. Cisco is hopeful that the new changes that have been brought about will surely inspire agility for all those who are looking to build careers in IT. They will be able to cope with the constantly changing IT landscape and the certifications. They will be able to deliver what all enterprises are looking for.

The proportion of new exams will be as follows:

25%- IP connectivity. 

20%-Network Access

20%- Network Fundamentals

10%- IP services

15%- Security Fundamentals

10%- Automation and Programmability   

The road after CCNA:

The aspirants after taking the exam have a number of opportunities ahead of them. Once they’ve earned their CCNA they are free to pursue different specializations from among the Cisco Certified Specialist Careers. The horizon keeps on getting wider as the basics of networking are made strong at the start. Itself. The candidate acquires multiple skills that shall help them to learn and perform better.    

No Disappointments:

The new updated CCNA doesn’t necessarily bring any disappointments for people who had been preparing for the exam before the announcement of the update or the changes in the certification, as the changes didn’t happen until the 24 of the next year of the announcement year.         


The updated CCNA has stirred up quite a debate and there are many questions that need to be answered. Now we shall have a look at a few such questions regarding the new CCNA certification :

The newer CCNA exam; Implementing and administering Cisco Solutions (200-301 CCNA) is replacing the existing CCNA and CCDA certifications.

The most notable change in the new CCNA exam is that there will be no specialization, the specialization will now be done at the  CCNP level.

The new CCNA on the whole is a little harder than the previous exam. 


On the whole, the new CCNA is a more updated version of the existing exam. Moreover, this certification will create more efficient professionals and make their job opportunities even brighter. Although the improved new CCNA will be preferred and more revered even by job providers but it isn’t a matter of concern for aspirants who have already done the CCNA as the job opportunities are still humongous and this certification will remain the most sought-after certification for getting a start in the world of Networking.