Cisco certifications Major update in 2020

30 Jul 2019

Cisco certifications Major update- Changes in 2020

Major updates are coming to the Cisco certification program in February 2020. Check out here exactly what the changes are, why Cisco have made those changes, how they affect you and what you should do if you’re currently studying for or considering starting towards a Cisco Certification.

Summary of the changes made in Cisco Certifications: 

  • The entry-level CCENT certification is being retired.
  • The different tracks are being removed at the CCNA level.
  • The tracks are being consolidated at the CCNP and CCIE level.
  • All the certifications tracks and levels are affected.
  • The main certification levels remain the same like CCNA, CCNP and CCIE.
  • The recertification period for all certifications will be 3 years.
  • The changes come into effect on February 24th, 2020.

CCNA Cisco Certified Network Associate:

Current CCNA Tracks CCNA tracks from February24th
  • CCNA Routing and Switching
  • CCNA security
  • CCNA collaboration
  • CCNA Datacenter
  • CCNA cyberOPs
  • CCNA Service provider
  • CCNA Cloud
  • CCNA wireless
  • CCNA industrial
  • CCDA Design
  • CCNA
  • Cisco Certified DevNet Associate(new)
To achieve the CCNA R&S , a candidate should 

  • Take both ICND1(100-105), and ICND2(200-105)
  • Take the single CCNA (200-125)
To achieve the CCNA R&S, a candidate should

  • Take the single CCNA 200-301 exam

The 10 current CCNA tracks will no longer be available from 24th February 2020.

Why the changes are made in Cisco Certifications?

Initially, when cisco were originally a routing and switching company, they released the CCNA certification which was the equivalent of today’s CCNA R&S. Cisco went on to expand into other technology areas such as Security with the devices like ASA and the collaboration with products such as cisco unified communications manager(now). Etc. tracks being added eventually culminating the 10 tracks available today.

This way, it can be confusing both for new network engineers and also for the employers wishing to get certified, having 10 different CCNA tracks.

The other concern is that the engineers working on real Cisco networks are typically expected to have the skills across multiple tracks., and the current certification program means they have to either study all the different tracks  which would be very time consuming and expensive., or pick up knowledge on the job without structured study showing the right way to do things.

Hence, Cisco are addressing this by consolidating the 10 tracks into a single CCNA certification which covers foundational level knowledge across all of them which includes Network automation and programmability.

For the list of new topics of CCNA(200-301), please click on the below link:


When do The change effect from?

February 23rd 2020 is the last day to take any of the current exams and the first day to take new exams is February 24th 2020.In the past, when Cisco certifications have been updated, there’s usually a transitional period of around 3 months. Because this is such a major update from Cisco, they are doing a clean cutover on a specific date.

How does it affect for the certified/going to get certified before Feb 24th?

If you  achieve a certification before February 24th , you will automatically receive the equivalent new certification after the cutover date. You will need to recertify 3 years(with the latest version from 24th feb) after the date you were certified.

Cisco Certified DevNet Associate:

Cisco are releasing the new Cisco Certified DevNet Associate certification to give engineers the knowledge and skills to program network environments. Network programmability and automation is a comparatively new technology which is becoming more prevalent. It’s aimed at developers who want to learn how to use their skills in networks, or network engineers who are cross training into programming. 

CCENT Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician:

The CCENT certification is being retired from February 24th 2020.

The qualification is not well known to employers and job adverts for network positions typically require atleast the CCNA.

If you have already passed the CCENT with the ICND1 100-105 exam. I highly recommend you upgrade to the CCNA by taking the ICND2 200-1.5 exam before the changeover. If you don’t do so, you will need to take the new 200-301 exam to get your CCNA.

CCNP Cisco Certified Network Professional:

Current CCNP Tracks CCNP tracks from February24th
  • CCNP Routing and Switching
  • CCNP security
  • CCNP collaboration
  • CCNP Datacenter
  • CCNP Service provider
  • CCNP Cloud
  • CCNP wireless
  • CCDP Design
  • CCNP Enterprise(covers wired, wireless)
  • CCNP Datacenter
  • CCNP security
  • CCNP collaboration
  • CCNP Service Provider
  • Cisco Certified DevNet Professional(new)
To achieve the CCNP , a candidate need to pass 3 or 4 (depending on the track) To achieve the CCNP a candidate should pass 2 exams for each track

  • A technology core exam-covers fundamental and common concepts
  • A concentration exam-a deeper dive into the technolgy
As a prerequisite, a candidate should usually have atleast CCENT to get a CCNP certification. There are no prerequisites

You can check what credit you will receive in the new program for passing CCNP level exams before February 24th with the CCNP Migration tools here:


If you achieve a certification before feb 24th, you will automatically receive the equivalent new certification after the cutover date. You will need to recertify 3 years after the date you attained the certification.

CCIE Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert:

Current CCIE Tracks CCIE tracks from February24th
  • CCIE Routing and Switching
  • CCIE security
  • CCIE collaboration
  • CCIE Datacenter
  • CCIE Service provider
  • CCIE wireless
  • CCDE Design
  • CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure(focuses on wired networks)
  • CCIE Enterprise Wireless
  • CCIE security
  • CCIE collaboration
  • CCIE Service Provider
  • CCIE Datacenter
  • Cisco Certified DevNet Expert is planned but the date of availability has not been released yet.
To achieve the CCIE, you need to do a written and a lab exam for each track To achieve the CCIE a candidate should pass 2 exams for each track

  • A technology core exam
  • A lab exam with 2 modules:
  1. Design(3 hours)
  2. Deploy, Operate and Optimize(5 hours)
There are no prerequisites There are no prerequisites
Recertification for every 2 years Recertification for every 3 years
CCIE Emeritus:

A candidate can apply for CCIE Emeritus after holding an active CCIE certification for 10 years.

CCIE Emeritus:

A candidate can apply for lifetime CCIE Emeritus for free., after he/she have been an active CCIE/CCIE Emeritus for 20 years.

Automation and Network Programmability are being added in the new exams.

What is CCIE Emeritus?

With Emeritus status, a candidate needn’t take a recertification exam, they just need to submit a short report confirming that they are still engaged with Cisco Technologies and pay an annual fee which works out at the same price as recertifying by taking the CCIE written exam every two years. They don’t keep all the benefits of an active CCIE when they have Emeritus status but it saves them having to recertify every two years.

Specialist Certifications:

Specialist certifications will continue similarly to how they are now after the cutover. You will receive a specialist certification for passing individual CCNP level exams or exams outside the mail certification programs.

For more information on the Certification updates, please click on the links below


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