Cisco CCDA Certification
(Please note that this is an Associate Level certification as per the levels defined by Cisco for its certifications. These are Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert, Specialist and Architect)
What is this Cisco CCDA Certification all about?
This is one of Cisco’s Associate level certifications. It deals with those networking professionals whose career in Networkinh has a shift towards ‘Designing Networks’ or as Cisco puts it, “ Designing a Cisco Converged Network”. Network professionals who site for this exam are supposed to show that they have the following skills, among many. These are, “design routed and switched network infrastructures and services involving LAN, WAN, and broadband access for businesses and organizations”.
The following are what the CCDA Curriculum covers:
- Designing basic campus
- Data center
- Wireless networks
What are the Pre-requisites of CCDA Certification?
As Cisco mentions it quite clearly, “CCNA level knowledge and BCMSN level knowledge is needed to prepare for the CCDA certification exam.”However, we recommend that any person who sits for the exam in this certification come fully prepared for the exam. Allot yourself at the very least a few months to prepare for the exam.
Who is the Cisco CCDA Certification for?
The Cisco CCDA Certification, is as mentioned above, part of the Cisco Associate Level certifications that is one step above the entry level certifications – such as the CCENT certifications. In this Associate Level, there are two major certifications; the CCNA and CCDA certification. The CCDA Certification covers the ‘Networking Design’ skills area whereas the CCNA certification covers other areas of Networking. Thus, this certification is for those individuals who would like to test and build there skills specifically on Designing Cisco-Based Networks.
Why should I get certified? What benefits are there?
Since Cisco is the premier standard in the Networking industry any networks related job that requires skills whereas networking design is concerned will require these skills. And employers require proof of certification such as CCDA or CCNA which is the standard for basic networking jobs.
Additionally, other IT Professionals whose main field isn’t Networking may find that taking such a certification opens them up to many job roles. Why? This is because Networking is a fundamental part of the IT Infrastructure of an organization and if an IT Professional is also certified with the CCDA certification then he/she will have an added advantage and the possibility of passing his/her competition.
Cisco Certification Exams in General
What Are the Exams Like?
- The duration of most theoretical exams is one to two hours. Lab (practical) exams typically last eight hours.
- Questions include multiple-choice single answer, multiple-choice multiple answers, drag and drop, fill in the blank and simulations.
- Exams other than CCIE lab exams are delivered online
What Do They Cost?
- Computer-based certification exam prices range from $80 to $325 US dollars or equivalent worldwide. The ICND1 and ICND2 exams are $125 USD, the CCNA exam is $250 USD and the professional level CCNP and CCDP Composite exam is $300 USD, and CCIE written exams are $350 USD. Payment is made directly to the authorized test delivery partner Pearson Vue.
- CCIE lab exams are $1,400 USD. Payment is made online via credit card or wire transfer
How do I take the exams?
Exams are regularly administered worldwide by Pearson VUE http://www.vue.com/cisco which is Cisco’s examination delivery partner (just as Prometric if Microsoft’s partner). Pearson VUE routinely organizes exams on various dates
How do I prepare for the exams?
- Training through Institutions – The authorized source for Cisco IT training delivered exclusively by Certified Cisco Instructors. For a list of Cisco Learning Partners, use the Learning Partner Locator.
- Training through Books – A variety of Cisco Press titles may be available for this exam. These titles can be purchased through the Cisco Marketplace Bookstore, or directly from Cisco Press.
- Resources, Assistance and guidance through the online Cisco Learning Network
- Exam Cram Books – Exam Cram has a wide array of preparation tools for the popular CCNA, CCNP, and CCSP certifications, including simulation-based practice questions along with other late-stage study vehicles to get you ready for test time.
- Safari Bookshelf – The premier electronic reference library for programming and IT professionals with more than 1,200 titles.
- Cisco Networking Academy – http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/netacad/index.html
- Cisco Certification Study Groups – https://cisco.hosted.jivesoftware.com/groups
How am I certified?
What certifications and exams come under Cisco CCDA Certification?
640-863 DESGNDesigning for Cisco Internetwork Solutions Exam
|Duration:||90 minutes (65 questions)|
|Available Languages:||English, Japanese|
|Click Here to Register:||Pearson VUE|
|Exam Policies:||Read current policies and requirements|
|Exam Tutorial:||Review type of exam questions|
|Register for Course:||DESGN course and other offerings|
Validity of the Cisco CCDA Certification
This Certification is valid for upto 3 years after the certification has been awarded. After 3 years any and every networks professional will have to re-sit this exam so as to be re-certified. Cisco has created this system to ensure that all network’s professionals stay up to date with latest trends and changes in networking technologies and standards.
Resources for the Exams
- Several Resources are available at the Cisco Learning Network –https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/certifications/ccda/desgn?view=overview
- Cisco Certification Exams Tutorial –http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/learning_certification_exam_tutorial.html
Link to Official Cisco CCDA Website