CCENT or CCNA?

CCENT stands for Cisco Certified Entry level Network Technician.  Cisco launched the CCENT is 2008 to help make gaining a networking certification easier.  Before the CCENT existed the CCNA was Cisco’s entry level qualification.

As a networking student, you now have two routes to gaining the popular CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification.  You can either take one exam or take two exams (ICND1 and ICND2).  When you pass the ICND1 you get the CCENT certification, then when you pass the second exam (ICND2) you will be CCNA certified.

Certification Exams
CCENT Pass one exam - ICND1
CCNA

Two options:
Pass one CCNA exam or pass ICND1 and ICND2 exam

Each ICND exam is approximately half the CCNA syllabus giving you the time and flexibility to gain a certification (CCENT) and learn the subject matter in more depth while working towards your CCNA.

If you are fairly new to networking it would be preferable to take earn the CCENT certification first (by taking the ICND1 exam) rather than trying to learn all the knowledge required to pass the CCNA in one go.    On the other hand if you have been working in IT for some time and already have a good understanding of networking you may prefer to take the CCNA exam straight away.  Take a look at the pros and cons of obtaining your CCNA via the CCENT route below.

Pros and Cons for CCENT

 

Pros Cons
Less to study and memorise You will pay for two exams (ICND1 and 2)
Less pressure/commitment on yourself Takes longer to pass the CCNA
Learn the subjects in more depth CCENT is not as well known as CCNA
Get a CCENT qualification when you pass You won’t be able to apply for CCNA jobs
  Your knowledge will be tested to a greater depth over two exams because its roughly twice as many questions than CCNA exam

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