Cisco changes certification content

IT professionals with Cisco certifications will soon see some changes in the exam content and coding line up that reflect both their increased skills levels and changing technologies.

Cisco announced several changes to its Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP) certification, as well as a revamp of its associate re-certifications procedures to highlight candidates who have demonstrated skills beyond their current associate level certifications.

As part of a restructure of CCDP, the vendor is replacing its Cisco Internetwork Design (CID) course and exam component with a new Designing Cisco Network Architectures (Arch) course and exam. This means Arch now represents one of four exams that candidates will be required to pass in order to gain their CCDP certification.

According to Cisco Systems marketing programs manager of the Internet learning solutions group, Nader Nanjiani, CID was created at a time where the focus on video over IP was not as prevalent.

He said the new Arch course and exam will cover current topics around converging voice, video and data over an IP network. "The [Arch] course and exam will prove to be more relevant content than the CID content for individuals who design complex enterprise network architectures, including network analysts, network consultants and system engineers.”

Those who have already undertaken the CID exam to complete their current CCDP certification however, do not have to undertake the Arch exam in order to keep their CCDP status, Nanjiani said.

Training for the Arch exam will be available from Cisco’s worldwide Learning Partners and the Partner E-Learning Connection, while the exam will be conducted worldwide by Virtual University Enterprises and Prometric.

Cisco has also changed its re-certifications procedures to allow those who have passed selected new exams at the higher professional or Cisco Qualified Specialist levels to be automatically re-certified at either of its two associate levels: Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). Courses which automatically re-certify candidates must begin with the 642 prefix (such as Arch).

Alternatively, candidates can sit the re-certification CCDA or CCNA exam to regain their certification. Certifications are valid for three years.

Cisco offers four levels of certification: associate, professional, expert and specialist. More than 450,000 certifications have been awarded since the launch of the Cisco Network Academy program, Nanjiani said.

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