Cisco Redesigns Most Everything about Cisco Certifications: First 5 Facts

 In 200-301 V1 CCC No Category on Purpose, News

Think of everything you know about Cisco career certifications, the various CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE certifications, and all the exams. Cisco just announced its redesign of the whole thing. Sweeping, across-the-board, impactful changes.

I’ll be blogging about these changes, teaching Safari classes about it, tweeting, and doing what I can to help us all through the transition. This post gives the first five facts I think you’d want to know. I have another post ready with the next-five facts which I’ll release either today or tomorrow once I’ve vetted a few facts. Also, I’ve got posts specific to CCNA written and ready for this week as well and ready to post in the next day or so.

You will need time to read and digest all the details. This post is a place to start.


Hello to You Regulars, Welcome to Newbies

Just a quick note. Most people who read this blog regularly are currently pursuing CCNA. I’ll be walking you through the transition for months, so stay tuned! Cisco made this announcement the same week as Cisco Live, so it’s going to be a hectic week for me. I’ll get to the core of the CCNA details some this week and more in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

For you, newbies, welcome! Join in as much as you like, and comment as well. Note that the blog settings do require me to approve comments from new users for a time or three until your comments appear without approval (as a spam prevention method). Bear with me during announcement week to give me time some to approve comments while also running around the CLUS event.

I’ve organized these first few posts into “Top N” style. Enjoy, comments, tweet, whatever!


1: Revealed 2019, Released 2020: February 2020 for New Cisco Certifications/Exams

In June 2019, Cisco revealed their plan. However, unlike every other similar announcement, they did not release new certifications or exams today. All the “old” exams and certifications are still current. Per pre-announce info, they all stay current until Feb 24, 2020.

So, take a breath. Nothing changed today. Nothing changes this calendar year even. You have time to digest it all, consider the changes, finish your current exam, maybe two, maybe three, before the transition occurs in February 2020. (Cisco plans to release training material about the new exams before February as those become available.)


2: Removed CCNA Breadth: Most CCNA CertificationsGone

Cisco announced their sweeping changes to the career certifications in June 2019. At that time, four associate-level certifications had some prerequisite (with CCENT certification being the minimum), and six others with no prerequisites, as shown in this figure.


3: Reaffirmed CCNA (R&S:) Still the Foundation of it All

I don’t expect Cisco to talk a lot about CCNA with their announcements, given that only one remains. However, if you filter all the noise with this detailed announcement and its many parts, the revision from the CCNA 200-125 exam to the new CCNA 200-301 exam looks very much like a typical revision to what we have known as CCNA Routing and Switching for the past decade-plus.

For those of you who know my past books, you won’t be surprised to hear I’ve been working on new CCNA Cert Guides. To get a sense of size, consider the existing CCNA 200-125 exam to be 100% in size. The new 200-301 is smaller at about 75% the size (in terms of content) as compared to 200-125. Of that relative size, roughly 55% is old content from the 200-125 exam, with 20% new content (to total 75% in comparison to the 200-125 exam content.)

Next, if you put the new blueprint next to the new CCNP Enterprise Core blueprint, you can see some interesting facts:

  • CCNP Enterprise Core appears to pick up where CCNA stops, both in terms of depth and topic areas.
  • CCNP Enterprise Core requires the knowledge in CCNA

So, just like you cannot reasonably attempt the current CCNP Routing and Switching (R&S) certification without knowing the content of the CCNA R&S certification, the same holds with the new CCNP Enterprise and CCNA certifications. Additionally, if you look closely at the CCNP DC, CCNP SP, CCNP Collaboration, and CCNP Security revisions, and the Core exam for each, you will find some CCNP Core exam topics that require knowledge of CCNA topics.

The result: The new CCNP certifications do not require CCNA certification, but the knowledge and skills in the new CCNA act as the foundation for all the CCNP tracks, especially the CCNP Enterprise track.


4: Remixed CCNP: 8 CCNP/CCDP remixed to 5 CCNP

The storyline in this blog post so far is this: You have time to digest and choose a course of action. Be aware that Cisco will be removing most of the CCNA certifications, while keeping and solidifying the place of what was CCNA R&S (soon-to-be simply CCNA). So, what’s left after all these removals? A remix of CCNP, resulting in five tracks.

When Cisco made these announcements in June 2019, there were eight professional-level Cisco certifications, as you see in the next figure. Cisco will remove CCDP, CCNP Cloud, and CCNP Wireless.

Those topics do not just disappear, of course. So, what happened?

CCDP: CCNP Enterprise includes a Concentration exam on Design which looks similar to the old architecture exam for CCDP, with other design topics spread around the other CCNP certifications

CCNP Cloud: (I do not know if it survived the cut. Stay tuned for more!)

CCNP Wireless: Remixed into CCNP Enterprise with two CCNP Enterprise Concentration exams

The results: come February 2020, Cisco will offer five CCNP certifications, as shown here:


5: Reduced Exam Requirements: CCNP = 1 Core Exam + 1 Concentration Exam

Here in June 2019, if you scan all the current CCNP certifications, all except CCNP R&S require you to pass four exams. A few give you a choice of one exam or the other, but for the most part, they each require a predefined set of four exams.

Cisco reimagined CCNP with the result being:

  • A CCNP certification with two exams
  • Every CCNP has one required “Core” exam (CCNP Enterprise Core, CCNP Security Core, and so on).
  • Every CCNP has several Concentration exams available – you pick any one exam to pass to complete your certification.
  • Want to learn more? Take other Concentration exams and earn badges (I don’t know details yet – but it’s some credential for passing one exam.)


I know some of you might be a little skeptical, so as an example:

  • To get CCNP Enterprise, pass CCNP Enterprise Core, plus any one CCNP Enterprise Concentration exam (for example, CCNP Enterprise Advanced Routing), and get your CCNP.
  • To get CCNP Security, pass CCNP Security Core, plus CCNP Security Securing Networks with Cisco Firepower (or any Concentration exam) to get your CCNP Security certification.

More to Come!

I’ll be blogging and tweeting all this week for the announcement and digging in with more blog posts in the months between the reveal and release. Stay tuned!



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Just lovely. Right after I bought a few Cisco Press books for the cancelled certs. Will see if I can send them back now.


so i would like to ask should i go for ccna now or wait until the new release


Wait for the new CCNA


Tks for the update !


I’m set to take the ROUTE exam at the beginning July. Should I still take it or wait for the new CCNP setup?


Do we have any knowledge on what happens to folks who got a CCNA Security or Collaboration AFTER they got the CCNA Route and switch? Come February we will have nothing to show for getting a CCNA in these tracks since they will just all be rolled into one as the new CCNA.


Thanks for the response! I have seen that tool for the current CCNP exams migrating to the new CCNP enterprise but not for anything else yet, but will take another look. Btw your cert books are an amazing resource and pretty much integral to me passing the CCNA. Thank you!


Mr. wendell i was planning to go for ccna cyber ops exam as i have a voucher for both exams should i go for it or not

Akram Al-Wardany

i’ll follow you to get the latest news

John Brown

These updates from Cisco, Microsoft, VMWare, are all so tiresome. I think people are starting to realize that these certs are meaningless so less and less people striving to get them. They are all just a waste of money if you ask me.


Hi John,

Please advise then what to follow in Networking.


Hmm, so if we currently hold CCNA Route Switch certification and want to maintain our certification after February 2020, our only options are:
– Take a CCNP level exam
– Take the new CCNA exam

Is that correct?

It’s unfortunate because my Cisco cert is good through July 2021 (3 years), and I was looking forward to taking the CCNA CyberOps exam to maintain my current Cisco cert. If I take the CyberOps exam before February it would extend my CCNA Route Switch cert by 18 months, and then I end up with the CyberOps cert that is going away/disappearing.

It does not appear there will be a direct replacement for the Cisco CyberOps exam. I imagine there are a number of people in my current situation.

Interested to hear your thoughts and if I am understanding the situation correctly. Thank you.

Josh Gold

Okay it looks like there is going to be new continuing education options for CCNA level cert holders wishing to maintain their certs starting in February 2020.

I am interested to find out what types of courses are eligible, and if non-Cisco courses will be permissible. Also I am curious to find out the cost of Cisco continuing education courses.

Josh Gold

Thanks for all your info on recertification. We will see how things develop and what Cisco decides to do for continuing education requirements for CCNA and CCNP holders. I’m sure more information on continuing education requirements will be forthcoming.


Hi Wendell,
Say someone completes CCNA R&S before the cut off date. Would you say they need to review some topics from the new CCNA (new material) before attempting to start on CCNP Enterprise Core exam?

Khowaja Zainullabuddin Siddique

Hello Dear Teacher, and highly appreciate your works, I have used your books for ICND1 and ICND 2 and passed the exam in 3 months, right now I am CCNA R&S certified until 2021, I have passed the CCIE R&S written exam, and now busy with Lab preparation, recently I heard that cisco have changed everything, and I have shocked then what happen with my CCNA R&S certificate and CCIE R&S written exam, and many people say that I should learn python for LAB, I am a little bit worry about these issues, I need your honorable advice and what do you think ciscopress release any new book for CCIE R&S or not.
with respect !
Khowaja Zainullabuddin Siddique
from Afghanistan

Scot Cunningham

Thanks for the blog post Wendell. Very helpful.

Will you have new books coming out? When will they be available? When will the old ones go out of print?


Scot Cunningham

Awesome, thanks Wendell. Would love to see a draft Table Of Contents for Vol 1 and Vol 2 when you have them.

Julie Lofquist

Hi Mr. Odom, Thanks for your great blog. One thing I am unclear of (please excuse if this has been answered elsewhere): with the upcoming changes, will there still be a CCENT exam?


Julie, CCENT exam is gone (by FEB 2020), the new CCNA 200-301 replace all associate level tracks. I have looked at the syllabus and I feel it would have been cool to give an option for a two path and one way composite exam. I am sitting for my ICND2 exam next month, and it seems those with ICND2/ CCNAX will be migrated to the new CCNA 200-301 without having to resit the exam! However the validity period I understand is not reset.


I’m planning on taking the ROUTE exam at the beginning of July, 2019, is it still worth it?


It’s worth it if you also take your SWITCH exam before Feb 2020, with both you will get the new Cisco Certified Specialist -Core, and will need only one concentration exam to get your CCNP Enterprise certification. check out the tool below

Scot Cunningham

Hi Wendell. Hope you are having fun at CLUS.

When do you anticipate the new CCNA study guide will be released? Also, when will the old ones go out of print?



I recently got my CCNA Security cert. What does this mean for me come next year?


So what happen if you pass CCNP Route + Switch by Feb 23, 2020 with no valid CCNA ? Do you get any credit ?


I recerted CCNP R/S last year 2018
. I know I will migrate over to the new CCNP R/S but will my cert be good for 3 years or will it be 2 years

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x