What Is The Difference Between CCENT And CCNA


CCNA and CCENT are two exams set by Cisco Systems to offer passers a position in the industry. Cisco is the largest name in computer networking.

The names of these abbreviations stand for a Cisco Certified Entry Networking technician and a Cisco Certified Network Associate.

Many individuals who seek a position in networking often wonder what is the difference between a CCENT vs CCNA with respect to examinations and the role they can lead to.

While they are still two names widely used, they have changed somewhat over the past few months. A good example being the ICND1 and ICND2 (Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices), which are a part of the CCENT certification, is now retired.

With that, you can learn here what the difference is between the two entry-level examinations and what it now means to be CCNA certified.

Difference between a CCENT vs CCNA

Which is Better, CCENT, or CCNA?

IT certifications show employers that possess the skills in specific areas. With these, you can find a position easier and also possibly command a higher salary. It is here we have the two most popular certifications which teach similar skills.

  • Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).

CCENT and CCNA are particular toward the Cisco ecosystem. Cisco is one of the primary providers of networking and routing, switching, and networking technologies.

Students must pass rigorous exams that take numerous hours of study, and both certifications were valid for three years before renewal.


If you were CCENT certified, it was the first level of certification and covered basic networking skills. It was there to prepare you for entry-level jobs in networking, such as

  • Network Administrator
  • Junior Network Engineer
  • Cisco Network Engineer
  • Network Support Specialist

If you earned the CCENT certification, you have demonstrated skills to install, operate, and maintain a small business network and make sure it has a basic security level.

CCENT certification was the lead up to the CCNA certification exam. However, you didn’t have to take the CCENT before taking the CCNA exam.


CCNA certification shows you have the skills to be a competent network administrator.

This would cover a medium-sized routed and switched network along with a WAN (wide area networks), which connect computers and devices across geographical areas.

CCNA certification also shows you know how to troubleshoot and prevent basic security threats and make sure networks are safe from hacking and viruses, which can expose personal information.

CCNA needs skills the same as CCENT certification to obtain more advanced certification. CCNA-certified IT professionals can undertake jobs like network engineers and LAN/WAN engineers.

CISCO Certification

Should I Get CCENT Before CCNA?

When comparing the CCENT vs CCNA, many individuals do go through this examination to make sure they completed the ICND1 and ICND2 exam certification. However, if you knew what was required in the CCNA exam, there was no need to take CCENT.

Yet, there are good reasons you should.

Even if students know the answers to all the questions, they need to answer routing and troubleshooting. Taking the CCENT shows you have the knowledge and also gives you double certification.

Nowadays, there is a different approach for students in these related examinations. It affects your training and time to study such topics to reach the associate level. For instance, for the two exams, ICND1 and ICND2, you need to become CCNA certified.

Is Cisco Getting Rid of CCENT?

As of February 24, 2020, there is no longer any CCENT or ICND1 as part of the learning toward the CCNA.

Besides this, you will find there is no ICND2 along this path, and you would need to take the new exam numbered 200 -301 to acquire the CCNA exam certifications.

Anyone training before this date would have been able to show their credentials, which are valid until 2023.

CCNA certification now encompasses the defunct CCENT certification.

What is CCNA Equivalent to?

You can’t compare a CCNA exam and the associated certifications, such as the ICND1 topics or the questions asked, to any other subject’s qualifications.

They are hard to pass, and with the new certifications, there are many sections removed because of old topics. You will find the new exams challenging, as it can lead to a higher entry position from the beginning.

You will find the certification packs quite a lot more into the new exam. You have 120 questions covering all aspects of switching, routing, security, and wireless networking. You may even find a few programming concepts thrown in for good measure. (Read What Is The Main Difference Between TCP And UDP)

Once you take the exam and gain your certifications, you will have earned a higher degree of knowledge instead of taking the two different exams.

Students now are learning much of what is up to date at this time and related to troubleshooting in fundamentals of networking such as routers, switches, cabling, TCP and UDP, IPv4, and IPv6.

Security for wireless and ports, you will also see there is security in VPNs. With VPNs increasing, the way networks are in use can be very different from what it was at first.

A VPN is one way to get a secure connection across networks, as everything is encrypted. Besides this, if any network admin is remote connecting, they may need a VPN connection to give them a direct link to a server they like to check on or update.

It is easy to see why the exam encompasses this and adds it to the certifications.

Once you begin studying for the exam and the certifications, you learn so much about many different topics; it can give you a headache. However, once you pass this one exam, you have the ability to work in any position you desire, working with networks.

What Is The Difference Between Ccent And Ccna

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