The internet is always changing. Think back to two years ago: social networking was not as it is now, your Gmail features probably looked very different, and e-commerce did not have all the functions and capabilities that it does now. So how do we keep on top of all these new innovations? And how do companies, businesses, and people customize and troubleshoot their technology to conform to all these changes? This is where Information and Communication Technology Professionals come in handy. We need these people! Not only are they going to fix technological problems, but they are also qualified to manage, understand, and analyze all other facets and layers of networks that we deal with on a daily basis. So, if you are always on top of the latest technology, have a background and experience in Information Technology, the Cisco Certified Network Associate certification could be the right type of fit for you and your skills. And to get there, why not try out the CCNA Exploration? Sounds like a space shuttle, doesn’t it? Well, it can be just as exciting and vital into shaping your future so let’s power up!
What is the CCNA Exploration?
The Cisco Certified Network Associate Exploration is a program designed by the Cisco Networking Academy. Exploration was established in 1997 and is aimed at teaching students, and other industry or IT candidates, skills pertaining to information technology. What they learn in the Exploration Networking Academy is expected to prepare them with the fundamental skills and knowledge for jobs and higher education courses in relevant IT fields. Here are some interesting stats:
- Since its start, the program has evolved in more than 9,000 United States academies.
- It is taught in over 165 countries with more than 900,000 students enrolled in its curriculum.
- The program is available in over 16 languages in colleges, universities, technical schools, vocational schools, and community organizations (just to name a few) throughout the world.
Exploration Learning Model
Let’s take a look at what type of learning model the Networking Academy applies to its courses. Because it is available online, things have the ability to get pretty interactive!
- Cisco Packet Trainer: The Cisco Packer Trainer is a visualization and stimulation tool designed to allow its students to work interactively with virtual networks. As such, they are able to design, build, troubleshoot, and experiment across multiple networks. This is made to make complex networking and technology concepts easier to tackle and understand.
- Cisco Passport21 to Entrepreneurship: The Passport21 to Entrepreneurship incorporates various case studies, simulations, and tools designed to interactively help students to develop business and financial skills that they can apply in the real world.
- Cisco Aspire: Games are always a wonderful way to make learning fun, and Cisco Aspire engages students in a virtual environment game encouraging them to solve business and technological problems while they tackle projects.
- Online Assessments: To test what students are learning, online assessments are incorporated to supply students with interactive, immediate, and personal feedback concerning their progress.
- Social Media Tools: We all use some of these! Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the Exploration community site connect students and instructors to encourage learning, collaboration, and communication inside and outside the classroom.
CCNA Exploration Courses
Interested in networking topics? Let’s take a look at a sample course outline:
- Networking Fundamentals: At the start of your program, you will be introduced to living in a networking-centric world and the essentials that you will need to communicate over various networks. It will delve into looking over OSI Networking layers, and addressing the prospect of installing, configuring, and testing different networks.
- Routing Protocols and Concepts: Secondly, you will enter the world of routing and its various protocols, such as dynamic and static routing. You will go over two different RIP versions, as well as EIGRP and OSPF.
- LAN Switching and Wireless: Here you will learn the basics of LAN design and go into its concepts and configurations. You will take a look at VLANs, VTP, and STP. Of course, you will touch on wireless routing, which is so widespread these days.
- WAN Technology: In this section, you will be introduced into accessing the WAN. Sections in this course will cover everything from scaling IP addresses to PPP, ISDN, and DDR. You will be briefly introduced to network administration and emerging technology in the field. It is always important to keep up with what is relevant in technology!
Once you have completed these four courses, there are a few different routes that you can choose from. You may choose to look into specific concentration courses that you might like to specialize in, or you can decide to take one of the CCNA concentration examinations. These include:
- CCNA Security
- CCNA Voice
- CCNA Wireless
- CCNA Routing and Switching
- CCNA Data Center
- CCNA Service Provider Operations
Why Take the CCNA Exam?
Once you have completed the CCNA Exploration program, you should be in pretty good shape to take the CCNA examination. But why is this exam important, and who should do it?
- To have a valid documentation of your knowledge and expertise in Information Communication and Technology. It is always good to flash this around when applying for jobs.
- To stand apart from the crowd. There are plenty of people that are technology literate; but not everyone chooses to go through the CCNA Exploration program and obtain certification.
- To learn. The overall CCNA Exploration program is going to teach you concepts using a theoretical and integrated approach that is not available elsewhere. By the end, you will have hands-on, extensive, and valuable knowledge.
Start Your Exploration Today!
All ready to go? The Cisco Certified Network Associate Exploration program will teach your practical and essential information and communication technology skills for any of your future endeavors. Start by enrolling in one of Udemy’s many online CCNA courses to get you started today!