Why has the program changed?
The previous program did not fit the needs for digital networking anymore. You as a network engineer or software-developer need different skills to build, implement and administer the networks of the future.
1. The Associate Level certifications will be consolidated and updated into three certifications:
Cisco have consolidated the CCNA programme into one, comprehensive exam (200-301 CCNA) that covers entry level networking skills across technologies, such as basic IP fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity, and basics of automation and network programmability, and security fundamental skills, because a breadth of skills is needed when first entering networking.
Achieving Cisco Certified DevNet Associate certification proves your skills in developing and maintaining applications built on Cisco platforms. To earn DevNet Associate certification, you pass one exam (200-901 DEVASC) that covers the fundamentals of software development and design for Cisco platforms.
CCNA Cyber Ops
The CCNA Cyber Ops certification prepares candidates to begin a career working with associate-level cybersecurity analysts within security operations centers. To earn this certification you have to pass two exams (210-250 SECFND) and (210-255 SECOPS).
2. The Professional Level certifications are being be consolidated and updated into 6 certifications:
To earn a Professional certification you need to pass two exams: one core exam + one concentration exam. With a core exam you test your basic knowledge, with a concentration exam you test more in depth and specialist knowledge.
New certifications on Professional level:
CCNP Data Center
CCNP Service Provider
3. No formal prerequisites for CCNP or CCIE certifications.
It will no longer be necessary to have a CCNA certification in order to obtain a CCNP certification. To obtain a CCIE certification a CCNP certification will no longer be a mandatory prerequisite.
Ofcourse a good understanding of the exam topics is needed before taking the exam.
4. All Cisco certifications are valid for 3 years
Specialist and CCIE certifications are still valid for 2 years, however starting now all Cisco certifications are valid for 3 years. You can re-certify by passing the corresponding exams, but also by demonstrating that you will continue to develop your knowledge by earning Continuing Education credits. For example, you can earn credits by attending Cisco Live sessions and by attending Cisco training courses or passing exams.
5. CCIE: Written exams expire
All CCIE written exams expire. In order to obtain a CCIE certification, you will need to successfully complete a corresponding core exam and a lab exam. For a CCDE certification you still need to take a written exam followed by a practical exam.
What will happen to my existing certifications?
For CCNA, Specialist and CCNP:
Your current certification is still valid and will be active until its expiration date.
If you are an active CCIE, your suspended year will be converted to an active year. For example, if your active CCIE would have been suspended beginning 21st April 2020, you will sustain active status until 21st April 2021.
Recertification policy update
From 24th February 2020, certified individuals, including CCNA, Cisco Certified Specialist, CCNP and CCIE, will be able to recertify by either taking exams, earning Continuing Education credits or a mix of both. Continuing education activities include things like attending Cisco Live training sessions, authoring content, completing online training courses, completing instructor-led training courses and more