Cisco offers five levels of network industrial certifications. (see the pyramid) More detailed information on www.cisco.com/certification.
Entry level – an applicant can earn Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) after succesfuly passing the commercial certification exam Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 ICND1. (100-105 ICND1)
A student of Cisco Netacad can learn the necessary knowledge upon completion of CCNA1+CCNA2 courses.
Next Cisco Netacad courses- CCNA3+CCNA4 cover the requirements of commercial certification exam Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 ICND2.(200-105 ICND2).
Associate level = ICND1+ICND2 = CCNA cert in Routing & Switching. (200-125 CCNA).
This is the composite exam (200-125 CCNA) , that we recommend to our students after completion of all four CCNA1-CCNA4 courses.
For the CCNA/CCNP levels, all of the commercial exams are performed on the computer by Multiple choice-single/multiple answer, Drag&Drop questions, so no real hardware is being configured. But that does not mean, that the exam is easy. 🙂
Practical skills are tested by simulations , testlets and simlets. We recommend to watch an original Cisco DEMO.
Validity of CCNA/CCNP commercial certificates is 3 years.