Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)

Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) is a now-retired certification offered by Cisco, as part of their certification program. It was the first stepping stone in the Cisco certifications program, followed by Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), respectively.

The CCENT certificate validates network fundamentals. Those who earned it gain the skills necessary for an entry-level network support position, to start a career in networking. These skills include network design, installation, operation, and troubleshooting of enterprise data networks, as well as network security.

As of Feb. 24, 2020, Cisco no longer offers the CCENT certificate. Instead, Cisco has broadened the CCNA credential to cover general fundamentals for IT careers. Although Cisco has discontinued CCENT certification, it is valid for three years from the date it was obtained. In other words, a CCENT certificate that was earned on Feb. 23, 2020, is valid until Feb. 23, 2023. It holds value on a resume until 2023.

CCENT certification overview

Below are the basics of Cisco's CCENT credential:

  • Prerequisites. None.
  • Cost. The Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1) exam had to be passed to earn a CCENT certificate. The exam has been retired alongside the certification.
  • Skills. The exam mentioned above covered network fundamentals, LAN switching, routing technology, port security, infrastructure maintenance and infrastructure services. The skills have now been incorporated in the CCNA credential.
  • Exam format. The exam was 90 minutes and contained 45-55 questions.
  • Training options. Training options existed for the CCENT certification to recertify individuals past their three-year expiration date. Cisco offered live training sessions, online training courses and instructor-led training. Individuals could complete these trainings, take an exam, or do a combination of both to be recertified.

CCENT jobs and salary info

CCENT certification provides validation of the skills required for an entry-level networking job and gives individuals an understanding of commonly used Cisco technology. It also lays the groundwork for a career in networking and higher-level certifications like the CCNA. Some specific jobs these certifications can lead to are:

  • Network engineer
  • Network administrator
  • Senior network engineer
  • Network security engineer
  • Support technician
  • Help desk technician

According to infosec, the average salary one can earn with CCENT certification is between $30,000 and $92,323 per year.

CCENT certification discontinued: What's next?

CCENT's discontinuation means the path to the CCNA certification has changed. Previously, one would have passed their ICND1 exam, become eligible to take the ICND2 exam and earn their CCNA certificate upon passing it.

Now, Cisco no longer offers the ICND2 to CCENT-certified professionals who want to advance to CCNA. Instead, Cisco requires a new exam -- exam 200-301 -- to earn a CCNA certificate.

Whether a CCNA was earned the old way (via CCENT) or the new way (via exam 200-301) does not matter; the certification is equally valid both ways.

Cisco certified professionals can also renew their certificates through Cisco's continuing education program instead of retaking exams.

CCNA certification has also changed, now covering a broad spectrum of IT fundamentals to begin an IT career. This includes networking technology, software development skills and technology job roles. It also provides the same validation the CCNET certificate used to -- that those who have earned it know the basics of how to run a network. It is now the entry-level exam in Cisco's certification program. To learn more about CCNA certification, users can register for Cisco's free CCNA webinar series.

This was last updated in November 2020

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