Cert News: New Cisco Qualifications Coming

Cert News: New Cisco Qualifications Coming


Within the quickly transforming field of information technology, the importance of keeping professional certifications current cannot be overstated. Cisco, a leader in IT and networking solutions, is dedicated to regularly updating and broadening its certification programs. These efforts are designed to equip IT professionals with the most current skills and knowledge needed to navigate the ever-changing technologies and practices of the industry.

The year 2024 marks a pivotal moment for Cisco’s certification offerings, reflecting a deep understanding of the IT sector’s dynamic challenges and opportunities. For professionals looking to advance their careers, validate their expertise, and maintain competitiveness, grasping the context and importance of these certifications is essential. Additionally, staying informed about Cisco’s latest offerings is crucial for aligning career development and learning strategies with the industry’s latest standards and technological breakthroughs.

Delve into the transformative world of Cisco certifications, revealing essential updates and introducing the latest qualifications set to enhance Cisco’s 2024 certification program.

Navigating Cisco’s Certification Pathway: From Foundation to Expertise

Cisco’s educational and certification strategy is designed to evaluate and prepare IT professionals for the future. It provides a clear, structured pathway for growth at all career stages, from foundational knowledge to specialized expertise and advanced mastery. The pathway begins with Entry-Level Certifications like CCST, laying the groundwork in IT principles and Cisco technologies. Associate Certifications like CCNA build on this foundation, broadening knowledge across various IT roles. Professional-Level and Specialist Certifications, such as CCNP, DevNet, and CyberOps, offer deeper insights into specific technology areas. Finally, Expert-Level Certifications, including CCIE and CCDE, represent the pinnacle of network engineering excellence, reserved for the most accomplished professionals.

This methodical approach supports career progression from fundamental to complex skill sets, ensuring professionals have a roadmap for development tailored to the industry’s evolving demands. Moreover, it prepares individuals to tackle present challenges and lead innovations in the future.

Updates and New Introductions to Cisco Certifications in 2024

The 2024 updates to Cisco’s certification programs showcase the company’s unwavering dedication to advancing IT professionals’ careers by equipping them with up-to-date expertise. Dive into the specifics of these strategic enhancements and new additions, aimed at navigating the dynamic demands of the IT sector.

Cisco DevNet Expert Certification Updates

The anticipated enhancements to the Cisco DevNet Expert certification, focusing on the Lab Exam, represent strategic improvements that align with the newest trends in software development and network automation. These updates, scheduled for August 20, 2024, aim to ensure the certification meets the current needs of the IT field, particularly for those professionals showcasing their skills in an automation-centric landscape.

The DevNet Expert (v1.0) Lab Exam is an 8-hour intensive, hands-on test designed to evaluate a candidate’s proficiency throughout the entire software development lifecycle within advanced network scenarios. This spans planning, design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance of software solutions, offering a thorough assessment of a candidate’s abilities.

Transitioning to version 1.1 of the exam, candidates will find a curriculum updated to mirror present industry standards and the advent of new technologies. Significantly, this revision places a stronger focus on diagnosing application performance issues with tools such as AppDynamics and ThousandEyes, essential for professionals responsible for maintaining optimal application performance across networks. Additionally, the curriculum is updated to include interactions with newer APIs, with the inclusion of GraphQL highlighting the importance of contemporary data query languages.

Moreover, to make the exam content more relevant and focused, specific tasks have been omitted from the exam topics, simplifying the curriculum and sharpening the emphasis on skills crucial to the latest technological trends.

In conclusion, the comprehensive updates to the DevNet Expert certification are indicative of Cisco’s commitment to maintaining this credential as a leading indicator of advanced expertise in network automation, programmability, and security. These enhancements not only demonstrate Cisco’s dedication to evolving with the industry but also ensure IT professionals are well-equipped to tackle current and future technological challenges.

Cisco Collaboration Certification Updates

The upcoming revisions to the CCNP Collaboration certification, set to take effect on April 22, 2024, reflect Cisco’s commitment to aligning with the evolving landscape of collaboration technology, particularly emphasizing hybrid and cloud solutions. This comprehensive update across both core and concentration exams aims to keep professionals abreast of the latest developments and ensures the certification remains relevant to today’s collaboration environments.

The core exam, Implementing Cisco Collaboration Core Technologies v1.2 (350-801 CLCOR), foundational for achieving CCNP and CCIE Collaboration as well as Cisco Certified Specialist — Collaboration credentials, undergoes a nuanced revision. It introduces crucial updates like OAuth, SSO, TCP/TLS Handshake, and elements of SIP conversation management, reflecting a shift towards securing and optimizing modern communication systems. Furthermore, it adapts to contemporary needs by replacing traditional technologies like ISDN PRI/BRI with dial-peer matching, ensuring candidates are versed in current practices.

In addition, the concentration exams have undergone significant updates to address the comprehensive skill set required by today’s collaboration professionals:

— Implementing Cisco Collaboration Applications (CLICA 300-810) v1.2 enhances focus on third-party compliance server integration and introduces voicemail and proximity features for the Webex App.

— Implementing Cisco Advanced Call Control and Mobility Services (CLACCM 300-815) v1.2 updates include added details on SIP conversation elements, SIP TLS and SRTP, with a phase-out of less relevant technologies, like TEHO.

— Implementing Cisco Collaboration Cloud and Edge Solutions (CLCEI 300-820) v1.2 retains its core components while expanding on Webex architecture, hybrid calling, and Expressway features, illustrating an increased focus on cloud-based solutions.

— Automating and Programming Cisco Collaboration Solutions CLAUTO (300-835) v1.2 subtly shifts to integrate Python scripting into API calls, highlighting the importance of programming in automation.

These strategic enhancements ensure that the CCNP Collaboration certification portfolio remains cutting-edge, empowering professionals with the expertise to thrive in the dynamic field of collaboration technology. By concentrating on hybrid and cloud solutions, orchestration, and the practical use of advanced tools and protocols, Cisco positions its certifications not just to reflect the current state of the industry but also to anticipate future technological shifts, preparing candidates for upcoming challenges and innovations.

Cisco Data Center Certification Updates

The CCNP/CCIE Data Center certifications are undergoing targeted updates to maintain their relevance with evolving Data Center technologies. Notably, the CCNP and CCIE Data Center core and CCNP Data Center concentration exam blueprints are set to remain unchanged, with no updates planned. However, the CCIE Data Center v3.1 lab exam, scheduled to be updated on April 20, 2024, features minor but impactful revisions aimed at refining the certification’s alignment with industry practices and technological advancements.

The revisions include adjustments across all seven main domains of the exam, ensuring a focus on essential, contemporary topics and providing clearer context for tasks. Key updates span across Data Center connectivity, infrastructure, compute, storage, security, and automation domains, reflecting shifts towards more relevant technologies like OAuth, cloud registration mechanisms, and advanced automation and orchestration tools such as Terraform and Nexus Dashboard. Notable changes include:

— Enhanced emphasis on local-AS numbers and multi-tier architecture in L2/L3 connectivity and Data Center fabric infrastructure.

— Introduction of new topics and restructuring in Data Center Fabric Connectivity to better align with ACI and VXLAN EVPN fabrics.

— Adjustments in the Data Center Compute section to encompass broader management solutions and the replacement of the HyperFlex solution with Nutanix for hyper-converged infrastructure.

— Expansion of ROCEv2 topics in the Data Center Storage Protocols and Features domain to support AI/ML clusters’ growing popularity.

— Comprehensive overhaul of the Data Center Automation and Orchestration section, including the addition of modern automation tools and services and the removal of outdated solutions.

Furthermore, the lab exam environment has been updated to reflect these changes, advising candidates to familiarize themselves with the latest Cisco equipment and software releases. This includes the removal of certain hardware from the lab exam and updates to the software list to incorporate newer versions of Nexus Dashboard, Cisco NX-OS, and Cisco ACI, among others.

So, these updates collectively aim to ensure that the CCNP/CCIE Data Center certifications continue to serve as a benchmark for professionals in the field, equipping them with the knowledge and skills pertinent to today’s data center environments and the evolving demands of the industry.

Cisco Enterprise Certification Updates

For the Enterprise segment of Cisco’s certification programs, there are no upcoming changes to the existing blueprints for both the CCNP/CCIE Enterprise core exams and the CCNP Enterprise concentration exams. However, the introduction of the new specialized exam, Designing and Implementing Enterprise Network Assurance v1.0 (ENNA 300-445), marks a notable expansion in the lineup of concentration exams. Slated for release on the 20th of May, 2024, this exam represents a focused effort to certify professionals in the critical area of Network Assurance, a field growing in importance as networks become more complex and demanding.

The Designing and Implementing Enterprise Network Assurance v1.0 exam has been specifically developed to validate a candidate’s expertise in the design and implementation of network assurance strategies. It encompasses a comprehensive curriculum, focusing on:

1. Platforms and Architecture: This section aims to deepen understanding of the types and placements of monitoring agents, both active and passive, and integrates insights from ThousandEyes WAN for comprehensive network visibility.

2. Data Collection Implementation: Candidates will learn to configure tests for enterprise agents and delve into the nuances of synthetic web tests, ensuring they can effectively gather necessary data for analysis.

3. Data Analysis: This crucial area tests the ability to diagnose issues related to network and web application performance and security, using the data collected from the network.

4. Insights and Alerts: This segment focuses on configuring alert rules based on specific network conditions and selecting appropriate metrics and methods for optimizing network capacity planning.

Passing the 300-445 exam awards the Enterprise Network Assurance Specialist Certification, which, when combined with the 350-401 ENCOR exam, progresses a candidate towards achieving the comprehensive CCNP Enterprise certification. This new exam underscores Cisco’s commitment to equipping IT professionals with the skills necessary to assure network performance, reliability, and security in increasingly complex enterprise environments.

Undoubtedly, the addition of the Enterprise Network Assurance certification reflects the evolving demands of the industry, ensuring professionals are well-prepared to tackle the challenges of modern network management and assurance.

Cisco Security Certification Updates

For Cisco’s Security certification path, there are currently no updates anticipated for the core and concentration exam frameworks within the CCNP/CCIE Security tracks.

However, a new exam, the Designing and Implementing Secure Cloud Access for Users and Endpoints v1.0 (SCAZT 300-740), has been introduced for testing. This assessment evaluates a candidate’s expertise in crafting and deploying security frameworks for cloud environments, focusing on safeguarding user and endpoint security, ensuring comprehensive network and cloud security, securing applications and data, enhancing visibility and assurance, and effectively responding to threats.

Achieving a passing score on this exam awards the Cisco Secure Cloud Access Specialist certification, integrating into the CCNP Security certification pathway. This addition underscores Cisco’s commitment to equipping IT professionals with the advanced skills necessary to navigate and secure modern cloud-centric architectures.

Cisco Service Provider Certification Updates

Cisco’s Service Provider certification lineup now features the Designing and Implementing Cisco Service Provider Cloud Network Infrastructure v1.0 (SPCNI 300-540) exam, newly available for candidates. This exam assesses expertise in designing and deploying virtualized architectures, cloud connectivity, high availability systems, security measures, and service assurance and optimization within service provider networks.

Achieving success in this exam grants individuals the Cloud Network Infrastructure Specialist certification, marking a significant milestone towards demonstrating advanced competencies in managing and optimizing service provider cloud infrastructures. Furthermore, this certification can be combined with the 350-401 Implementing Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies exam as part of the pathway towards obtaining the CCNP Service Provider certification. This integration highlights the importance of cross-disciplinary knowledge in enterprise and service provider technologies, underscoring the need for professionals who are adept across various networking environments and capable of supporting the evolving requirements of the service provider industry.


In conclusion, the 2024 updates to Cisco’s certification suite mark a pivotal adaptation to the ever-evolving IT landscape. These strategic enhancements, encompassing a broad spectrum from entry-level to expert certifications, underscore Cisco’s unwavering commitment to equipping IT professionals with cutting-edge skills. The introduction of the DevNet Expert Certification and the Enterprise Network Assurance v1.0 exam, alongside significant revisions in the Data Center, Security, and Service Provider tracks, align with the pressing demands for cloud competency, network automation, and heightened security.

Notably, Cisco’s forward-looking approach, emphasizing areas such as cloud solutions and network programmability, not only mirrors the current industry trajectory but also anticipates future technological shifts. This ensures that Cisco certifications remain highly relevant and valuable for IT professionals seeking to advance their careers and lead innovation in their fields.

Ultimately, these updates represent Cisco’s dedication to fostering a skilled, future-ready IT workforce, prepared to tackle the challenges and harness the opportunities of tomorrow’s technological landscape.