CCNA certification exam can help you kickstart your career as a network administrator if you clear it with a good score. 

Looking at the increasing network security issues that lead to cyberattacks, companies are hiring professionals who can secure their networks. 

Network administrators are in high demand these days since they can help secure an organization’s network and sensitive data from hackers. As a result, they can protect their customers’ data and trust. 

So, if you want to become a network administrator but don't have any prior experience with computer networking, you can consider the CCNA certification exam. It will help you familiarize yourself with networking concepts to apply to reputed organizations as a network administrator. 

In this article, I’ll list some of the best CCNA certification exams to help you get certified. 

Who Is a Network Administrator?

A network administrator is a professional in an organization whose main aim is to administer and maintain network security. Their responsibilities may vary from one organization to another, but it involves tasks such as:

  • Maintaining system infrastructure focusing on wide area network (WAN) to local area network (LAN)
  • Installing on-site servers, new hardware and software, security programs, etc.
  • Enforcing policies and licensing agreements
  • Maintaining network resilience
  • Administering software and network interactions
  • Network monitoring, testing, and patching issues 
  • Updating software and hardware
  • Data management 

And more.

Network administrators ensure that network infrastructure and computer hardware belonging to an organization are effectively managed. 

In larger organizations, these tasks are divided into multiple functions or roles and accomplished by more than one professional. In small and medium-sized businesses, only one network administrator or system administrator is responsible for performing these tasks. 

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a network administrator in the US is around $70,591 from 2021 data. 

If you want to be a network administrator, you would require a set of technical skills and knowledge and the capability to quickly learn and understand the complexities of server software and networking packages. Some of the network administration skills you may require are:

  • Knowledge of network types: You must network types such as Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), Storage Area Networks (SAN), and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). This knowledge will help you configure networks and manage them effectively. 
  • Understanding network security systems and components: It may include firewalls, access control systems, VPNs, etc. This will help catch security issues in your network quickly so you can start mitigating and fixing those issues. 
  • Server knowledge: You must be able to upgrade and configure your servers that can be Windows or Linux-based.
  • Soft skills: Apart from technical skills, you must have software skills such as collaboration, teamwork, and effective communication. Communicating issues properly with your team and discussing the solution will keep your entire team on the same page and fuel mutual trust and respect. 

In addition, gaining a network administrator certification can also help you kickstart your career. Some of the best network administrator certifications you can consider opting for are Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), CompTIA Network+, etc.

Let’s throw some light on CCNA.

What Is CCNA Certification?

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a certification issued by Cisco, a company that deals with networking hardware. It assesses your skills in Cisco’s network solutions, network fundamentals, basic IP addressing, and more.

To get this CCNA certification, you must pass an examination – the CCNA 200-301. This entry-level certification exam will prepare you for various IT networking roles such as network administrator, network engineer, and network specialist.

It covers a variety of network topics such as LAN, WAN, IP/TCP model, routers and switches, network utilities, trunking and VLANs, subnetting and IP addressing, and routing protocols like OSPF, programmability, automation, and more. 

A few things about the CCNA 200-301 exam:

  • As of June 2021, the exam costs US$300. 
  • There are no prerequisites to appear for the exam; however, some prior experience or training in computer networking is desirable.
  • There will be around 120 questions in the exam, with 1000 as the maximum score. 
  • This examination is available in two languages – English and Japanese 
  • The duration of the exam is 120 minutes
  • You will get the result immediately after finishing the exam.

To pass this exam with flying colors, you must have some experience with Cisco networking solutions and products. But this does not mean you will have to join a firm and gain experience for some years and then appear for the exam. Although this is one way to do it, you can prepare for the exam by enrolling yourself in a CCNA certification program. 

You can find various training and programs available online that you can opt for. 

Here are some of the best CCNA certification courses you can consider to prepare yourself for the exam and become a network administrator. 

Udemy

Get the online CCNA certification course from Udemy and clear your concepts to pass the exam. Udemy offers everything you need to pass the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam. 

Explore the ways of switching and routing technologies and understand their work in the real world. You will get practice labs to gain experience in Cisco CCNA troubleshooting and configuration work. Udemy lets you develop your skills to work further with any enterprise production network. 

You only need to know the basic knowledge of operating a computer and browsing the internet. Udemy always welcomes beginners and explains all single concepts and acronyms to them so that it will be easier for them to pass the exam. 

Udemy CCNA

Post every doubt in the Q&A section and get answered for sure. Udemy also provides a structured and easy-to-understand approach to ease your learning path so that you can master Cisco Networking. In this course, you can gain a deep knowledge of Cisco’s functions and features. 

Udemy offers easy-to-understand and complete explanations of every tech area and enables you to build your own lab on your computer for free by following simple instructions. Continuous lab exercises also make you a pro in troubleshooting and configuration work. 

Understand the working principle of networking with real-life examples and get demonstrable knowledge along with practical experience to supercharge your Cisco Networking career. 

Coursera

Coursera offers the course – An Introduction to Cisco Networks and Devices for you to crack the CCNA exam. This course helps beginners and engineers who want to mark their career in the Cisco World. 

Coursera gives you a perfect introduction to all the Cisco networks and devices so that aspiring professionals can understand the basic things easily. Here, you can identify various components, such as intermediary devices, connection media, end devices, simulation of network topologies, management of the Cisco network, and secure access to the devices. 

Connect to network devices using SSH, Console, and telnet. You can also use the Packet Tracer at the end of the project to build network topologies and manage security settings on the devices. You will get to practice the whole thing at the end to develop practical skills to be used in the real world. The course includes:

  • Identification of various components of the computer networks, such as connecting them together and end devices 
  • Management of Cisco devices through Packet Tracer to simulate Console, SSH, and a telnet connection. 
  • Implementation of password encryption services and line passwords to securely access Cisco devices. 

This course will be of 3 hours with advanced learning. You can use split-screen videos to learn in a better way. There is no need to download it. 

Cisco

Get a preparation bundle for the CCNA exam from Cisco and prepare yourself to take the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) 200-301 exam. It will help you pass the exam with excellent scores and earn the certificate to grow your career.

Cisco CCNA

The bundle includes:

  • Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions v1.0: This course gives you a wide range of fundamental knowledge. Here you will learn installation, operation, configuration, and verification of basic IPv4 and IPv6 networks work. Get additional benefits and features according to your demand. 
  • Cisco Exam Review: CCNA helps you in your CCNA exam preparation. This review tool allows you to regularly evaluate your skills and knowledge as you approach your CCNA exam date. It contains around 300 questions and 15 lab exercises. 
  • CCNA (200-301) Exam Voucher: Receive an exam voucher from [email protected] as a part of the CCNA preparation bundle. This voucher is redeemable via Pearson VUE for a 100% discount on the 200-301 CCNA certification exam price. 

Choose your bundle according to your interest and add it to the cart to proceed further with the course. 

Whizlabs

Get registered in the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification course on Whizlabs and try a FREE test to know your understanding of the course and the basics. It offers you a CCNA course to expand your knowledge and skills on Cisco Networks and Devices. 

This will validate your fundamental knowledge of configuring, troubleshooting, operating, and building networking solutions. With the CCNA course, you will get 180 unique questions for practice, unlimited access, and a 100% unconditional money-back guarantee. You can take a free test of 20 questions and practice tests I, II, and III of 60 questions each.

Whizlabs’ mock exam software is 100% accessible on mobile devices and can be accessed online also. Its networking experts clear all your doubts based on the CCNA so that you can pass the exam and start a promising career from it. Upgrade your CCNA skills now at an affordable price and achieve your dream of becoming a networking administrator.

Global Knowledge

Gain the skills and foundational knowledge necessary to configure, operate, and install a small to medium-sized Cisco Network with Global Knowledge. It offers a course – Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions v1.0 Boot Camp”.

This course teaches professionals to verify basic IPv4 and IPv6 networks. You will learn to configure components like router, wireless LAN controller, and switch. Also, you will understand the concept of managing network devices and identifying basic security threats. 

There are three variations of the course: 

  • Live instructor: Enroll in a virtual classroom live for 5 days and 12 hours a day.
  • On-demand: This is an online course but not live.
  • Group training: Group training online and conducted for a batch.

Before enrolling yourself in the course, make sure you have a basic knowledge of computers, PC operating system navigation, internet usage, and IP address. Though there are no prerequisites for the certification, understanding the basics will help you catch up well in the classroom. 

If you seek a career as a network engineer, network support technician, help desk technician, and network administrator, this is a perfect course for you. You will learn to identify components, describe functions, features, LANs, roles of switches, install a switch, and more. 

Add your preferable form of the course and buy it now to avail yourself of its benefits. 

CBT Nuggets

CBT Nuggets offers an entry-level Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) 200-301 training where Keith Barker, Chuck Keith, and Jeremy Cioara prepare newcomers to take the CCNA 200-301 exam.  

Since you will find Cisco technologies everywhere, CBT Nuggets offers proper training for professionals to help them qualify for the exam and seek their careers as network administrators. Once you complete the CCNA course, you will get the confidence to crack the CCNA exam.

CBT Nuggets CCNA

CBT Nuggets covers various topics, starting from,

  • Routing protocols include OSPFv2 for IPv4, EIGRP for IPv4, OSPFv3 for IPv6, and EIGRP for IPv6.
  • EtherChannel (PAGP, LACP, and static), STP, and VLANs.
  • WAN technologies, including MLPPP, GRE, PPPoE, and PPP.
  • The quality of the server (QoS) includes shaping, prioritizing voice, data, video, and marking.
  • Device monitoring protocols like SNMPv2 and SNMPv3.
  • Management of devices using AAA (Authorization, Authentication, and Accounting) with RADIUS and TACACS+.

This course is valuable for IT professionals with at least 1 year of experience on networks and experienced network administrators who want to enhance their Cisco skills. New candidates also can join the course. 

The course is broad and deep and covers all the basics so that even the new network professionals can ace the CCNA exams. Enhance your skills with experts and grow your career in this field with this course. Take practical tests frequently to understand your knowledge of the topic. 

Infosec

Infosec offers “Cisco Associate and CyberOps Associate Training Boot Camp” for you to help you build and enhance your knowledge of networking. You will learn to install, operate, and configure network devices and receive dual certifications for this course.

The course includes seven days of live sessions and expert instructions, and they offer a pass guarantee as well. You will also get an exam voucher, a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and unlimited practice of exams. Infosec provides onsite proctoring of eczema, a pre-study learning path, and a knowledge transfer guarantee.

After completing the course, you will be rewarded with two certificates:

(1) CCNA Associate certification and 

(2) Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate certification. 

Nearly 30 hands-on labs help you prepare yourself for the most difficult section of the exams. You will be able to build your networking skills and get real-world experience for your upcoming project or job. In fact, over 93% of students have cleared their CCNA exams on their first attempt with Infosec. 

Book your slot today and start gaining the required knowledge and skills with this course. 

Conclusion

The role of a network administrator is crucial for the organization and rewarding for your career. Organizations from across the globe are hiring the best network administrators who can secure their network from attackers. 

And if you want to be a network administrator, getting CCNA certification will help you familiarize yourself with key concepts and increase your chances of getting hired for the role and building a bright career. 

So, jumpstart your career in networking and IT by taking the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam and preparing it with the above CCNA courses.