CCNA Vs CCIE – Which Certification is Right for You? in 2023

Time Of Info By TOI Staff   June 9, 2023   Update on : July 7, 2023


What is the difference between CCNA and CCIE?

CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate

The Cisco Certified Associate (CCNA), a certification for beginners, is a certification that you can earn. It is a great way to begin your tech career.

CCNA certifications are popular among candidates with both technical and non-technical backgrounds.

CCIE: Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert

The CCIE is the most prestigious certification in the tech world. CCIE is a great choice if you want to achieve the highest level in your networking career.

To pass the CCIE test, you will need patience, dedication and hard work. This exam is very difficult to pass.

Continue reading to learn more about CCIE and CCNA

What are the prerequisites for CCNA certifications?

The CCNA course does not require any prior knowledge. You only need to understand the basics of computers and networking.

Pro tip: If your background is not in technology and you want to get into the tech industry, start with the CompTIA Network+ certificate. Then you will find it easier to take the CCNA class.

What are the prerequisites for CCIE certifications?

There are no requirements that must be met to take the CCIE test. You must have a thorough understanding of all topics covered in the exam.

Before taking the CCIE test, it is recommended that you have a minimum of 5-7 years experience in designing, operating, deploying, and optimizing enterprise network technologies and solutions.

Pro tip: It’s a cherry on top if both the Cisco Certified Network Associate certification (CCNA) as well as the Cisco Certified Network Professional certification (CCNP) are already under your belt. This will make it easier for you to pass the CCIE test.

You must also know that none are required to take the CCIE test. But knowledge is essential.

What topics are covered in the CCNA Course?

The CCNA course covers the following topics. These are:

Basics of networking

  • IP address
  • Ports
  • Routers
  • Switches
  • Subnetting
  • Classes
  • Subnet mask
  • LAN technologies
  • WAN technologies
  • Automation and programmability

These topics will help you understand the basics of routing and switching. This will help you build a solid foundation for your career in technical fields.

What topics are covered in the CCIE Course?

CCIE is a vast subject that includes many high-level concepts. You will master them. The CCIE course covers the following topics:

  • VLAN technologies
  • EtherChannel
  • Spanning Tree Protocol
  • OSPF
  • BGP
  • Multicast
  • PIM
  • Cisco SD Access
  • Cisco SD-WAN
  • WAN edge deployment
  • MPLS
  • L3VPN
  • FlexVPN
  • Device security
  • Network security
  • IPv6
  • SNMP
  • Quality of Service (QoS).
  • DHCP
  • IPv4
  • Automation and scripting
  • Programmability

The topics above are from the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Exam. It is the most popular CCIE exam.

What is the exam for CCNA certification you have to take?

To become CCNA certified, you must pass the 200-301 CCNA test.

Exam duration:

The CCNA test is 120 minutes in length.

Number of questions

The CCNA exam consists between 100 and 120 questions.

Exam fee

The exam fee is $300.

What is the exam for CCIE certification?

You must pass two exams to earn a CCIE. These are:

Qualifying exam:

You must pass the Implementing Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies exam (ENCOR 350-401).

Lab exam:

You must take the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0 Lab exam.

Exam duration:

The written test lasts 2 hours. The lab test is 8 hours in length.

Number of questions

There are 90-110 questions.

Exam fee

The written exam costs $450 US dollars. The lab exam costs $1600 US dollars.

What jobs can I get after CCNA certification?

After you become CCNA certified, you can apply for a variety of job titles. These job titles include

  • Technical Support Engineer
  • Network Support Engineer
  • L1 Networking Engineer
  • Network Security Engineer
  • Protocol Testing Engineer
  • Desktop Support Engineer
  • System Administrator
  • NOC Engineer
  • Network Engineer

You can choose from any of the job roles above, depending on your area of interest. You must also note that each of these roles requires some additional skills.

You need to know what is expected of you in each job role.

What jobs can you get after CCIE certification?

After you earn your CCIE certification, you can find reputable jobs. You can find a variety of jobs that require CCIE certification.

  • Senior Network Engineer
  • Network Security Expert
  • Solutions Architect – Network Security
  • Security Network Consulting Engineer
  • Senior Security Architect
  • Senior System Software Engineer
  • Senior Network Architect
  • Senior Network Administrator
  • Senior System Network Engineer
  • Enterprise Network Solution Architect

What can you do if you have a CCNA?

There is always room to improve. You can upgrade your skills with the CCNP certification after obtaining CCNA.

Cisco Certified Network Professional is CCNP. The CCNP course will familiarize you with advanced routing and switch concepts.

What can you do if you have a CCIE?

The CCIE is the highest level Cisco certification. You can continue to develop your skills after the certification.

You can also explore the other CCIE routes and learn about new networking technology. You need to stay up-to-date with the latest Cisco devices and technologies.

You will always be in demand as a network engineer if you do this.


You can choose the Cisco certification that best matches your level of experience in the technical industry. If you are already familiar with the basics of switching, routing and subnetting you should be ready for CCNP.

If you have a good grasp of advanced topics in routing and switching, then it is time to upgrade to CCIE. This checklist is always effective!

Read more: CCNA Vs CCIE – Which Certification is Right for You? in 2023


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