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CCDA before CCNA??

Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by dapex, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. dapex

    dapex Bit Poster

    Just wondering if you folks think its practical to do the CCDA before the CCNA? Neither will be much use in my current job role, but the CCDA fits a lot cloaser than the CCNA will and the CCDA may just give me the USP that gives me more job security..

    A few people have told me that you really need to know the CCNA in order to do the CCDA, but then others have said they are totally different????

    Cheers in advance
  2. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

    CCNA first, as you will need to know deeply understand the network in CCDA
  3. GW

    GW Byte Poster

    Actually I did the CCDA and never got around to doing the CCNA (got injured and when recovered got into jobs that required more MS study); but it is possible to do the CCDA without studying the CCNA because with the CCDA it is all about planning and (of course) design, the CCNA is all about configuring and implementation.

    In short the CCDA is theory based and the CCNA is practical based.

    But unless you are going to get the CCNA and go on to the CCNP/CCDP the CCDA cert is not going to be worth much on it's own as I have found.

    Personally I would suggest getting the CCNA first since this will give you the practical and the skills for the resume and get the design which is a bit harder certification to get second.

    Certifications: MCP x4, CompTia x3
    WIP: Cisco CCNA
  4. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    Something that Cisco says on their website is that "CCNA level knowledge is required".

    So I guess it's something of six and two three's as to which one you take first.

  5. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator


    "Practical" is a fuzzy term. It really depends on your job (or in your case you interest, as you've stated that neither will be much use in your current job role), if in your job you do network design (instead of support) then doing the CCNA isn't really the cert for you. However if you do both the design and the support side of things then it will not really make a difference in what order you do the certs.

    "CCNA certified professionals can install, configure, and operate LAN, WAN, and dial access services for small networks" - CISCO

    "CCDA certified professionals can design routed and switched network infrastructures involving LAN, WAN, and dial access services for businesses and organizations." -CISCO

    I can't really comment on what you've heard from various people, but reading the overview of the CCNA course, it really does sound like the CISCO version of the Network+ but geared up to Cisco hardware. If you go to CISCO's page all it states is that you need CCNA level knowledge (and since the CCNA is a foundation level cert it shouldn't be that hard - mind you I'm not saying that it'll be easy either!), you don't have to have a CCNA.

    Hope this helps

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: MSc in Tech Management
  6. dapex

    dapex Bit Poster

    In my current role I design Telecomms services. I work for a telco and plan how we are going to deliver services into a customer and what those servises will be, as you can imagine, have the CCDA will give me more Kudos at work than the CCNA will as I never actuallt touch any equipment at all.

    Cheers for all the advice so far...
  7. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster


    I earned my CCDA before my CCNA. I also graduated from the Cisco Networking Academy Semester 4. I even have a Cisco 2621 router sitting next to me as I type.

    In a way, those few people who told you is right but only to a certain degree. Since I once held both, I say that the same level of knowledge is needed, since both certificates are at the Associate level. However, the difference in the process of knowledge usage.

    As you know, the CCDA stands for Cisco Certified DESIGN Associate, emphasis mine. As such, the CCDA's responsibility is to solve network problems because of previously engineered solutions are the cause of current problems such as bottlenecks, redesigned network addressing system, and improving performance. In other words, it's like working from OSI Layer 7 down to Layer 1.

    As you know, the CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate. In a way, there are three words missing which are "Implementation and Troubleshooting" between "Network" and "Associate." That's the main purpose for the CCNA which is to implement some of the solutions that were designed by the CCDA. So that's where you get warm and comfy with the IOS and configure the routers, switches, hubs, and even some of the cabling in between. In other words, you work from OSI Layer 1 up towards Layer 7.

    So in summary, both certificates require basically the same knowledge. However, the way that knowledge is used are different.

    Another factor that you might want to understand is how being Cisco Certified fits into the overall "Cisco way" of Cisco Partners. There are four levels of Partner: 1) Registered Partner 2) Premier Partner 3) Silver Partner 4) Gold Partner. Cisco will not wholesale the Cisco equipment to the Partner unless they are assured that they have hired Cisco Certified people to know how to use the equipment that the Partner is selling. From what I know, a reseller just needs a whole bunch of paperwork to become a Registered Partner. However, to become a Premier Partner, the company needs to have Cisco Certified people in the role of "Account Manager", "Systems Engineer", and "Field Engineer." The related certificates are: Cisco Sales Expert, Cisco Certified Design Associate, and Cisco Certified Network Associate respectively. So if you have the CCDA, you may become the "System Engineer" role and so be the key reason why a company upgraded from "Registered Partner" status to "Premier Partner" status.

    I hope this helps.

    Relevant Links:
    1 ) Designing for Cisco Internetwork Solutions Exam Outline - http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/current_exams/640-861.html
    2 ) Cisco Certified Network Associate Exam Outline - http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/current_exams/640-801.html
    3 ) Overview of the [Cisco] Channel Partner Program - http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/pr11/index.html
    4 ) Cisco Systems - Specialized Partner - Advanced Routing & Switching - Role Requirements - http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/program/specializations/adv-rs/requirements.html
    5 ) Cisco Systems - Specialized Partner - Advanced Security - Role Requirements - http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/program/specializations/adv-sec/requirements.html
    6 ) Cisco Systems - Specialized Partner - Advanced Unified Communications - Role Requirements - http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/program/specializations/adv-com/requirements.html
    7 ) Cisco Systems - Specialized Partner - Advanced Wireless LAN - Role Requirements - http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/program/specializations/adv-wlan/requirements.html
    8 ) Cisco Systems - Specialized Partner - Express Foundation - Role Requirements - http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/pr11/pr66/fe/role_requirements.html
    9 ) Cisco Systems - Specialized Partner - Express Unified Communications - Role Requirements - http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/program/specializations/x-ucom/requirements.html
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP+I, MCP, CCNA, A+

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