So the time as come to renew both my CCNA R&S and Wireless this year. Where has the last three years gone? With this being said I find myself in a bit of a pickle! My options for renewal are to take the CCNA wireless exam or take the composite CCNA R&S exam, seems easy right? Well not really.

The CCNA wireless exam was renewed sometime last year, which it really needed it. When I took the exam three years ago it was based on WLC code 4. Talk about rough, I have never seen anything less than 6 at the time in my career, so although the concepts were the same, the GUI looked a bit different. It would appear the new exam is based on code 7. Man talk about a jump….exam went from code 4 to 7 in one revision step. I think this was a good step for Cisco as the exam was really outdated.

As for the CCNA R&S, this exam was also overhauled this past year. I just can’t keep anymore and that is the reason I gave up on Microsoft exams. The products were moving way to fast in the Microsoft world that it was a money pit. You would walk out of the testing center just passing your Exchange 2003 exam only to stand in line and ask about scheduling your 2007 exam next week. Lately Cisco is not far from falling in Microsoft’s footsteps.

I believe the reasoning for the CCNA reboot, yet again, was Cisco found that people would get their CCNA and stop advancing through the certs. Do you blame these people? I myself am at Professional level exams at $250 a pop. The CCNP R&S is three exams, and that’s a small path compared to others like Voice, so do the math. That’s a lot of money to get your CCNP. Not to mention all the money you will spend on study materials and lab time. It seems that Cisco pushed some of the material from the professional exams down to the Associate exams to better prepare these CCNA’ers for the real world. I read somewhere that the new model of CCNA R&S is to bring the individual into more troubleshooting. Sounds good to me, makes sense. I guess I better crap for all three of CCNP exams because I can only assume that the CCNP R&S will be getting a refresh soon too. Heck the CCIE R&S just did, so it would make sense.

Now to make sense I should simply take a professional exam that will renew my lower level CCNA’s and also count towards my CCNP track. I have taken the CCNP SWITCH exam twice and have not passed yet. Personally I am ready to give up on the exam and try to take the CCNP ROUTE exam to feel good about myself again. I’m not sure what Cisco’s reason is for this exam being such a “beast”. The exam encompasses so much technically and if that’s not enough for you to swallow, they through some design path material in there. Now wait a minute Cisco, don’t you have a Cisco Certified Design Associate cert for that? I see now why most people that take paths down different certification roads rather it be security or voice, say you should have a solid foundation in R&S.

With all this being said I have to do something before August because even though I have been hitting CCIE R&S study material hard the past 3 to 4 months, I will simply not have enough time to squeeze in a written exam by August. I really cant justify letting my CCNA certs expire so it looks like I will spin the wheel again on the CCNP SWITCH exam.

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