Cisco Certified Network Associate Wireless (CCNA Wireless)

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certificate in Wireless technology is an associate level certification to specialize in installing, configuring, maintaining, and troubleshooting networks that use Cisco switches and routers. Wireless networking is becoming increasingly popular and gaining this certification can help you achieve a position as a network administrator or network technician. There are many certifications available to those who desire a network administrator role. Which certification you choose can determine your path in your professional career. There are many specializations that are desired by companies looking for network administrators including Microsoft, Cisco, Linux/UNIX, and VMWare among others.

The required exam to obtain CCNA certification is the 640-721 IUWNE Implementing Cisco Unified Networks Essentials. Earning this new certification requires that you hold a valid CCNA via the 640-802 exam as a prerequisite. However, you could opt for the two shorter exams 640-822 and 640-816. Training and preparation for these exams could be covered at local technical colleges, private organizations or directly through Cisco with their Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices study program (ICND). The 640-721 IUWNE CCNA Wireless exam covers topics such as:

  • Wireless fundamentals including the different 802.11x standards, regulations and encryption methods
  • Installing a basic Cisco wireless LAN which involves Cisco Mobility Express Wireless architecture, Cisco Unified Wireless Network architecture, modes of controller-based AP deployment, roaming and stand-alone access points
  • Installing wireless clients and knowing basics of OS WLAN configuration (ADU, CSSC, CCX)
  • Implementing basic WLAN security which involves authentication and encryption methods
  • Configure controllers and APs, Operate basic WCS and Navigator with knowledge of mapping system
  • Conduct WLAN maintenance and troubleshooting for controllers, access points and clients methodologies, describe basic RF deployment, know RF interference sources, describe the use of WLC show, debug and logging, transfer WLC configuration and OS using maintenance tools and commands and also describe the differences of WLC WLAN management access methods.

These skills will make to the network guru of your organization. The job market for these types of jobs is on the rise. Expected annual salary is around $30,000 for entry level experience and around $50,000/year for experienced corporate persons. Acquiring a position as a network administrator or systems administrator is usually company specific as to the particular hardware and software applications they use. Cisco certification is a well known certification to have. Cisco was founded in 1984 by Len Bosak and his wife Sandy Lerner. They ended up creating a multi protocol router device, which eliminated the problem of a unified and standardized local area protocol. Cisco has since evolved to become one of the nation’s leading providers of networking hardware.

Specializing in Cisco certifications will put your resume at the top of the stack and give you a competitive advantage among your peers for employers who desire those skills. However, just about all network administrator jobs involve knowledge of Microsoft products. Like any job, it is easier to acquire a position if you are already working. Entry level positions are steadily deteriorating and finding one means having advanced hands on knowledge of the skills desired by the employer. Certifications combined with formal education provide a solid backbone for employment decisions. The CCNA Wireless certification is valid for three years after which, you must recertify one of Cisco’s administrative exams such as the ICND2 exam, or pass the current CCNA exam, or the current CCDA DESGN exam, or any current 642-XXX Professional level exam.

A CCNA certification is recognized by the US government and the NSA. Anyone with this certification won’t have a problem getting good paying jobs in the military, government agencies or mid-sized privately-held companies. Computer systems need to be secured and monitored for faults and Cisco is a leading manufacturer of this network architecture. Other vendors of routers and switches include: Adtran, Extreme, Foundry, Juniper, NetGear, etc. Each has a unique GUI although architecture is similar. The CCNA Wireless certification is specialized to Cisco products although it does contain a lot of general information relative to networking that could be applied to other vendors of similar devices.

A CCNA certification is great to have and will give you the knowledge to excel as a network administrator, systems administrator or network technician. It is highly recognized in the IT field and being recognized isn’t a bad thing.