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Is CCNA enough to give me a solid networking background for Cisco networking certification?

I am currently studying the CCNA and Network+ certifications. I plan to pursue a career in Cisco Systems, preferably CCNP and further. My question is, do I need to take both entry-level certifications to have a solid background in networking, or will CCNA suffice?

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Unless you really want to beef up your basic network fundamentals knowledge, the CCNA should be more than enough to get you ready to walk further down the Cisco networking certification trail. That's what it's designed for, although Cisco does also recommend the Network+ to those who don't have much background in networking simply to help them prepare for the CCNA.

If you take and pass the CCNA, you can probably skip the Network+ exam. If you take and fail the CCNA exam and you think basic networking knowledge deficits helped contribute to that result, then -- and only then -- will you want to think further about taking the Network+ exam.

This was first published in November 2006

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