Engineering Expertise Which is Better AWS or CCNA Certification? By Jennifer Martin | January 4, 2022 Networking specialists are in demand. The IT industry has been expanding at a quick pace. It’s hard to imagine any modern business that doesn’t rely on networking and the Internet. This has led to a high level of demand for networking specialists. It has also created an equal demand for certifications that demonstrate aptitude in the field. So, which networking specialist certification is the best for your career, the AWS or CCNA certification? At first glance it may seem like the Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certificates focus on the same areas. After all, if we speak with someone working in networking, they might have either of these two certificates. However, it’s important to note that networked services have evolved, and two networking services have dominated the industry, Amazon Web Services and Cisco networking. What’s Covered on the CCNA Exam? The CCNA certification exam focuses on your ability to implement and administer Cisco solutions. The knowledge and skills related to network fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity, IP services, security fundamentals, automation and programmability are tested during the CCNA certification exam. Networking Fundamentals The network fundamentals section of the certification exam focuses on the role and function of network components, network topology architecture, physical interface and cabling types, interface, and cable issues, IPv4 and IPv6 address types, IP parameters, wireless principles, virtualization fundamentals, and switching concepts. Network Access The section on network access focuses on VLANs spanning multiple switches, interswitch connectivity, Layer 2 discovery protocols, EtherChannel, Rapid PVST+ spanning tree protocol, Cisco wireless architecture and AP modes, WLAN components, AP and WLC management access connections, and wireless LAN. IP Connectivity The CCNA section on IP connectivity reviews routing tables, IPV4 and IPv6 static routing, single area OSPFv2, and first hop redundancy protocol. IP Services The section of the certification exam on IP services reviews your knowledge of inside source NAT using static and pools, NTP operating in a client and server mode, DHCP, DNS, SNMP in network operations, Syslog features, forwarding per-hop behavior (PHB), QoS for classification, marketing, queuing, congestion, policing and shaping, SSH and TFTP/FTP. Security Fundamentals During the security fundamentals section of the CCNA certification exam, you will need to prove your proficiency in key security concepts that include threats, vulnerabilities, exploits, and mitigation techniques. You will review security program elements including user awareness, training, and physical access control. Other topics include controlling local passwords, security password policy elements including management, complexity, and password alternatives. Further topics focus on remote access and site-to-site VPNs, access control lists, Layer 2 security features including DHCP snooping, dynamic ARP inspection, and port security, as well as the difference between authentication, authorization, and accounting concepts. The final topics on this section of the CCNA certification exam focuses on wireless security protocols including WPA, WPA2, and WPA3, and WLAN using WPA2 PSK using the GUI. Automation and Programmability This section of the CCNA certification exam focuses on how automation impacts network management, traditional networks, controller-based networking, controller-based architecture, software defined architecture, traditional campus device management, Cisco DNA center enabled device management, REST-based APIs, configuration management mechanisms including Puppet, Chef and Ansible and JSON encoded data. What’s Covered on the AWS Exam? The certification program in cloud computing at the University of Silicon Valley prepares you to take the many levels of AWS certification. You will start with the foundation of computing certification as an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, then move to software development in the cloud to become an AWS Certified Developer Associate. Finally, you will choose from three specialty certifications including data storage and management, to become an AWS Certified Database Specialty, SysOps in the cloud to become an AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate and finally cloud system architecture to become an AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate. You will also participate in coursework that covers all five certifications. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner This certification exam focuses on cloud concepts, security, compliance, technology, billing, and price. This certification is intended for IT professionals that can effectively demonstrate an overall knowledge of the AWS Cloud. You will validate your ability to explain the value of the AWS cloud, understand the AWS shared responsibility model, security best practices, and AWS Cloud costs, economics, and billing practices. Finally, you must validate your ability to describe and position the core AWS services, including compute, network, databases, and storage as well as identify ASW services for common use cases. AWS Certified Developer Associate The developer associate certification exam focuses on the core AWS services, its uses, and the basic AWS architecture best practices. It also demonstrates your proficiency in developing, deploying, and debugging cloud-based applications. Knowledge that will help you with this certification exam includes in-depth knowledge of at least one high-level programming language, understanding the application lifecycle, the ability to write code for serverless applications and the use of containers in the development process. You also need to know specific AWS knowledge including APIs, CU, SDKs, CI/CD pipeline, cloud-native applications to write code and the ability to author, maintain and debug code modules on AWS. AWS Certified Database Specialty Candidates to take the AWS Certified Database Specialty certification exam should have at least five years of experience with common database technologies and two years of hands-on experience working with on-premises and AWS cloud-based relational and NoSQL databases. You should be able to understand and differentiate the key features of AWS database servers and analyze needs and requirements to design and recommend appropriate database solutions by using AWS services. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate The recommended experience to take the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification exam includes one year of hands-on experience with AWS technology, experience deploying, managing and operating workloads on AWS, implementing security controls and compliance requirements, AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface, AWS Well-Architectured Framework and AWS networking and security services. AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate Those taking this certification exam must have one year of hands-on experience with AWS technology, including using compute, networking, storage and database AWS services, AWS deployment and management services, AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface, AWS Well-Architectured Framework, and AWS networking, security services and the AWS global infrastructure. What are the Benefits of a Networking Specialist Certification? There are many benefits to obtaining a networking specialist certification like CCNA and AWS, including confidence in your employer as well as yourself, career advancement opportunities and being involved in the re-certification process so you keep up with technology as it evolves. Build Confidence Not only will certification build your self-confidence while you do everyday tasks, but your colleagues and employer will have more confidence in you as well. Supervisors will be less likely to micro-manage and colleagues will be less likely to second guess decisions you make. Having a networking specialist certification is a great way to prove your knowledge and skills and assure everyone you work with that you know what you are doing. Career Advancement Opportunities Career advancement is one of the most common reasons to get a networking specialist certification. It’s a way of telling employers exactly what skills you have mastered. Whether you are applying for a new job or up for a promotion, having a networking specialist certification gives you a leg up on your competition. There are also many AWS certifications in different disciplines, and as your career evolves, you can take the AWS certification that best promotes your knowledge in networking. From the foundational cloud practitioner certification to solutions architecture, SysOps administrator, developer, solutions architecture, and DevOps Engineer certification, each certification offers a window into your AWS knowledge and skill set. There are also specialty AWS certifications that encompass advanced networking, data analytics, databases, machine learning, and network security. After you have passed the foundational certification as a cloud practitioner you can take one or more of the associate, professional and specialty AWS certification exams. Re-Certification Process Most certifications need to be re-certified after a few years, the CCNA and AWS certifications are no exception. The main reason for re-certification is to prove that you have kept up with technology as it evolves. Don’t let your certifications expire. If it has been a while since you used your knowledge in AWS services, you can take a cloud computing program at the University of Silicon Valley to prepare you for the certification exams. What’s the Best Way to Study for the IT Certification Exam? The easiest way to prepare for the IT certification exam is to complete the program in Cloud Computing at the University of Silicon Valley. This program will prepare you for the AWS certification exams. It will help you earn up to 3 different AWS certificates. This professional certification program offers you industry-driven training in computing, with a focus on concepts, techniques, and technology relevant to cloud computing. The program offers an introduction to the fundamental concepts of computing and information technology. You will learn skills derived from cloud providers like Amazon Web Services. This is an entry-level certificate, and no prerequisites are required. You just need to bring a passion for networking and computing. Classes are completed in both online and on-campus settings, offering you the flexibility you need to continue managing personal responsibilities. All courses are transferable into a University of Silicon Valley bachelor’s degree program. Final Thoughts Considering a career as a networking specialist and want to learn the ins and outs of Amazon Web Services? The University of Silicon Valley has structured this cloud computing program to be efficient and effective. Attending full-time, you can finish faster, save money and graduate with real-world skills and experience. Plus, you will have three certifications to add to your resume and help you find your dream job. Take the first step toward your journey into cloud computing with The University of Silicon Valley. Ready to learn more about the certification offered at University of Silicon Valley in cloud computing? Our comprehensive Computer Science degree programs are taught by entrepreneurs who are in the thick of the industry. At University of Silicon Valley, the certificate of cloud computing offers students industry-driven training in computing, with a focus on concepts, techniques, and technology relevant to cloud computing. The program offers an introduction to fundamental concepts in computing and information technology. Students learn valuable skills derived from industry-leading cloud providers including Amazon Web Services. Graduates of this certificate will be ready for the AWS Academy program and the Silicon Valley workforce. University of Silicon Valley is uniquely poised to offer a meaningful and valuable education for 21st century students. We believe in an education that directly correlates with the work you’ll be doing after you graduate. Interested in learning more? Contact Us today.