ccent vs ccna

CCENT vs CCNA: Which Certificate Is Right For You In 2024?

The difference between CCENT vs CCNA is related to technically advanced understanding. So how exactly do they differ? Let’s learn more in this post!

Updated at October 25, 2022

IT certifications demonstrate to companies that you possess verifiable expertise in that field, increasing your likelihood of being hired and raising your pay proposals.

The Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) and the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) are two well-known certifications that appear to teach comparable abilities (CCNA).

Both the CCENT and CCNA credentials are specific to the Cisco environment. Cisco certifications target various IT occupations and positions while teaching various skills at various levels.

In today’s post, we will discuss CCENT vs CCNA key differences with an in-depth comparison.

ccent vs ccna

What is CCENT?

CCENT, which stands for Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician, is a certificate that is the most basic level for networking certification. This certificate’s course outline was created to give students a foundational understanding of switches, hubs, routers, various cable kinds, and their functions. It aids in the comprehension of the communication network between many devices.

Companies use people with CCENT certifications for entry-level networking positions including Junior Network Engineers, Network Administrators, Cisco Network Engineers, and Network Support Specialists, to name a few.

What is CCNA?

CCNA (or Cisco Certified Network Associate) is offered on the Netacad platform by Cisco, one of the leading companies in the networking and cyber security fields offering a variety of certifications in both those fields.

The CCNA certification’s curriculum is more complex than the CCENT’s and includes more information about setting up an Internet network.

The CCNA offers a comprehensive curriculum to teach and develop technical expertise for the management of medium-sized routed and switched networks and Wide Area Networks (WAN). The fundamental requirements for the CCNA certificates are the CCENT certification or abilities that are equal to it.

To earn the CCNA certification, you must pass the ICND1 and ICND2 examinations.

Significant networking positions including System Engineer, Technical Support Engineer, Desktop/Network Support Engineer, Network Administrator, Network Engineer, Network Security Associate, and others are filled by CCNA-certified experts.

CCENT vs CCNA: Key similarities and differences


Both the CCNA and CCENT credentials are a part of the Cisco ecosystem, which is a major supplier of networking and infrastructure parts.

Students must pass a difficult exam that often necessitates many hours of study in order to get these certificates. Both certificates have a three-year expiration date after which they must be renewed.

Students who have previously completed their CCNA are also familiar with all preventative measures, fundamental security issues, and risks that pertain to keeping the network safe from viruses and hacking efforts that might hurt them or reveal sensitive user information.

To obtain the advanced certification, you must have abilities comparable to those required for the CCENT certification. It should be noted that it is not necessary in order to sit for the CCNA test. CCNA-qualified individuals work as WAN/LAN engineers and internetwork engineers, among other positions.

ccent vs ccna


Both certifications are well-liked options on the market; let’s talk about some of the main differences:

The depth of scope is the main distinction between CCNA and CCENT. The CCENT certification is primarily built on an entry-level design that offers all individuals wishing to begin their careers in networking a decent place to start.

This exam covers elementary material and doesn’t need much effort. This certification course covers topics including installing, running and maintaining small branch networks.

It is one of the greatest options for mastering the fundamentals of networking, as opposed to CCNA, which is regarded as the associate level exam and has a little more complicated course and curriculum than CCENT.

This test covers subjects including sophisticated dynamic protocols, particularly those in charge of routing, RST (or Rapid Spanning Tree), and VPN protocols.

Your grasp of networks and how networking relates to other operating systems and applications is the goal of the CCENT.

For instance, database administrators, software developers, and system administrators could be interested in studying for and passing the CCENT test to gain a better understanding of networks and the effects they have on the functioning of application systems.

The networking team and the programming team or a system admin team have frequently and persistently fought about the location of the IT issue.

Lessening such situations will need strong networking knowledge. Consequently, it is possible to consider the CCENT test to be the first step toward obtaining the CCNA credential.

Compared to the CCNA test, which comprises both the ICND1 and ICND2 exams as well as fundamental troubleshooting, the 640-822 ICND1 exam, which stands for integrating Cisco network devices 1, is just required for the CCNA certification. It costs $125, lasts 90 minutes, and has about 40 to 50 questions.

In both tests, troubleshooting-related topics and questions are included because troubleshooting is a must for each network administrator. Understanding how the OSI layer model functions is also crucial. This includes knowing what network issues can arise at each layer and how to use the different display and debug commands.

CCENT vs CCNA: Comparison table

The following table is a quick comparison between CCENT vs CCNA

The Basis Of ComparisonCCENTCCNA
ScopeIntroductory foundation levelMore advanced than CCENT
Exam numbers1 (ICND1)2 (ICND1 and ICND2)
TopicsInstallation, operate and supportDynamic routing protocols, Rapid Spanning Tree, VPN protocols
Level of UnderstandingNetwork, how it functions, and how it is dependent on other operating systemsAlong with networking and operating systems, it also requires you to be familiar with the OSI model and each network layer inside.
Route of exam-takingOne 640-822 ICND1 test costs $125 and lasts 90 minutes with 40–50 questions.There are two methods to take the test:
Composite: 90 minutes, 45 to 50 questions, 640-822 ICND1, and 640-816 ICND2, $250
Individually: The cost of the 640-816 ICND2 test is $125, and there are 40–50 questions and a time restriction of 75–90 minutes.


Let’s examine which certification to select based on the work position and requirements given that we have a quick understanding of what CCNET and CCNA are and their key differences.

You can earn the CCENT certificate by taking either the CCENT certification by itself or the CCENT certification in combination with a portion of the CCNA certification.

There are two sections to the CCNA certification. CCENT is the entrance level, and CCNA is the advanced or second level. The CCENT certification was awarded for completing the first level, while the CCNA certification was awarded for finishing both levels.

Ultimately, the CCENT and CCNA certifications help you achieve technical skills at various levels in a variety of IT fields and practical experience with particular technologies.

These credentials help you advance your professional opportunities and act as the first stages toward earning professional-level certifications for the best results.

Wrapping Up

Both the CCNA and CCENT certifications will be beneficial to your career, particularly if you want to advance in the networking industry. These credentials serve as stepping stones for employment, which will undoubtedly aid in the development of your expertise as an IT network specialist.

Because this is a field that is always evolving, pick a certification that fits your background and your objectives and shines in the market. Keep up with the distinctions between CCENT vs CCNA to choose the best course of action.

On this website, we offer thousands of free CCNA practice tests to help you thoroughly prepare for this exam!