CCDA renewal snuck up me - ARCH or BCMSN?

UnixGeekUnixGeek Member Posts: 151
My CCDA is coming up for renewal in 7-8 weeks, and I wanted to check with those who have passed ARCH to make sure that my plan makes sense.

My career has taken me away from the Cisco side of things for the past few years, but now it's starting to take me back in that direction. As a result, my Cisco-specific knowledge has faded greatly from not being used much, but my vendor-neutral networking knowledge has kept up.

My ultimate goal is to obtain CCNP and CCDP certifications over the next year or two. I'm planning to start with the ARCH exam, with the thought that if I start running low on time, I can always switch gears, and retake DESGN before the CCDA expiration.

Is going after ARCH first a viable plan, or should I be looking at other options? I've also considered BCMSN since I work with managed switches and wireless networks on a regular basis, and passed an earlier version of the exam about 5 years ago.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Do the CCNA concentrations renew the DA? If so, one of those might be more realistic in that time frame, and you wouldn't have to retake something you've already taken.
  • UnixGeekUnixGeek Member Posts: 151
    The concentration exams don't, but the non-sales specialist ones do. After filtering out the list to only include those concentrations which require one additional exam, I think I'd rather just re-take DESGN if it comes down to it. :)
  • kalebkspkalebksp Member Posts: 1,033 ■■■■■□□□□□
    UnixGeek wrote: »
    The concentration exams don't, but the non-sales specialist ones do. After filtering out the list to only include those concentrations which require one additional exam, I think I'd rather just re-take DESGN if it comes down to it. :)

    I think the concentrations do renew the CCDA (About Recertification - IT Certification and Career Paths - Cisco Systems), some pages are just a bit old.
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    kalebksp wrote: »
    I think the concentrations do renew the CCDA (About Recertification - IT Certification and Career Paths - Cisco Systems), some pages are just a bit old.

    I thought they renewed the DA too. its upto you which way you take them. Personally, i would go for the technical side first to get the technical knowledge then do the design aspects on how to implement that knowledge. Or at least thats the way i see it and are going to do. CCNP > CCDP
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  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Ok, cool. They do work: About Recertification - IT Certification and Career Paths - Cisco Systems

    Thanks for the link. A lot of the pages are still inconsistent.
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    dynamik wrote: »
    Ok, cool. They do work: About Recertification - IT Certification and Career Paths - Cisco Systems

    Thanks for the link. A lot of the pages are still inconsistent.

    The inconsistency is annoying especially when you look for docs and you are redirected all over the place!
    Xbox Live: Bring It On

    Bsc (hons) Network Computing - 1st Class
    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • shednikshednik Member Posts: 2,005
    Yes the concentration exams definitely renew the NA and DA last time I checked.
  • UnixGeekUnixGeek Member Posts: 151
    Wow, thanks everyone. It looks like a CCNA specialization is definitely the route to go. Now I'm really glad that I asked.
  • tech-airmantech-airman Member Posts: 953
    UnixGeek wrote: »
    Wow, thanks everyone. It looks like a CCNA specialization is definitely the route to go. Now I'm really glad that I asked.

    UnixGeek,

    I regret to inform you that "CCNA specialzation" does NOT recertify your CCDA certificate. Here are the requirements to recertify your CCDA...
    CCDA Recertification
    CCDA certifications are valid for three years. To recertify, either pass the current CCDA exam, or pass any 642 professional level or Cisco Specialist exam (excluding Sales Specialist exams), or pass a current CCIE written exam.

    Cisco Specialist exam is not the same as a CCNA Concentration exam. A Cisco Specialist certificate and relevant exams includes the following:
    1. Cisco Express Foundation Design Specialist
      1. 642-373 CXFS - Cisco Express Foundation for Systems Engineers
    2. Cisco Advanced Wireless LAN Design Specialist
      1. 642-586 AWLANSE - Cisco Advanced Wireless LAN for System Engineers Exam
    3. Cisco IP Telephony Design Specialist
      1. 642-415 UCAD - Unified Communications Architecture and Design Exam
    4. Cisco Routing and Switching Solutions Specialist
      1. 642-061 RSSSE - Routing and Switching Solutions for System Engineers
    5. Cisco Data Center Application Services Design Specialist
      1. 642-972 DCASD - Data Center Application Services Design
    6. Cisco Data Center Networking Infrastructure Design Specialist
      1. 642-971 DCNID - Data Center Network Infrastructure Design
    7. Cisco Security Solutions and Design Specialist
      1. 642-566 SSSE - Security Solutions for Systems Engineers
    8. Cisco Unity Design Specialist
      1. 642-072 CUDN - Cisco Unity Design and Networking Exam

    Given the choices of ARCH or BCMSN, I'd pick BCMSN. That's because BCMSN is a focussed exam towards the CCNP and CCDP certifications. Even the new updated 640-863 DESGN in order to recertify the CCDA by taking an equivalent exam would probably be too broad of a material depth. ARCH would probably be both broad and deep relative to the 640-863 DESGN exam material. But whatever your choice is, 7~8 weeks to cram through the BCMSN material may not be practical, especially if you want to include the shipping delay time for the books and the equipment. Whatever your decision, good luck.

    Source:
    1. CCDA - Career Certifications & Paths - Cisco Systems
    2. IT Certification - Cisco - Cisco Systems
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Check the link posted earlier, it appears to be more up-to-date than the CCDA page.
    CCENT, CCNA, CCDA
    Complete one of the following recertification options:
    Pass your current certification exam. For CCENT and CCNA, ICND 2 will also recertify.
    Pass a CCNA Concentration exam (wireless, security, voice)
    Pass a current Specialist exam (excluding Sales Specialist exams)
    Pass any Professional level exam bearing a 642 prefix
    Pass a current CCIE or CCDE written exam
    Achieving or recertifying any of the certifications above automatically extends your active CCENT, CCNA, and CCDA certification(s) up to the point of expiration of the last certification achieved
  • ITdudeITdude Member Posts: 1,183
    Attempting the ARCH without a good working knowledge of at least the BCMSN and BSCI material especially if you have not been working with Cisco gear recently, would be a big mistake.

    There are just too many concepts there that require being solid in those areas. You are after all certifying that you are able to design an enterprise network from end to end, Etc.

    At this point, I think that I would opt for the BCMSN. FWIW.:)
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
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  • UnixGeekUnixGeek Member Posts: 151
    I've decided to recertify as a CCNA first, with the goal of then taking the BCSMN before the CCDA expires. If time starts running low on the BCSMN, I'll switch gears to DESIGN.

    I'm going through the Sybex CCNA book right now, and am finding that the concepts are already there, so it's mostly a matter of refreshing my memory on the commands, and Cisco-specific way of doing things. I'm planning to sit the 640-802 in about two weeks.
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,621 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Definitely start on the CCNP. There is significantly more value in that cert than the CCDP. I only snagged the CCDP because it was just one more test after the CCNP.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
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