Cisco’s Updated Wireless Certification Path

By Andrew Stibbards | 3 Min Read | Technical Level: Beginner

Cisco announced at Cisco Live they are updating and replacing their current wireless training! What does that mean if you are currently pursuing a wireless certification? The short answer: there will be up to date training on an easier path to achieve your CCNP Wireless certification. Long answer: Let’s look at the current wireless options, and how they are being replaced.


First, the most common current wireless course is Implementing Cisco Wireless Fundamentals (WIFUND), from which the CCNA Wireless certification is pulled. It sets a great foundation for wireless and RF theory but uses hardware and software that end-of-life/end-of-sale, such as Windows 7.


For the current CCNP Wireless certification, there are four classes, each with their own exam: WIDESIGN, WIDEPLOY, WISECURE, and WITSHOOT. While it’s more up to date than WIFUND, these courses still suffer from hardware and software changes over time, as well as the requirement to pass four exams to achieve your CCNP Wireless certification. If you are trying to earn your CCNP Wireless Certification before February 2020, use this migration tool to see how your training will translate to the new certifications.


So, what is Cisco moving toward in wireless training?

To start, they are replacing all the CCNA separate tracks, such as CCNA Security, CCNA Data Center, and CCNA Wireless, with a single core CCNA. This new single CCNA will include an introduction to wireless. So, no more dedicated CCNA Wireless, but everyone will get some wireless awareness as they start their certification path.


You also do NOT need to have your CCNA in order to earn CCNP certifications anymore! If you have been in networking for years and don’t want to take one more introductory course, you don’t have to! Skip straight to the level that challenges you and advances your career.


To replace the current CCNP Wireless, they have folded Wireless into the Enterprise track of training. In this new track, you need to complete the Implementing Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies (ENCOR) class and exam, as well as one concentration class and exam, to get your CCNP certification. One core, one concentration, done. You can do more concentrations if you desire, but only one is required.


There are two wireless concentration courses: Designing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks (ENWLSD) and Implementing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks (ENWLSI).


ENWLSD covers material similar to the WIFUND course. Site surveys, radio management, voice and video over wireless, mobility. Concepts and topics that are applicable to any wireless network, regardless of size. Definitely a course to start with as you begin your wireless journey.


ENWLSI covers more advanced topics. FlexConnect, QoS, Multicast, Security, Troubleshooting. These are topics that will be more applicable to medium to larger networks, and even some smaller, but complex wireless environments.


So, what should you do in the next few months?

We still have 5 months until the new certifications go live. If you want to get your CCNA Wireless in that time, it is still available. If you have the earned the CCNA Wireless certification by February 24th, 2020, your certification will automatically be converted to the new single CCNA, and your Cisco account will be granted a training badge for the wireless certification you already had. Keep going!


Alternatively, you can wait until February, and do the ENCOR course and exam, and one of the concentrations, ENWLSD / ENWLSI, and jump straight to CCNP Enterprise! If you want to be really ambitious, you can take ENCOR and both concentration courses for all their information. I will go over the topics in the new courses in more depth in my next blog.


Hope to see you in class!
Andrew Stibbards


Do you want to take a class with Andrew? View our Wireless courses


Instructor Bio:
Andrew Stibbards studied at Northern Virginia Community College from 2007-2011, where he studied Computer Science and English. Afterward, he worked in the DC-Metro area providing network and user support to over 30 companies. He was responsible for user support, maintenance, design, and implementation. After being hired by Sunset Learning in early 2013, he received his training under the supervision of the SLI instructors. He has experience with installation, configuring, operating and troubleshooting medium-size route and switched networks. Andrew teaches all courses in the CCNA and CCNP Routing and Switching track, as well as the CCNA Wireless and Security. He also teaches on deployment tactics for basic and advanced wireless networks.


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