Is there an affordable way to get your CCNA Video cert?

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Like many of the other niche Cisco certifications, the new (as of Jan 2013) Cisco Certified Network Associate – Video certification (CCNA Video) has been gaining steam in the network video/voice community. Let's take a look at some of the current recommendations for successfully passing the 200-001 VIVND exam, which is the last video-specific exam that is required for the CCNA Video certification (more details as to the specific exams required can be seen here and the CCNA online course is here.)

CCNA Video studying recommendations

The problem that many people have with any new certification is that it's hard to locate resources to study for the exam. Sometimes this is mitigated with a considerable amount of effort put into preparation products (e.g. self-study guides, CBTs).  The problem comes with certifications that are not as widely popular (at least not yet); these certifications may be vital for those in each respective field but they don't justify the amount of money required to put out these products the way established certifications like CCNA Routing and Switching (CCNA R&S) do. This is further complicated with the CCNA Video certification because much of the equipment that you need to study with and learn about is rather expensive and typically well out of the range of reasonable cost to most candidates. This results in a smaller amount of people that are able to easily get access to the products and learn about the technologies that are available. Now, this can be a good thing for those who are able to invest in the resources they need to achieve the certification (supply/demand), but it does make the cost of achieving the certification much higher than many others.

So what does this all mean to the candidate looking to achieve this cert? Unfortunately, at the moment there are only two good paths to the CCNA Video certification: Be employed at a company that has a number of the products that are covered in the certification and try to learn on the job OR invest the time and money in taking two Cisco courses, the VIVND1 (e-learning at approximately $400) and VIVND2 (classroom course at approximately $4,200).

The only other alternative (not really a good alternative as it is very time-intensive) is to download and study the Cisco guides references here. The problem with this is that there is a lot of material to cover and often the test is only focused on a moderate portion of what Cisco actually puts on the objectives list. The insight required to know what is actually going to be covered typically is gleaned from study guides OR by taking the course (or talking to someone who has). If you can't accomplish one of the two preferred study paths, check out this course syllabus. It offers a more expanded list of the objectives that are covered in the VIVND2 course; this along with the resources referenced above will certainly give you a good chance of covering the topics that will be featured on the actual exam.


As with most new certifications, it will take some amount of time before the preparation community will catch up and introduce other learning options, especially for those interested in self learning. The good thing is that since associate-level Cisco certifications are generally more profitable than high-level certifications, the odds are that these learning options are on the horizon.

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Sean Wilkins

Sean Wilkins is an accomplished networking consultant who has been in the IT field for more than 20 years, working with several large enterprises. He is a writer for infoDispersion and his educational accomplishments include: a Master’s of Science in Information Technology with a focus in Network Architecture and Design, and a Master’s of Science in Organizational Management. Sean holds certifications with Cisco (CCNP/CCDP), Microsoft (MCSE) and CompTIA (A+ and Network+).