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CCNA or CEH: Which Should You Choose?

  • Which is better CCNA or CEH?
  • Published by: André Hammer on Jan 30, 2024

Are you thinking about a career in IT security or networking, but not sure which certification to pursue? Don't worry, we're here to help. The choice between CCNA and CEH can be confusing, so it's important to understand the differences before deciding. Both certifications offer valuable skills and expertise in the field.

In this article, we'll compare CCNA and CEH to help you decide which one is the right fit for your career goals.

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Before choosing between CCNA or CEH, it's important to understand your skills and career goals. CCNA is for those interested in networking careers, while CEH is for ethical hacking and cybersecurity.

CCNA opens doors to roles like network technicians, administrators, and engineers. CEH leads to careers as ethical hackers, cybersecurity analysts, and penetration testers.

By considering your career goals and the job opportunities aligned with each certification, you can make an informed decision.

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

CEH website

The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification focuses on equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to identify and address potential vulnerabilities in cybersecurity systems. It aims to provide professionals with an understanding of hacker techniques, tools, and methodologies. This allows them to proactively safeguard systems from potential security threats through ethical hacking practices.

To obtain the CEH certification, candidates must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having a minimum of two years of work experience in the information security domain. They also need to complete an official EC-Council training program or have relevant industry experience.

When comparing CEH accreditation to other industry certifications such as CCNA, CEH offers a unique emphasis on ethical hacking techniques and methodologies. This makes it a valuable addition to a professional's skill set in the cybersecurity domain.

As organizations increasingly prioritize cybersecurity measures, professionals with CEH certification can present a unique and valuable skill set that sets them apart from other industry certifications.

Core Focus and Objectives

CCNA: A Look at Network Fundamentals

CCNA: A Look at Network Fundamentals delves into the basics of networking. It covers topics like network topology, protocols, and network implementation.

Those aiming for CCNA certification should grasp IP addressing, subnetting, and basic networking concepts.

CCNA certification opens doors to careers like network administrator, network engineer, and help desk technician. It's globally recognized and can pave the way for advanced certifications in networking and cybersecurity.

CEH: Understanding Ethical Hacking

Certified Ethical Hacker is a certification focused on ethical hacking principles. This involves understanding how to find weaknesses and vulnerabilities in systems. The main goal is to equip IT professionals with the knowledge and skills to prevent malicious hackers from accessing sensitive information. Ethical hacking knowledge is essential for protecting networks and systems from security breaches.

CEH certification enhances career opportunities in the IT industry by demonstrating expertise in identifying and addressing security risks. It is highly valued and provides a competitive edge in the job market, making it invaluable for those pursuing an IT career.

Which is better CCNA or CEH?

CCNA certification focuses on networking and routing, while CEH certification focuses on ethical hacking and cybersecurity.

For CCNA, individuals need a basic understanding of networking, while for CEH, a background in information security is required.

CCNA certification often leads to careers as network engineers or system administrators, while CEH certification typically leads to roles such as ethical hackers or security analysts.

The choice between CCNA and CEH depends on an individual's career goals and interests within information technology.

Eligibility and Prerequisites

CCNA Prerequisites

Candidates pursuing a CCNA certification need to understand the exam topics and have extensive networking knowledge. It's recommended to have completed the CCNET course and have 3-5 years of networking work experience.

On the other hand, CEH certification requires 2 years of information security work experience and agreeing to the EC-Council Non-Disclosure Agreement.

The CCNA prerequisites focus on networking, while CEH prerequisites are more information security-oriented.

Each certification has unique qualifications, and candidates should choose based on their career goals and interests.

CEH Prerequisites

To get the Certified Ethical Hacker certification, you need to understand basic computer and networking concepts. Interest in information security is also important. While the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification isn't required for CEH, having a CCNA background can be helpful. This is because the CEH course focuses on ethical hacking practices and techniques. Knowledge in operating systems and programming languages can also help you understand CEH concepts.

It's important to have a good grasp of networking and security concepts, as these are important in ethical hacking. Combining these skills and knowledge areas can prepare you for a successful experience in a CEH training course.

Exam Details and Accreditation

CCNA Exam Structure

The CCNA exam consists of 1 or 2 tests, which can be taken together or separately. It is widely recognized in various technical roles and industries. To take the CCNA exam, candidates need 1-3 years of experience in networking and a good understanding of IP addressing and subnets.

Compared to other certifications like Certified Ethical Hacker , the CCNA exam covers a wider range of networking topics and is more practical. CEH focuses on cybersecurity, specifically penetration testing and ethical hacking, making it more specialized. This makes CCNA a versatile choice for advancing a career in information technology.

CEH ANSI Accreditation

The CEH accreditation by ANSI has specific requirements and standards for professionals seeking ethical hacking certification. Comparing CEH ANSI accreditation to other certification standards, it's important to consider the comprehensive coverage of ethical hacking techniques and methodologies. The global recognition of the ANSI accreditation is also crucial. Pursuing a CEH certification through ANSI offers professionals the benefit of gaining a competitive edge in the cybersecurity industry.

It enhances their knowledge and skills in ethical hacking and increases their career opportunities. By aligning with ANSI standards, CEH ensures that professionals are equipped with the necessary expertise to address the evolving challenges in cybersecurity. This makes it a valuable investment in their professional development.

Career Path and Job Opportunities

Jobs for CCNA Holders

Professionals with a CCNA certification have many job opportunities. They can work in network engineering, network administration, and IT support. These jobs are in industries like telecommunications, healthcare, finance, and government agencies.

When comparing CCNA holders to those with a CEH certification, it's important to note that CCNA focuses on network infrastructure and security, while CEH is about ethical hacking and cybersecurity. Both certifications are valuable, but it depends on the individual's career goals and interests.

It's worth mentioning that there is a high demand for professionals with both CCNA and CEH certifications, as organizations continue to prioritize and invest in network security and infrastructure.

Roles for CEH Certified Professionals

CEH certified professionals play important roles in the cybersecurity industry. They conduct penetration tests, identify network vulnerabilities, and develop security strategies to safeguard organizations from cyber threats.

They contribute to the overall security of an organization by proactively identifying potential security risks and implementing measures to mitigate these risks. This includes implementing advanced security protocols and providing insights on potential security breaches.

There are several career progression opportunities for CEH certified professionals in the cybersecurity field. As they gain experience and expertise, they can become senior security analysts, security consultants, or even Chief Information Security Officers (CISO).

Salary Expectations

When thinking about the salary for a role that needs CCNA certification, you should consider different factors like experience, location, and job responsibilities. On average, people with CCNA certification can expect to earn between £30,000 and £60,000 per year, depending on these factors. The demand for CCNA certified professionals in the job market also affects salary, with industries like telecommunications and network security usually offering higher pay.

Similarly, individuals with CEH certification can expect to earn between £40,000 and £90,000 per year, as the demand for certified ethical hackers increases within the cybersecurity sector. These figures are averages and salary expectations can vary a lot based on the job role, company, and current market conditions. In general, both CCNA and CEH certifications can lead to well-paying career opportunities, with salary influenced by various external factors.

Which is better CCNA or CEH?

People interested in computer networking and cybersecurity often consider getting a CCNA or CEH certification.

The CCNA focuses on managing and troubleshooting network infrastructures, while the CEH focuses on how hackers exploit technology and cybersecurity protection.

To be eligible for CCNA, you need a good understanding of computer networks, while CEH has no specific prerequisites but requires official training and passing an exam.

Job opportunities for CCNA and CEH certified individuals exist in network engineering, cybersecurity, IT management, and related fields.

Over to you

When choosing between CCNA and CEH certifications, consider your career path and job role. CCNA focuses on networking and suits network administration roles. CEH is for cybersecurity and ethical hacking. Evaluate your interests and career goals before deciding.

Readynez offers a 5-day EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker Course and Certification Program, providing you with all the learning and support you need to successfully prepare for the exam and certification. The CEH course, and all our other EC-Council courses, are also included in our unique Unlimited Security Training offer, where you can attend the CEH and 60+ other Security courses for just €249 per month, the most flexible and affordable way to get your Security Certifications.


What are the key differences between CCNA and CEH certifications?

CCNA certification focuses on networking skills, while CEH certification focuses on ethical hacking skills. For example, CCNA covers topics like routing and switching, while CEH covers topics like penetration testing and vulnerability assessments.

What are the career prospects for someone with a CCNA certification?

A CCNA certification can lead to career opportunities such as network administrator, systems administrator, and network engineer. It can also open doors to roles in cybersecurity and cloud computing.

What are the career prospects for someone with a CEH certification?

Someone with a CEH certification can pursue careers as a penetration tester, ethical hacker, cybersecurity analyst, or security consultant. They can work for government agencies, financial institutions, IT firms, and large corporations.

How do the skill sets required for CCNA and CEH certifications differ?

The skill sets required for CCNA and CEH certifications differ in that CCNA focuses on networking fundamentals, while CEH focuses on ethical hacking and penetration testing techniques.

For example, CCNA candidates need proficiency in configuring and troubleshooting networks, while CEH candidates need to understand vulnerabilities and security tools.

Which certification is more suitable for someone interested in network security?

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is more suitable for someone interested in network security. Other suitable certifications include Certified Ethical Hacker and CompTIA Security+.

Two people monitoring systems for security breaches

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