Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) is one of the most sought after certifications that will help you validate your skills and knowledge needed to design a Cisco converged network. As a network professional, you can go for this certification to demonstrate the complete set of skills you will require to design routed and switched network infrastructures and services that involve LAN, WAN, and broadband access in any sector where they are employed.
The existing curriculum for this certification covers areas in the arena including designing data center, basic campus, voice, and security and wireless networks. Cisco's website lists out the objectives for CCDA certification which form the basis for this product. The CCDA examination includes topics like modeling, analysis, and planning of network architectures and considered to be the organization's foundation-level network design certification.
You can take the exam at any Prometric or Pearson VUE testing center. The duration is 90 minutes with the question paper consists of about 65 questions. Though there are at present no prerequisites mentioned in the company website for undergoing the exam, Cisco strongly suggests that candidates need to have CCNA-level and BCMSN-level knowledge while taking the exam. In fact, the CCDA certification is a prerequisite in addition to the CCNA for more advanced CCDP certification.
Once you obtain the certification, it remains valid for three years after which you will require to undergo a recertification to remain CCDA certified. The process involves passing the appropriate current CCDA exam, or one of the '642' Cisco Specialist or professional level exams. On the other hand, you can also choose to pass any current CCIE written exam to stay certified.
There are a number of resourceful sites on the net that help you prepare for CCDA certification. Like other exams of Cisco, those appearing for the exams cannot go back through their answers while taking the exam and they must progressively answer each of the questions before going to the next. Therefore you can neither mark questions for later review nor decide to skip any answer to return to it later. At the end of the process, your score will be assessed and a report stating pass or fail will be issued.