Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to meet some great folks all across the country. I am often asked, “I would like to learn more about 802.11 or perhaps pursue a certification, but I’m not sure where to turn or which certification I should pursue”.
It’s my personal opinion the CWNP program is a great place to start expanding your 802.11 knowledge or to start your certification path. The CWNP is a vendor neutral program that provides a number of certification levels from which you can building a solid 802.11 understanding and foundation.
If you are new to wireless the entry level CWNP certification, CWTS (Certified Wireless Technology Specialist - Exam Number:PW0-070) may be a great place to start. The CWTS Certification is the latest certification from the CWNP Program and beginning in 2009, CWTS replaces the Wireless# Certification. CWTS is an entry-level enterprise WLAN certification, and a recommended pre-requisite for the CWNA certification. The CWTS certification is the first high-stakes certification geared specifically towards both WLAN sales and support staff for the Enterprise WLAN industry.
If you are more experienced you may want to pursue the CWNA (Certified Wireless Network Administrator - Exam Number:PW0-104) certification. The CWNA will measure your skills with administration, design and security of an Enterprise wireless network.
The main subject areas covered are:
- Radio Technologies
- Antenna Concepts
- Wireless LAN Hardware and Software
- Network Design, Installation, and Management
- Wireless Standards and Organizations
- 802.11 Network Architecture
- Wireless LAN Security
- How to Perform Site Surveys
Passing exam PW0-104 is a requirement of the CWNA, CWSP and CWNE certifications
The CWSP (Certified Wireless Security Professional – Exam Number:PW0-200) will measure your skills and understanding of wireless security and your ability to secure a wireless LAN and keep hackers out of your network.
The main subject areas covered are:
- WLAN Discovery Techniques
- Intrusion and Attack Techniques
- 802.11 Protocol Analysis
- Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems (WIPS) Implementation
- Layer 2 and 3 VPNs used over 802.11 networks
- Enterprise/SMB/SOHO/Public-Network Security design models
- Managed Endpoint Security Systems
- 802.11 Authentication and Key Management Protocols
- Enterprise/SMB/SOHO/Public-Network Security Solution Implmentation
- Building Robust Security Networks from the ground up
- Fast BSS Transition (aka. Fast/Secure Roaming) Techniques
- Thorough coverage of all 802.1X/EAP types used in WLANs
- Wireless LAN Management Systems (WNMS)
- Authentication Infrastructure Design Models
- Using Secure Applications
- 802.11 Design Architectures
- Implementing a Thorough Wireless Security Policy
Passing exam PW0-200 is a requirement of the CWSP and CWNE certifications
The CWNE (Certified Wireless Network Expert – Exam Number:PW0-300) is the highest level of wireless certification offered by CWNP. This exam will test you in depth knowledge and understand of the 802.11 protocol.
The main subject areas covered area:
Cisco Wireless Certifications
Cisco WLAN equipment is in almost 90% of all Enterprise and Healthcare systems. It is a natural progression for folks that work with Cisco equipment to pursue the Cisco wireless certification path. Perhaps you work for a Cisco partner or plan to in the near future, Cisco partners benefit in various ways when staff have specific Cisco certifications. My experience has been that Cisco exams favor the Cisco product set and as such you need to have specific hands on experience.
Cisco recently introduced two new certification paths.
Cisco CCNA Wireless
The CCNA Wireless Certification Exam Number:640-721 validates candidate's skills in the configuration, implementation and support of wireless LANs, specifically those networks using Cisco equipment. Knowledge of LWAPP, Autonomous and 802.1X is required.
Passing the Cisco CCNA is a requirement for the Cisco CCNA Wireless certification
Cisco CCIE Wireless
The Cisco CCIE Wireless exam was released 2/17/2009. The CCIE Wireless lab is expected to be released 4/2009.
Written Exam Blueprint
The comprehensive CCIE Wireless written exam (#350-050) has 100 multiple-choice questions and is two hours in duration. The topic areas listed are general guidelines for the type of content that is likely to appear on the exam. Please note, however, that other relevant or related topic areas may also appear.
There are no formal prerequisites for CCIE certification. Other professional certifications or training courses are not required. Instead, candidates must first pass a written qualification exam and then the corresponding hands-on lab exam. You are expected to have an in-depth understanding of the topics in the exam blueprints and strongly encouraged to have three to five years of job experience before attempting certification. You can review the exam preparation materials included on this page for more information.
Locate authorized Cisco Learning Partners at the Global Learning Partner Locator.
In addition, the course listed below contains related material that may enhance your personal knowledge of the topics on the written exam blueprint.
- Implementing Cisco Unified Wireless Networking Essentials (IUWNE)
This page lists reading materials on topics appearing on the CCIE exam blueprints. They are not required study resources, however, they can be used to build knowledge in certain areas.
Similar to the book list, the list of online resources provides links to articles, white papers, and documentation on topics covered in the blueprint.
Design and Solution Guides
- Enterprise Mobility 4.1 Design Guide (October 31, 2007)
- Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide (May 20, 2008)
- Voice over Wireless LAN 4.1 Design Guide (May 6, 2008)
Configuration and Configuration Example Guides
- Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Configuration Guide, Release 4.2
- Cisco Location Appliance Configuration Guide, Release 3.1
- WLAN Controller Configuration Examples and TechNotes
- Cisco IOS Software Configuration Guide for Cisco Aironet Access Points Cisco IOS Releases 12.4(10b)JA and 12.3(8)JEC
- Cisco Wireless Control System Configuration Guide, Release 4.2
- Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phone 7921G Deployment Guide
- Cisco Aironet 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN Client Adapters (CB21AG and PI21AG) Installation and Configuration Guide, Release 4.0
- Cisco Spectrum Expert Users Guide
- IEEE 802.11 Handbook: A Designer's Companion, Second Edition
- IEEE 802.11 specification:
- Cisco Product Support Documentation a central repository for all Cisco Documentation.