Everything You Need to Know About CCST Networking Certification

A laptop with the words CCST Networking on its screen, CCST Networking Certification

If you are interested in starting or advancing your career in IT networking, you might want to consider earning the Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST) Networking certification.

This certification validates your skills and knowledge of entry-level networking concepts and topics, such as network devices, media, protocols, and communications. It also prepares you to move forward with the CCNA certification, which covers more advanced topics and technologies.

What is the CCST Networking certification?

The CCST Networking certification is one of the two new entry-level certifications offered by Cisco, along with the CCST Cybersecurity certification. This certification, as well as CCST Cybersecurity, is lifetime—meaning no renewal is required.

These certifications are designed to help you kick-start your career in IT by providing you with foundational knowledge and skills that are in high demand in the industry.

The CCST Networking certification demonstrates that you understand how networks operate, including the devices, media, and protocols that enable network communications.

You will learn about network components such as routers, switches, hubs, cables, wireless access points, and firewalls.

Further, you will also learn about network protocols such as TCP/IP, Ethernet, ARP, DHCP, DNS, HTTP, and FTP.

Additionally, you will be able to identify common network problems and troubleshoot them using basic tools and techniques.

The CCST Networking certification is also a first step toward the CCNA certification, which covers more advanced topics such as network security, wireless networking, IP routing and switching, network automation, and programmability.

What are the benefits of earning the CCST Networking certification?

Earning the CCST Networking certification can bring you many benefits, such as:

  • Enhancing your resume and portfolio with a globally recognized credential from Cisco
  • Demonstrating your commitment and passion for learning and developing your IT skills
  • Gaining a competitive edge in the job market and increasing your chances of getting hired or promoted
  • Boosting your confidence and credibility as a network technician or support specialist
  • Expanding your knowledge and skills in networking fundamentals and best practices
  • Preparing yourself for further learning and advancement with the CCNA certification

What are the exam topics and format?

The CCST Networking exam is a 50-minute online exam that consists of 40 multiple-choice questions. It is available in English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Spanish, and Japanese. The exam costs $125 USD.

The exam is delivered by Certiport, a Pearson VUE company that provides IT certification exams worldwide.

The topics are based on the following six domains:

1. Standards and Concepts

1.1. Identify the fundamental conceptual building blocks of networks.

  • TCP/IP model
  • OSI model
  • Frames and packets
  • Addressing

1.2. Differentiate between bandwidth and throughput.

  • Latency
  • Delay
  • Speed test vs. Iperf

1.3. Differentiate between LAN, WAN, MAN, CAN, PAN, and WLAN.

  • Identify and illustrate common physical and logical network topologies.

1.4. Compare and contrast cloud and on-premises applications and services.

  • Public
  • Private
  • Hybrid
  • SaaS
  • PaaS
  • IaaS
  • Remote work/hybrid work

1.5. Describe common network applications and protocols.

  • TCP vs. UDP (connection-oriented vs. connectionless)
  • FTP
  • SFTP
  • TFTP
  • HTTP
  • DHCP
  • DNS
  • ICMP
  • NTP

2. Addressing and Subnet Formats

2.1. Compare and contrast private addresses and public addresses.

  • Address classes
  • NAT concepts

2.2. Identify IPv4 addresses and subnet formats.

  • Subnet concepts
  • Subnet Calculator
  • Slash notation
  • Subnet mask
  • Broadcast domain

2.3. Identify IPv6 addresses and prefix formats.

  • Types of addresses
  • Prefix concepts

3. Endpoints and Media Types

3.1. Identify cables and connectors commonly used in local area networks.

  • Cable types: fiber, copper, twisted pair
  • Connector types: coax, RJ-45, RJ-11, fiber connector types

3.2. Differentiate between Wi-Fi, cellular, and wired network technologies.

  • Copper, including sources of interference
  • Fiber
  • Wireless, including 802.11 (unlicensed, 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz)
  • Cellular (licensed)
  • Sources of interference

3.3. Describe endpoint devices.

  • Internet of Things (IoT) devices
  • Computers
  • Mobile devices
  • IP Phone
  • Printer
  • Server

3.4. Demonstrate how to set up and check network connectivity on Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Android, and Apple iOS.

  • Networking utilities on Windows, Linux, Android, and Apple operating systems
  • How to run troubleshooting commands
  • Wireless client settings (SSID, authentication, WPA mode)

4. Infrastructure

4.1. Identify the status lights on a Cisco device when given instruction by an engineer.

  • Link light color and status (blinking or solid)

4.2. Use a network diagram provided by an engineer to attach the appropriate cables.

  • Patch cables
  • Switches and routers
  • Small topologies
  • Power
  • Rack layout

4.3. Identify the various ports on network devices.

  • Console port
  • Serial port
  • Fiber port
  • Ethernet ports
  • SFPs
  • USB port
  • PoE

4.4. Explain basic routing concepts.

  • Default gateway
  • Layer 2 vs. layer 3 switches
  • Local network vs. remote network

4.5. Explain basic switching concepts.

  • MAC address tables
  • MAC address filtering
  • VLAN

5. Diagnosing problems

5.1. Demonstrate effective troubleshooting methodologies and help desk best practices, including ticketing, documentation, and information gathering.

  • Policies and procedures
  • Accurate and complete documentation
  • Prioritization

5.2. Perform a packet capture with Wireshark and save it to a file.

  • Purpose of using a packet analyzer
  • Saving and opening a .pcap file

5.3. Run basic diagnostic commands and interpret the results.

  • ping
  • ipconfig/ifconfig/ip
  • tracert/traceroute
  • nslookup
  • Recognize how firewalls can influence the result

5.4. Differentiate between different ways to access and collect data about network devices.

  • Remote access (RDP, SSH, telnet)
  • VPN
  • Terminal emulators
  • Console
  • Network Management Systems
  • Cloud-managed network (Meraki)
  • Scripts

5.5. Run basic show commands on a Cisco network device.

  • show run
  • show cdp neighbors
  • show ip interface brief
  • show ip route
  • show version
  • show inventory
  • show switch
  • show mac address-table
  • show interface
  • show interface x
  • show interface status
  • Privilege levels
  • Command help and auto-complete

6. Security

6.1. Describe how firewalls operate to filter traffic.

  • Firewalls (blocked ports and protocols)
  • Rules deny or permit access

6.2. Describe foundational security concepts.

  • Confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA)
  • Authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA)
  • Multifactor Authentication (MFA)
  • Encryption, certificates, and password complexity
  • Identity stores/databases (Active Directory)
  • Threats and vulnerabilities
  • Spam, phishing, malware, and denial of service

6.3. Configure basic wireless security on a home router (WPAx).

  • WPA, WPA2, WPA3
  • Choosing between Personal and Enterprise
  • Wireless security concepts

How to prepare for the exam

One of the best ways to prepare for the CCST Networking exam is to take advantage of the free online training and resources offered by Cisco Networking Academy.

Cisco Networking Academy is a global platform that provides high-quality IT education to millions of learners around the world.

Final Thoughts on CCST Networking Certification

The CCST Networking certification is a valuable credential that can help you start or advance your career in IT networking.

It validates your skills and knowledge of entry-level networking concepts and topics, and prepares you to move forward with the CCNA certification.

You can prepare for the exam using free online training and resources from Cisco Networking Academy, which offer high-quality IT education and support. Good luck with your exam and your IT career!

Discover more from Biztech Lens

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Discover more from Biztech Lens

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading