Today I Passed the CCNA Industrial Exam

I found the CCNA Industrial certification to be interesting because like the Cisco Network Design certifications (CCDA/CCDP/CCDE), this single certification has quite an overlap of other certifications and technologies. Basic network design, security, wireless, and troubleshooting are added to the industrial networking protocols covered (CIP over EtherNet/IP and PROFINET).

I found the exam to be fairly easy, but once again that is due to my accumulated knowledge and experience, where many of the questions and answers just seemed like common sense. The topics that were new to me were the aforementioned industrial networking protocols, IEEE 1588v2 PTP, Layer 2 NAT, the various Cisco Industrial Ethernet switch product lines, and Device-Level Ring topologies. Unlike other recent exams I’ve taken, I didn’t feel like the topic distribution aligned very well with the stated percentages in the official blueprint. On the other hand, there is so much overlap between major topic domains, it could have just been difficult to tell while I was taking the exam.

Like the CCNA Service Provider certification, the CCNA Industrial is another that I would not recommend taking unless you already have at least the knowledge contained in the CCNP SWITCH exam. There are also several topics such as multicast and VRFs covered on this exam which could seem overwhelming to somebody studying these things for the first time.

Even though most of the questions on the exam are pretty high-level (e.g. not too detailed for most of the questions, but not all), if you are brand new to the general networking topics, it is going to take a lot longer to study for and pass this particular exam. For someone just starting out, this is one of the more difficult (if not the most difficult) CCNA-level exam, in my opinion (though I think the CCNA Datacenter might be a close runner-up).

At first glance, one of the things that makes obtaining this certification more difficult is the apparent lack of study materials. There is no official Cisco Press book covering the industrial topics specifically that I am aware of, though I think a couple of the newer IoT books might have a passing mention of some of the topics. The closest thing is Cisco’s official IMINS2 course. I had access to the online course, and while it did help me out, I also learned that taking the course might not have been necessary if I had had the information that I hope to convey in this post.

The course helped me narrow down the topic scope a little bit. As I write this, Cisco offers a free trial of the course where, at the very least, you can see the table of contents for each of the sections. If you compare that against the resources listed in this post, I believe you’ll have a decent chance of passing without having to pay for the course.

I will also say that in comparing the course to the exam, the course went much deeper into nearly all of the topics than the kinds of questions that were asked on the exam. This is absolutely great from a learning perspective. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend paying for this course out of your own pocket, but if your organization will cover it, it’s a decent resource to study from, however it doesn’t completely cover all of the topics when compared to the blueprint, which is a shame considering it is the official course for this exam.

The following are some of the public resources available that I recommend taking a look at.

Selected Cisco Live Sessions (there are many more that are applicable as well, I’m sure):

Other Cisco Links:

Miscellaneous Links:

My Links (materials I have created while studying for the CCNA Industrial):

As I said earlier, if you’re fairly new to networking, this exam represents a LOT of material to cover. If you’re more experienced, the questions on the exam are very high-level and most of it is common sense, though you definitely do need to know the details to get the answers correct.

There’s not really a lot of organized information out there surrounding this exam, so I hope this post has been helpful to you. Thanks for reading, and good luck!

12 Comments

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  2. Hi Jedadiah,

    I just started to study for CCNA Industrial, my company bought the IMINS2 course but I was finding it too dense. I’m already a CCNP R&S and have also wide experience with all Cisco’s Technologies, at least at a CCNA level. I find the tips and material you give in this post to be really helpful. And also the rest of your blog is just great. I also want to start writing blog posts to position myself as an expert and have some online presence. Also, when you explain something is like you learn it twice. I’ll let you know how it goes when I finally take the exam. In the meantime, thanks for your effort in putting all this together.

  3. Ed

    Hey, firstly I just want to say thank you so much for this post. This seems to be the only resource on the whole of the Internet that has useful information on passing the CCNA industrial!

    I am hoping to take the exam soon, but I just wanted to check with you if you knew what the pre-requisites were. I have an expired CCNA R&S and also CCNP Switch. Will I need to first take the CCNA industrial 200-401 before taking 200-601?

    Thanks for your help

      • Ed

        Thanks dude, I figured that would be the case. Can I ask – did you do the 200-401 cert? Or do you know if the material for the 200-601 would cover most of what is required for the 200-401? Although my CCNA is expired I don’t really want to re-take it just to get 200-601 and regressing back to CCENT seems pointless also, so I think i’ll get the 200-401 done first!

  4. Jeff Marcum

    Hi – I realize this is a bit dated. First wanted to say thanks for putting this information together.
    I’m planning to get my CCNA Industrial Cert (even though I know it’s going away next year). I had a CCNA years about but it expired.
    I guess I still need to get the IMINS1 first ??? If so, is there specific material for that?

    It’s insane that Cisco never put together any real study material for this (other than their $350 online thing that I won’t do).

    • Hi Jeff, thank you for the kind words.

      To get the CCNA Industrial without also having the CCNA Routing & Switching certification, you must pass either the CCENT exam (100-105) or IMINS1 (200-401).

      With the new certification revisions starting in February 2020, the CCNA Industrial certification is going away, as you mentioned. However, if you pass the exam before February, the credential will still be good for three years. There is no direct replacement for this certification with the new overhaul. 200-401 IMINS1 may stick around since its title is “Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist”, but I’m not sure. Though many of the topics that are on the CCNA Industrial exam are folded into the new CCNA, none of the industrial networking specific topics (CIP, PROFINET, etc) are there.

      While most of the other CCNA tracks (security, datacenter, service provider, etc) have paths that will continue on with the new certifications, it looks like the industrial networking topics were left out, which is surprising considering Cisco’s large industrial and IoT portfolio.

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