Is PCNSA Certification Worth the Cost? Exam Fee, Worth, and Salary in 2023

The networking security industry is growing at an unprecedented level, which means more job opportunities. But the reality is a little different when it comes to acquiring those jobs. Wondering why? Let me explain to you. The opportunities are doubling, and so is the competition. To land your dream job, you must have upgraded and strong skills in networking security. Certifications make it a little easier to get your dream job. You must earn a certification to stand out from the competition and attain the latest skills.

One option is PCNSA – Palo Alto Certified Networking Security Administrator certification. This certification validates that you can manage and operate Palo Alto Network’s next-generation firewalls to protect the organization’s network and security system from cyber threats. We are aware that you want to know everything about this certification, including its scope, cost, market demand, and other pertinent information. For this specific reason, this blog comes in. Let’s jump straight to this blog and explore different aspects of PCNSA certification.

What is PCNSA Certification?

Palo Alto Networks are leading security platform providers and are popular across the globe. The Palo Alto product is highly automated and consists of multiple technologies working in combination to prevent cyber threats and vulnerabilities. Palo Alto also provides various certifications to earn expertise in their network and products. 

PCNSA certification is one of those – that covers how to operate and manage the Palo Alto firewalls network. This certification also validates your ability to design, operate, install, and configure Palo Alto Networks next-generation firewalls and your proficiency to effectively deploy the firewalls to ensure security.

PCNSA Certification Enablement Path

There are no prerequisites for getting this certification. But to get this certification you must pass the PCNSA exam.

A Look into PCNSA Exam: Skills Required, Format, and Exam Curriculum

The exam will test your complete knowledge of deploying and operating Palo Alto Next-Generation Firewalls. You must have the following skill set to perform well in the exam.

Experience and Competencies Requirement

  • You should have knowledge and understanding of the Palo Alto firewall and the centralized management component. You also know how to configure, operate, and identify problems with configuring and operating it with a firewall network.
  • You must have an understanding of the networking and security policies used by PAN-OS software.
  • You have 2-3 years of experience working in the networking security domain which is also equivalent to 6 months’ experience working full-time with the Palo Alto Networks products or at least 6 months of experience in Palo Alto Networks NGFW administration and configuration

Updated and Latest Exam Domains

The exam will test your knowledge in the following key domains. 

  • Device Management and Services – 22%
  •  Managing Objects – 20% 
  • Policy Evaluation and Management – 28% 
  • Securing Traffic – 30%

 

Exam Format

The format of the test is 60-70 items. You have 80 minutes to complete the exam questions. Moreover, an additional 10 minutes will allow you to review the NDA and fill out the survey at the end of the exam.

Read more: Palo Alto Network Certifications Exam Guide

PCNSA Certification Cost

The cost of getting a PCNSA certification depends on several factors. We have discussed those factors below:

PCNSA Inc. Exam Voucher Cost

To appear in the PCNSA exam, you have to get an exam voucher directly from Pearson VUE. Palo Alto certifications exam vouchers are of different prices. The cost of the PCNSA exam voucher is USD 155. There are some voucher facts that you should consider before purchasing. 

  • You can purchase a minimum of 10 vouchers per order.
  • Vouchers are non-refundable and non-returnable so purchase according to the certification exam. 
  • Vouchers are valid for 12 months. They expire after 12 months from the day of their purchase.

PCNSA Recommended Training Cost

Palo Alto Networks requires an instructor-led course or equivalent digital learning courses. For the PCNSA certification exam, you have to take the following course:

The cost of required digital courses or instructor-led training depends on the vendor and also the location from where you’re taking the course. To check the cost, refer to Palo Alto Networks training cost.

Other Miscellaneous Costs Including Exam Prep Resource and Practice Test

Preparing for the PCNSA exam demands a thorough study, for which you need accurate and valid exam prep resources. It is important to check that cost and choose exam resources that fall within your budget. If you want to prepare for the exam comprehensively and at less cost, you must study with Dumpsgate PCNSA exam dumps. These dumps are the best resource to utilize for complete exam preparation. Moreover, the cost of these exam questions is only $28.

Palo Alto Networks also provides mock practice tests for exam preparation. If you want to get familiar with the exam format, you must practice these mock tests.

Difficulty Level of the PCNSA Exam: Test Taker Experiences

When compared to other networking security certifications, many candidates find the PCNSA exam relatively easy. It doesn’t mean that you can take this exam lightly. Passing the exam is not a walk in the park, you must have extensive knowledge and understanding of Palo Alto Networks firewall generation and its product. Some candidates think that the key domains are difficult to comprehend if they don’t have any previous experience. So the wise call is to learn the basics and then appear for the exam.

Additionally, the difficulty of the exam varies on different factors such as your previous knowledge, and experience working the Palo Alto Network products. Basically, the exam is less theoretical and tests your ability to use the Palo Alto products practically. So, if you have a good understanding of the products previously, you can pass the exam with no difficulty.

Tips to Pass the PCNSA Exam Without Any Difficulty

If you’re starting from scratch or want to prepare for the exam in fewer days, follow the given tips. 

  • Opt for Top Study Resources: The most important tip for preparing and passing the exam is choosing the right and effective study material. It is on which resource you want to use for effective preparation. Whether it’s instructor-led training or self-paced but ensure it goes with your learning style and helps you in thorough preparation.
  • Invest Proper Study Hours: Imagine investing just 6 hours to study to significantly increase the chances of passing the exam and leading you to your dream job. It is important to invest in proper study hours and implement them strictly in order to pass the PCNSA exam. 
  • Use Dumpsgate PCNSA Dumps for Effective Preparation: It is always recommended to use dumps before appearing in the exam. Not only recommended but we will suggest you make it compulsory because it will help you in several ways. These dumps are a compilation of the actual exam questions that are tailored according to your learning need and are crafted exactly like the real exam format – to give you exposure to what a real exam will look like. In addition, it will not only boost your exam preparation but also increase your preparedness level for the exam.

Exploring the Worth of the PCNSA Certification

If you’re wondering if it is worthwhile to take the PCNSA certification, don’t wonder, start making efforts to get this one. Getting a networking security certification from a reputable organization – Palo Alto is definitely worth your time and effort. However, how it benefits you is another tale to tell. Let’s walk through the worth of this certification while exploring different aspects and market demand. 

Flourish your Network Security Skills: This certification will assist you in getting the latest skills in network security, using Palo Alto. It also flourishes and validates your skills in operating, managing, and configuring Palo Alto networks and providing measures and protocols to safeguard organization networking security systems from cyber threats. 

Up-to-date and Well-informed: The certification will make you well-informed with the latest skills and competencies needed to operate and manage the Palo Alto networks. Moreover, the skills you will acquire through this certification will assist you in performing your task effectively. You will also acquire exposure to a diverse and broad variety of relevant features, functions, and duties.

Open Ways to Get Potential Job Roles: The demand for networking security employees is potentially increasing, ever since cyber-attacks are affecting the organization’s networks and servers drastically. To safeguard and protect sensitive data from vulnerable hackers, organizations need qualified employees. In the US, over 25,000 vacancies are available and there are several thousand across the globe. The common job titles you can get after this certification are given below:

Infrastructure, Networking, and Telecommunications: The common job titles in this domain for PCNSA certified are:

  • Network Administrator
  • Networking Engineer / Analyst / Technician
  • Infrastructure Manager
  • System Administrator

IT Security: If you want to go specifically into this domain, you can get a job in the following job roles: 

  • Security consultant or integrator
  • Security engineer or analyst
  • Compliance Manager

IT Architecture and Design: This domain will open doors for PCNSA certified into the following job roles: 

  • Enterprise Architect
  • Network Architect

Salary Bump: By obtaining this certification, you will certainly get a salary hike over non-certified counterparts. The average salary of PCNSA certified is $100,000. However, the salary is dependent on various factors such as job role, experience, and location. Below is the salary breakdown for PCNSA certification by domain and job roles. 

Read more: PCNSE Certification Pathway

Infrastructure, Networking, and Telecommunications

Job Titles Salary
Network Administrator $75,250
Networking Engineer $100,449
Infrastructure Manager $131,926
System Administrator $80,783

IT Security

Job Titles Salary
Security Consultant $107,785
Security Engineer $142,051
Compliance Manager $88,508

IT Architecture and Design

Job Titles Salary
Enterprise Architect $164,204
Network Architect $131,209

Wrapping Up

Networking security is a rapidly growing field because of the increase in cyber-attacks. This fueled the demand for valuable and skilled network security professionals. The blog has given you a complete overview of the PCNSA certification and how you benefit in your career by obtaining this certification.  It is important to note that this certification is one of the widely pursued certifications of Palo Alto, ensuring that you are competent enough to perform the task effectively. So, if you want to develop a promising career in network security, this certification is a good fit.

FAQ’s

A PCNSA – Palo Alto Certified Networking Security Administrator certification validates a candidate’s ability to operate, manage, and configure Palo Alto Networks firewall to protect and safeguard the organization’s private information and data from vulnerable hackers and ransomware threats.

The cost of the PCNSA exam in the United States and around the globe is $150.

The exam consists of 60-70 questions and you have 80 minutes to complete these questions

If you fail the first attempt, you need to wait for 15 days for the 2nd attempt. In case, you also fail the second attempt, you have to further wait for the next 15 days. After failing the third attempt, you are requested to contact the officials.

This certification is valid for 2 years (24 months). After 2 years, you have to renew it by taking the PCNSA or PCNSE exam.

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