ACE Exam Retired in PAN-OS 9.0

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If you hold the Accredited Configuration Engineer (ACE) certificate, it is important to know that the ACE accreditation is no longer offered with the release of PAN-OS 9.0.


Instead, you may have heard that Palo Alto Networks now offers two new certifications in place of the ACE— Palo Alto Networks Certified Cybersecurity Associate (PCCSA) and Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Administrator (PCNSA).


We’ve seen some discussions pop up about how to access the ACE exam and why it is no longer offered. So I wanted to take some time to explain why you can’t find the ACE exam and break down some of the recent updates to certification exams. More importantly, let’s get into how you enhance your tool belt with awesome certifications to hold your own in the cyphers of cybersecurity rhetoric.


Where can I find the ACE exam?

With the release of PAN-OS 9.0, the ACE certification is no longer offered. Why? Well, the answer is simple. Our systems are constantly evolving to match the ever-evolving threats, and that means that our exams and certifications must also evolve in order to stay relevant. In other words, cyber-criminals are finding new ways to attack, so we develop new ways for prevention.


Is my ACE Certificate still valid?

Your ACE accreditation will remain valid until it expires. Then you can update your certificate with the PCCSA, upgrade with PCNSA, or enhance your skill level and take the next step in becoming a Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Engineer (PCNSE).


What’s the difference between ACE, PCCSA, and PCNSA?

The ACE certificate shows that you understand the basic features and functionality of Palo Alto Networks firewall technologies. The PCCSA is a tier below, covering the basics of cybersecurity with more foundational knowledge, and the PCNSA is similar to ACE but more comprehensive, professional, and based on Palo Alto Networks Firewall Essentials (EDU-210).


What is the new certification path?

The certification path used to go from ACE to PCNSE, leaving a huge gap for learners. So, we updated the path to begin with the PCCSA, move into the PCNSA, and finish at PCNSE, which is a more comprehensive exam of the entire Security Operating Platform.


As cybersecurity continues to evolve, so do our PAN-OS versions, which means that Palo Alto Networks has to offer new challenges and provide updated information in our exams. It also means that our Certification teams are tasked with finding ways for users and certification-seekers to retain information.


This is why we now offer post-class assessments, a cybersecurity skills practice lab, and tons of study materials, including test prep videos. To learn more information about becoming certified in cybersecurity, please explore the Education space on LIVEcommunity and see how you can get started on the right path, the path to cybersecurity certification.


Explore these Education Resources:

Palo Alto Networks Education Courseware

Do PCNSE and PCNSA Cover PAN-OS 9.0?

Paths to Palo Alto Networks Technical Certifications

Palo Alto Networks Certification Exams

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