The Cisco CCNA Exploration curriculum provides an integrated and comprehensive coverage of networking topics, from fundamentals to advanced applications and services, while providing opportunities for hands-on practical experience and soft-skills development. The curriculum teaches networking based on technology, covering networking concepts using a top-down, theoretical, and integrated approach from network applications to the network protocols and services provided to those applications by the lower layers of the network.
CCNA Exploration is designed for students with advanced problem solving and analytical skills. The curriculum offers a comprehensive and theoretical learning experience for analytical students, and uses language that aligns well with engineering concepts. Interactive activities are embedded in the curriculum, along with detailed, theoretical content. Advanced labs build critical thinking and problem solving skills and encourage exploration and research.
CCNA Exploration can be delivered as an independent curriculum or integrated into a broader course of study, such as degree programs in IT, engineering, math, or science. While primarily designed for postsecondary institutions, CCNA Exploration is appropriate for students at many education levels if they have the required skills, and if the instructional approach complements their learning style and educational goals.
CCNA Exploration helps prepare students for entry-level career opportunities, continuing education, and globally-recognized Cisco CCNA certification.
The Cisco CCNA Discovery curriculum provides general networking theory, practical experience, and opportunities for career exploration and soft-skills development. The curriculum teaches networking based on application, covering networking concepts within the context of network environments students may encounter in their daily lives - from small office and home office (SOHO) networking to more complex enterprise and theoretical networking models later in the curriculum.
CCNA Discovery is designed for students with basic PC skills and foundational math and problem solving skills. The curriculum offers an engaging learning experience for more visual and kinetic learners. Many interactive activities are embedded in all of the courses to break up the text and help reinforce student comprehension. In addition, a large number of labs encourage additional hands-on practice.
CCNA Discovery can be delivered as an independent curriculum or integrated into a broader course of study, such as technology or continuing education programs. The curriculum is appropriate for students at many education levels and types of institutions, including high schools, secondary schools, universities, colleges, career and technical schools, community organizations, and other non-traditional learning environments.
CCNA Discovery helps prepare students for entry-level career opportunities, continuing education, and globally-recognized Cisco CCENT and CCNA certifications.
The following Cisco Networking Academy page contains detailed information about the program/courses including CCNA Discovery and CCNA Exploration. Please visit http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/netacad/course_catalog/index.html
Cisco Learning Network Moderator
Both will prepare you for the ccna exam, with all the objectives covered.
The main difference (ostensibly) is in learning style.
If you are more cerebral in your learning style, ie you like to sit and reason out problems and can visualize well, Exploration is for you.
If you are more hands on, you need visuals, diagrams, explicit examples of concepts, then Discovery is for you.
Thats cisco's take on it. I have seen both curricula, and I think the distinction is a bit overblown. There is actually more of a content difference...Discovery talks about home networking and working at an ISP, which Exp. does not really do.
I would recommend Exploration, as it will give you a better footing for the exam.