CCNP: Cisco Certified Network Professional

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General review of Cisco CCNP certifications: CCNP Data Center, CCNP Routing and Switching, CCNP Security, CCNP Service Provider, CCNP Service Provider Operations, CCNP Voice, CCNP Wireless: common info, importance, benefits, candidates requirements, exams, etc.

Certification Overview

The CCNP certification, also known as the Cisco Certified Network Professional, is an advanced level certification which aims at enriching you minds with the latest and most useful knowledge of networking and its related fields. The certificate is issued to only the most capable candidates who are able to demonstrate proficiency in all the areas pertaining to the field of networking which you have chosen.

The CCNP certification is endowed to only the best networking professionals, which greatly adds to its worth and significance. This certification is not only important in getting you a good career; it is also perfect for developing your practical skills. Yes, CCNP certifications put a great emphasis on assessing and evaluating an applicant’s practical skills to determine that to what extent the candidate canincorporate his knowledge in real life situations.

There are a number of job opportunities which await Cisco certified network professionals. Cisco CCNP certified candidates gain a competitive advantage over other applicants due to their amazing set of skills. The job you get mainly depends on the type of CCNP certification you choose. For example, if you choosea CCNP voice certification, you are likely to get the job as unified communications manager. However, some of the job positions which generally suit most of CCNP professionals include:

  • Network architect
  • Senior networking engineer
  • Telecommunications engineer
  • Wireless device manager
  • Device administrator

This advanced certification goes a step further to assess one’s knowledge and skills in detail. There are a lot of advanced level topics which lie under the domain of the CCNP certifications. These topics are not only related with your skills but are also related with your practical skills and the way you use them to achieve a particular task. Following are some of the necessary skills which the candidate will be expected to gain during these certifications:

  • Devise solutions for complex networks
  • Monitor and control various networks
  • Implement solutions with ease
  • Work with complex network architecture
  • Possess good network programming skills
  • Have a command on Cisco devices

The CCNP certifications deal with a number of different topics in the field of networking. These certifications have the advantage of offering you a wide versatility of professions, from which you can choose the one pertaining to your career and field. The pathway for CCNP certification includes the listed certifications:

  • Data center
  • Service provider operations
  • Security
  • Service provider
  • Routing and Switching
  • Wireless
  • Voice

You need to keep in mind that these certifications cannot be done without have a substantial amount of background knowledge and a considerable amount of skill. There are a lot of basic level concepts which will be tested in this certification and which you are expected to know. Hence, it is recommended that if you are a beginner, you should first get a CCNA certification, which is an associate level certification in the field of networking for beginners. Moreover, you are not required to have any experience, but it is still recommended to be experienced before attempting any of these certifications.

Required Exams

Two exams are required for CCNP certifications, on whose clearance you will be able to get the required certification. One of them is a two-hour theoretical exam which will be required to attempt on paper. This paper will mainly comprise of some short questions followed by a number of multiple choice questions. The second exam is a lab exam, which will ensure that the candidate can devise solutions for networking issues on their own. This exam will be held in a lab for 8 hours.

Required Training

CCNP training is an integral part of the certification process. Although CCNP training is not made compulsory by Cisco, it is still recommended to get official training for an authorized trainer. This is important to ensure that you receive the proper guidance for your preparation. Even if you do not get training for the written exam, you should definitely get training for the lab exam since it will be quite difficult and will require a good amount of practice.

Study Materials

The list of study materials for the CCNP certification can be acquired from the CCNP syllabus. This syllabus will provide you with the list of books and reading which you are supposed to do. However, you should also go a step further to do a number of real exam questions for the certification so you get a good amount of practice.


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