Cisco Certifications: CCNA Vs. CCNP

Cisco Certifications: CCNA Vs. CCNP
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Eshna

Published on January 1, 2012


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In the past few years, Cisco training has become extremely popular. In fact, it’s considered among some of the most valuable certifications in the IT sector. It’s important to understand that networks are continuously evolving into a wide range of systems and devices. Cisco technologies are perfectly positioned to protect and streamline the integrity of networks. 
There are many companies and institutions that can help you get a Cisco certification with proper training. The best part is that most companies don’t charge a lot of fee for exceptional training. However, it’s important to choose a trusted and reputed training provider. 
When it comes to Cisco certifications, there are many different options. In order to further your career and look for better options in your profession, you need an appropriate certification. In this post, we’ve discussed two Cisco certifications, which are extremely popular - CCNA and CCNP.

Overview of CCNA

In the last 15 years, Cisco Certification (CCNA) has been one of the most highly reputed entry-level networking certifications in the industry. CCNA or Cisco Certified Network Associate is geared towards people who have 1 to 2 years of experience in network engineering. 
This certification could be achieved by taking 1 consolidated or 2 specialized written examinations. CCNA has managed to retain its popularity over other certification programs. This has become possible because of few key reasons. 
It’s worth mentioning that the concept of standard Cisco certification was introduced in 1998. This was the time when Cisco introduced beginning-level and professional networking certifications. The basic idea behind the certifications was to complement Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert or CCIE program. Since then, this certification has been considered the most popular and successful Cisco certification. 
The main objective of this Cisco certification has been to provide enthusiasts and beginners with an introduction to the networking sector. The certification also provides students with an ability to learn a lot more about the basics and concepts of the Cisco networking environment. In addition to this, the certification also provides beginners with a lot of knowledge about operating the IT equipment without experiencing any problems. 
The most important benefit of CCNA certification is that it needs a minimal amount of training to receive the Cisco certification. The best part is that CCNA certification is also very affordable. In recent years, Cisco has also introduced a wide range of specialty CCNAs. 

Here is a video that takes you through introduction to CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA):

 

Some of the most popular specialty CCNAs include CCNA wireless, CCNA security, CCNA voice, CCNA WAN, CCNA data center, CCNA service provider, CCNA service provider operations and CCNA video. It’s worth mentioning that CCNA R&S is considered as the most popular CCNA certification. 

Why Has CCNA Continued To Be Popular?

According to experts, there are many different reasons why this Cisco certification has been so popular. The primary reason is the scope and kind of material which is covered in the CCNA certification. Although the material has been specialized to suit Cisco environment, it is also useful at a very basic level. Due to this, an individual achieving this certification can use the knowledge to many different environments and increase marketability across various platforms.
In addition to this, Cisco has always been better at keeping the target audience engaged. It also provides the target audience with some exceptional knowledge and tools to study for the certification. The certification exam can also be scheduled as per one’s own preferences. Cisco provides well-organized training blueprints and self-study materials to make sure candidates have exactly what they need without any budget problems. 
Last but not the least, the most important reason why this Cisco certification has been so popular is because people aren’t able to cheat. All the questions in the certification examination are complex multiple choice questions. These questions are able to tap into the candidate’s potential to practice hard and understand basic concepts rather than just cramming everything.

Cisco Certification levels

Overview of CCNP

CCNP is the Cisco Certified Network Professional certification from the company. This certification is available for IT professionals with at least one year experience in professional networking. A high school diploma or equivalent is also mandatory. Even this certification program is getting increasingly popular. 
Students choosing this certification program are trained to troubleshoot, install and maintain both wide area networks (WAN) and local area networks (LAN) for systems between 100-500 nodes. In this certification program, students also gain expertise in a wide range of network features and protocols, including Route Redistribution, Access Lists, Ethernet and AppleTalk. 
During the certification course, main focus is placed on preparing professionals for the CCNP examination. A series of exams are conducted to test the student’s understanding and knowledge of Cisco’s IP switched network and IP routing technologies. These tests also measure the student’s ability to troubleshoot, test and maintain various technologies.

Educational Prerequisites

In case you’re applying for the CCNA certification, you need to complete either the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) or the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) program. Students interested in the CCNA program need to undergo testing and training in the installation, maintaining and troubleshooting of Cisco’s medium networking devices. Students in this program are also tested and trained in the troubleshooting and installation of end-to-end networking.

Course Topics

The CCNP certification is intended for professionals seeking specialized training programs in implementing, maintaining and planning Cisco’s wide range of high end network solution products. The CCNP certification curriculum consists of many different courses, which cover the basics of IT networking. Some of these include: 

  • Cisco remote access
  • Cisco advanced routing
  • Cisco multilayer switching
  • Converged network optimization
  • Scalable internetworks 

Popular Career Options

People who complete their CCNP certification can work in many different professions in the IT field. Some career choices include: 

  • Network engineer
  • Network technician
  • Support engineer
  • Systems engineer

In the last few years, Cisco has continued to prove itself as the best company to engage its target audience. Moreover, the company ensures the target audience is happy with current certifications and training options.

[Download this ebook on CISCO's top Certifications by clicking here]

According to experts, Cisco will retain its ability and remain as the top provider of certifications. In order to build its reputation and continue to stay at the top, Cisco aims to build strong and long lasting relationships through its Cisco certification options.

About the Author

Eshna is a writer at Simplilearn. She has done Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT and The Telegraph. She loves traveling and photography.


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