The CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) and CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Personnel) certifications are both offered by Cisco, a major supplier of networking certifications and equipment. Many students looking to gain a Cisco certification have begged the question: “What is the difference between CCNA and CCNP?” The best way to answer this question is by looking at what the student will learn when studying each of these Cisco certification levels.
When undertaking the CCNA course, students will learn how to properly manage medium-sized networks. It is aimed at IT professionals that are just starting out in the IT field and involves the installation, configuration, troubleshooting and operation of route and switched networks. This will create a solid foundation of knowledge upon which to build a lucrative career in networking, seeing as many employers will not consider an application for employment without a valid certification.
There are no prerequisites to studying the CCNA course and you will have a choice between writing the following exams:
200-120 CCNA Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices: Accelerated (CCNAX)
- 100-101 ICND1 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1)
- 200-101 ICND2 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2)
The CCNP course is a more in-depth and advanced certification. It is aimed at IT professionals that have between 1 and 2 years’ experience in networking and will go a long way towards furthering the career of anyone involved in the networking environment. Adding the CCNP certification to your CV will show that you have a firm understanding of WAN (Wide Area Networks) and LAN (Local Area Networks) and how they can work together. It will also demonstrate an understanding of both video and wireless solutions as well as advanced security troubleshooting and solutions.
This certification consists of 3 exams, namely:
- 300-101 ROUTE Implementing Cisco IP Routing (ROUTE)
- 300-115 SWITCH Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks (SWITCH)
- 300-135 TSHOOT Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks (TSHOOT)
Which is the more senior Cisco certification?
The CCNP certification is considered the more senior out of these two Cisco certification levels, considering that it delves much deeper and wider into the workings of networking and its associated content such as security and wireless options than the CCNA.
Prerequisites to Obtaining CCNP
In order to undertake your CCNP certification, you will have to have studied and passed the exam for the CCNA certification.
Since the levels of training between CCNA and CCNP are different, each of the certifications will lead to different career paths.
CCNA career path:
This certification will be suited to someone looking to gain an entry-level career such as:
- Network Support Engineer
- Network Technician
- Helpdesk Engineer
- Service Desk Engineer/Technician
- First and Second Line Support
CCNP career path:
The CCNP certification will suit IT professionals that are endeavouring to take a further step up in their career and can include the following:
- Third Line Support
- Network Engineer
- Network Analyst
- IT Team Leader
- Systems Engineer
- Network Specialist
Quality Cisco CCNA and CCNP Training
It is imperative that, when looking to undertake your Cisco CCNA and CCNP training, you do the necessary research and find a training provider that delivers the quality of training that will enable you to deliver what you have learned confidently and timeously.
Quality online courses such as the training provided by ITonlinelearning has gained massive popularity due to the fact that not only the courses, but also the exams can be undertaken from the comfort of your own home. This means that you can study when you have the time to do so at a pace that suits you.