Cisco CCNP Professional Level Certification Program and Tracks

The Cisco CCNP Certification is the Professional Level in the arsenal of Cisco Certification programs following after the Associate Level CCNA certification and coming before the Expert Level CCIE certification. The Cisco CCNP is designed to recognize a higher level of networking knowledge and expertise as compared to the CCNA or CCENT certifications.

Each track of the CCNP certification validates its own type of technology skills sets that are different from those needed by other tracks. The CCNP certification tracks are also designed to be specific to meeting the skill needs and job responsibilities of related job roles so they are not general knowledge in any way but rather hone in on the exact job specifications.

Like many other certification programs, CCNP has the benefit of improving job prospects for network professionals, increasing their pay scale and monetary rewards, career advancement and enhancing professional opportunities for branching out into consulting. CCNP Certification holders can be hired for many positions depending on their specific track however typical job roles include being a Network administrator, Network technician,Level 2 systems engineer,Deployment engineer and Level 2 support engineer.

  • CCNP Benefits and Salary

Cisco CCNP certification is the middle level for network professionals one their way to expert level certification. As such some network professionals may not see the benefit of studying for yet another certification when they already are working in good positions within the network industry. According to salary surveys conducted by TechRepublic, there are consistent gains in salaries and compensation packages for network professionals who continue on to higher levels of certification.

The reports also states that Cisco specialists who hold certifications typically rank in the top three for highest paid positions listed in the IT Skills and Salary Report. Cisco also reports that CCNP certified professionals earn up to 10 percent higher than routing and networking peers who don’t have Cisco credentials. As a mid-career type of certification the Cisco CCNP can give a skills and career boost for networking professionals who need to progress to higher levels. Additionally, the CCNP certification is recognized by employers as a higher level certification above Associate level and is more sought after than the lesser qualifications.

CCNP certification also has a direct impact on the salary potential of a networking professional. In the Global Knowledge 2011 IT Skills and Salary Report, CCNP certified professionals are reported as receiving an average salary ofwas $97,296 as compared to CCNA certified professionals who receive an average of $79,536 annually. There is a clear difference that underscores the financial benefits and need for the higher certification of the CCNP.

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Routing and Switching accreditation validates the ability to apply network skills in planning, implementing, verifying and troubleshooting high capacity enterprise networks and to collaborate with other network experts on high level security, wireless, voice and video issues. The CCNP Routing and Switching certification is suitable for all those with one or more year of networking expertise who are prepared to increase their abilities and independent responsibilities to take on more sophisticated network solutions.

Network professionals who master the CCNP Routing and Switching certification would have exhibited and proven that they possess the skills expected in business roles such as support network specialist / engineer, network engineer, system engineer or network technician. Using this certification network professionals gain valuable routing and switching protocol expertise that becomes a long lasting basis to build upon within the network industry. This is primarily due to the fact that these skills are important to the daily applications of modern physical networks and would work similarly tomorrows ritualized networks.

  • CCNP Data Centre

The Cisco Certified Network Professional Data center (CCNP Data Center) is perfect for enterprise solutions and technology designers, as well as presales, design, and execution technicians who wish to conserve money and time on the design of their data centers, of on how they are installed and maintained. The CCNP Data Center accreditation is more specific and highly concentrated on the job role in its instruction and certification as opposed to being general in its approach to data centers. This is good for certification candidates because they get greater value for their data centers while receiving the maximum job focused education.

CCNP Data Center is different from other Data Center certifications, training or accreditation possibilities because it allows network professionals to independently select a focus for their data center training based on their career goals, work positions or job functions. The Cisco data center certification offers an extensive training program so network professional can validate their competencies in dealing with the crucial parts of data center network setup, execution and maintenance.

  • CCNP Security

Cisco Certified Network Professional Security (CCNP Security) certification program is designed to be specific to the job role and responsibilities of being a Cisco Network Security Engineer. Like other Cisco certifications, it is a training and certification program for network professionals who deal with managing, maintaining and implementing of Cisco products. The Cisco Network Security Engineer position, for which this certification is designed for, is a role for network professionals who are responsible for supervising security in Networking devices,Routers, Switches and appliances. The Cisco Network Security Engineer is the one who chooses, deploys, supports and troubleshoots, Firewalls and IDS/IPS solutions for their enterprise networking environments.

The prerequisites for the CCNP Security certification are that network professionals already be certified in the following:

  • CCNA Security Certification
  • Any CCIE Certification
  • A current CCNA Routing and Switching certification Plus a pass in Securing Cisco Network Devices exams 642-552 or 642-551
    • This option is only possible until December 31, 2014.
  • CCNP Service Provider

The Cisco Certified Network Professional Service Provider (CCNP Service Provider) certification is designed for the job roles related to systems engineering, service provider network engineeringand network specialties. These jobs are either directly responsible for or correlated to the delivery of scalable infrastructure that is of carrier-grade. They also have the capacity for fast expansion in supporting continuous introduction of new Cisco managed services as well as any customer specific requirements.The CCNP Service Provider certification has the following prerequisites for network professionals that are interested in acquiring it:

  • A valid and current Cisco CCNA Service Provider certification, or
  • A valid and current Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching certification AND a minimum of 1 CCIP exam pass (either BGP, BGP+MPLS, QOS, BSCI, MPLS, ROUTE), or
  • A valid and current Cisco CCIP certification, or
  • Any current Cisco CCIE certification
  • CCNP Service Provider Operations

The Cisco Certified Network Professional Service Provider Operations (CCNP SP Operations) certification is designed to test and prove the skills and knowledgeable are required in maintaining and troubleshooting service provider PE-CE and PE-PE and IP NGN core network infrastructures. The typical job role that is associated with the CCNP Service Provider Operations certification is that of a Tier II or Tier III support engineer. With this certification network professionals are able to validate their in-depth knowledge and expertise in isolation and identification of network performance complications, implementation of preemptive fault measures as well as usage of network operations management frameworks, procedures and systems.

The CCNP Service Provider Operations curriculum has sections that incorporate the maintenance of routing protocol environments that are of carrier class, TE, MPLS,and VPN deployments as well as QoS devices with the use of Cisco IOS XR and IOS. The CCNP Service Provider is set to be retired as of February 1, 2015 with the last certifications being attempted on January 31, 2015.

The CCNP Service Provider Certification has the following prerequisites:

  • A valid and current Cisco CCNA Service Provider Operations
  • Any current Cisco CCIE certification
  • CCNP Voice

The Cisco Certified Network Professional Voice (CCNP Voice) certification is meant to prove and validate that network professionals have advanced expertise and know how that required for the integration of underlying network architectures. CCNP Voice certification also verifies that network professionals possess a wide scope of skills necessary for configuring,implementing, operating,and troubleshooting of converged IP networks. Network professional who have CCNP Voice certification, are able to create efficient collaboration solutions that are scalable, transparent and manageable.

The CCNP Voice certification focuses on the job roles and responsibilities of a Cisco Unified Communications Manager, also known as a Unified Call Manager. It also places emphasis on skills or know how related to gateways, quality of service (QoS), gatekeepers, voice applications, IP phones, and utilities on Cisco Catalyst and switches Cisco routers. Other elements that are covered by the CCNP Voice certification include knowledge on troubleshooting and integrating of Cisco Unified Communications systems such as the Cisco Unified Presence and Cisco Unity Connection applications. In order to get the CCNP Voice certification, network professionals have the following prerequisites:

  • A current and valid Cisco CCNA Voice or CCNA Video, or
  • Any current Cisco CCIE certification
  • CCNP Wireless

Cisco Certified Network Professional Wireless (CCNP Wireless) certification is designed to validate that network professionals have the skills and capabilities needed for operating,implementing and designing of Cisco mobility infrastructure sand Cisco Wireless networks. The CCNP Wireless certification focuses on the principles and theory of wireless networking. Network professionals are supposed to prove their technical know how and expertise with Cisco wireless products as well as their ability to assess and translate wireless network business requirements into technical specifications which are later used in developing successful network installations. In order to get a CCNP Voice certification, network professionals must have the following prerequisites:

  • A current and valid Cisco CCNA Wireless or a
  • Any current Cisco CCIE certification

CCNP 642-902 ROUTE Books

CCNP 642-813 SWITCH Books

CCNP Practice Tests