What is CCNP??
CCNP stands for Cisco Certified Network Professional and is a Professional level certification provided by Cisco as a part of their Cisco Certification program. The certification aims at recognizing the individual to be capable of withholding advanced networking skill set and knowledge. The curriculum of each professional certification track has been designed to cater a specific set of technology skills to meet the needs of the industry.
The most preferred certification tracks followed by individuals are Routing & Switching (R&S), Security and Collaboration. Hence, the respective association level CCNA certified professionals, follow this professional level certification, defined for the particular track.
CCNA (Associate) – > CCNP (Professional) – > CCIE (Expert) – > CCAr (Architect)
The CCNP path defined for each track is divided into multiple modules, namely:
a) CCNP Routing & Switching: This track is to be followed for CCNA R&S associates and comprises of modules like CCNP Route, CCNP Switch & CCNP Troubleshoot.
b) CCNP Security: Associate that have already completed their CCNA security follows the track and the respective modules are CCNP SISAS, CCNP SITCS, CCNP SISAS & CCNP SIMOS.
c) CCNP Collaborate: Professional having already certified with association level of certificate for collaboration if are pursuing the Profession level certificate, need to clear the following four modules namely: CCNP CIPTV1, CCNP CIPTV2, CCNP CTCOLLAB & CCNP CAPPS.
Options & Benefits
CCNP in right terms is the third level of accreditation for someone following the Cisco certification track. And can be followed by the expert level CCIE and architect level CCArc. This certification is well suited for Network Engineer, Network Analyst, System Engineer, Specialist, and IT Team Leader.
All custom modules are to be cleared to attain the CCNP professional certification. Test centers by Pearson Vue are available all over the globe.
The duration of each exam module is 120 minutes, with 45-55 questions per module. ( Number of questions differ depending on the module)
Exam Resources and Preparation:
Professionals undertaking this certification can take opt for alternate ways to train for the certification they want to pursue. A few of them are listed below:
a) Professional course, provided by Cisco collaborated institutes and companies. The length of the courses and cost depends on the custom course structure as provided by the institutes. Very good scope for hands-on practice.
b) Self Study using study material approved and provided by Cisco, as a part of their learning resource. Each module is different as per the certification track one chooses to follow.
c) Attend intensive boot camps and live classes.
To be eligible to take the Professional level certification of this track, a professional needs to possess a valid Cisco CCNA certification of the respective track. Any other valid CCNA certification can act as a prerequisite for this exam.
For someone pursuing this certification, one has to give separate exams for each module as specified by the track for example, CCNP R&S has three modules namely,
a) CCNP Routing
b) CCNP Switching
c) CCNP Troubleshooting
Hence, the written test for each of these modules is to be cleared distinctly. Simulated test & lab software for understanding lab scenarios are a part of the exam training kit, provided by Cisco.
The written exam can comprise of
a) Multiple-Choice Single Answer
b) Multiple-Choice Multiple Answer
d) Scenario-Based Testlet
e) Simulated Lab And Testlet
Participants need to score approximately 75% correct score of the overall score to clear the exam. The test total score and passing score are subject to constant revision by Cisco without notice.
Hence one needs to make sure to review all the exam details beforehand prior to taking the exam.
All Professional-level certifications provided by Cisco have a three year of validity. Hence, to retain the validity, one needs to follow the recertification process by passing any one of the following tracks before the expiration date of the certificate.
a) Pass written exam of CCIE of any of the current track.
b) Pass written exam or practical lab of CCDE.
c) Pass current 642-XXX Professional level or 300-XXX Professional level exam.
d) Pass CCAr i.e. Cisco Certified Architect interview and the board review, so to extend the lower certification.