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Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Certification

Siji Roy
Last Updated July 12, 2022 8:17 am

The Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Certification enables networking professionals to prove their skills and knowledge in enterprise networking solutions. This article examines the CCNP Certification in detail, covering the cost, career opportunities, and more.

What Is the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Certification?

The Cisco Certified Network Professional Certification, or CCNP, is a professional-level certification offered by Cisco that validates individuals’ depth of networking knowledge. The certification tests their skills for managing enterprise-level networking infrastructure, especially local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN) infrastructure.

CCNP Certification Types and Programs

Cisco offers many different subtopics and tests under the CCNP Certification umbrella:

CCNP Enterprise

CCNP Enterprise track tests networking professionals on advanced knowledge, such as managing and optimizing complex networking infrastructure and keeping applications secure. The program also enables them to design, build, implement, and secure wireless networks and covers concepts and principles of network design.   

CCNP Data Center

The CCNP Data Center certification validates networking professionals’ knowledge in designing, implementing, and managing data centers

CCNP Security

The CCNP Security certification qualifies professionals to choose and deploy effective firewalls and virtual private networks (VPNs). These professionals are also certified to provide organizations with suitable intrusion detection system (IDS) and intrusion prevention system (IPS) solutions.

CCNP Service Provider

The CCNP Service Provider certification teaches professionals how to deliver scalable networking infrastructure to support new and ongoing managed services

CCNP Collaboration

The CCNP Collaboration certification allows networking professionals to implement and operate converged IP networks and provides knowledge in managing voice applications and gateways.

How to Become a Cisco CCNP

To get certified by a Cisco CCNP program, networking professionals must pass two exams: one core exam and one concentration exam of their choice. 

Core exam

The core examination, ENCOR 350-401, is a 120-minute exam that tests an individual’s knowledge in building, implementing, and managing core enterprise networking technologies, including security principles, infrastructure, architecture, and automation.

Concentration exams

In order to earn a CCNP certification, test-takers must pass one of the following concentration exams:

  • ENARSI 300-410 is a 90-minute exam that contains questions on advanced routing technologies, infrastructure security, VPN services, and infrastructure automation.
  • ENSDWI 300-415 tests candidates’ knowledge of SD-WAN architecture and its deployment, security, policies, management, and operations. It is a 90-minute exam.
  • ENSLD 300-420 validates candidates’ knowledge in enterprise design, network services, security services, advanced enterprise networks, and WAN through a 90-minute exam. 
  • ENWLSD 300-425 is a 90-minute exam that focuses on wired and wireless network design, network infrastructure, mobility, and availability.
  • ENWLSI 300-430 evaluates the candidate’s knowledge of enterprise wireless implementation. The 90-minute exam consists of questions from the areas of FlexConnect, Multicast, client connectivity security, and advanced location services.
  • ENAUTO 300-435 certifies that the candidate possesses advanced knowledge in enterprise automation and programmability. The 90-minute exam contains questions on programming concepts, APIs, and automation tools.

The passing score for core and concentration exams varies year to year, but the preferred minimum score is 75%. The certification is valid for three years.

Prerequisites for Cisco CCNP certification

Candidates for CCNP certification must possess a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. Before taking the CCNP exam, candidates must also have completed the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification or any of the CCIE (Cisco Certified Internet Expert) certifications.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Certified?

Cisco offers professional-level exams for CCNP certification, which can be expensive. Exam costs range between $900 and $1,200. Comparatively, the CCNA exam costs between $325 and $600.

Achieving the Cisco CCNP Certification

Having a CCNP certification validates a professional’s ability to build, deploy, manage, and troubleshoot networks, including LAN and WAN. It also trains individuals to cooperate with specialists when providing solutions for wireless, security, voice, and video issues. Here are some of the top benefits of achieving the CCNP certification:

Advanced career opportunities

CCNP certification qualifies individuals for high-profile IT job opportunities, including IT manager and network engineer roles. CCNP-certified professionals can earn up to 10% more than those in the same position without the certification.

Skill recognition

Cisco and its certification programs are widely recognized in the IT field. CCNP certification provides employment opportunities for networking professionals across the world.

Advanced training

Cisco’s advanced training helps professionals sharpen their networking skills and keep up with global standard technologies as they evolve.

Top Career Opportunities

Obtaining CCNP certification offers high-profile employment opportunities in global IT enterprises. Here are some of the top career opportunities: 

  • Network engineer: an IT professional who possesses the skills to design, build, implement, and manage computer networks, including voice, video, data, and wireless networks.
  • Network analyst: optimize and analyze network requirements and configure systems and software for network communication.
  • IT manager: responsible for on-site and remote systems and networks. They work closely with systems and database administrators to develop the best communication networks for organizations. 

Systems engineer and network specialist roles are some other significant job opportunities available for CCNP certification holders.

Learn more: Top Computer Networking Jobs and Salaries

Related Certifications

The CCNA and/or CCIE certifications are a prerequisite for CCNP certification. In comparison to CCNP candidates, CCNA candidates are only required to pass one exam. There are also no prerequisites for getting certified with CCNA. CCNA certification offers knowledge in networking fundamentals, IP connectivity and services, automation, security, and programmability. 

The CCIE certification provides in-depth knowledge in enterprise network technologies, dual-stack architecture, and more. To get certified with CCIE certification, candidates are required to pass one written exam and one lab exam.

Interested in earning the CCNP certification? Prepare for your exams with this Cisco CCNA and CCNP Lifetime Certification Prep Bundle.