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16% of IT professionals worldwide have at least one Cisco certification. It speaks volumes about the popularity of Cisco certifications, and hence they are considered to be of great value in the IT industry. There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a certification course from Cisco.

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) are the two most common certifications offered by Cisco that are in great demand among various IT industries. Let us discuss in brief about both the certifications.

About CCNA Certification

The Cisco Certified Network Associate is a well-known certification that is ideal for people who are aware of the basics of networking. The skills of various individuals could be used at different platforms to enhance marketability. The candidates get to explore other methods and ways of installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting different networking devices. After the completion of the CCNA certification, students need two years of experience to opt for advanced level certification training.

Exam Duration

CCNA examination lasts for 120 minutes, and 50 questions consist of both multiple-choice questions and simulations. The candidates need to configure the routers in the simulation part to showcase their skills in routing and switching, troubleshooting, and configuration.

Eligibility Criteria

The candidates with even little knowledge of networking could opt for the CCNA examination. Students with degrees are also eligible to appear for the exam.

Salary Expectations

Upon completion of the CCNA training, the candidate can apply for any entry-level job in networking. Most of the companies prefer their employees to be CCNA certified for enhanced marketability. The salary packages range from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 25,000 based on the company and cities.

About CCNP Certification

The Cisco Certified Network Professional is an intermediate-level training program that helps the candidates to work proficiently with LAN and WAN infrastructure. During the CCNP training program, the candidates learn different ways of implementation, planning, and troubleshooting WANs and LANs. Various CCNP courses cover different domains of the IT industry like Cloud, Routing Collaboration, Service Provider, Data Center, Switching, Wireless, Security, and others.

Exam Duration

Every candidate needs to take up three examinations to get CCNP certified. The first CCNP examination lasts for 120 minutes, and 50-60 questions include both lab simulations and multiple-choice ones. Similarly, the second examination lasts for the same duration with 45-55 questions of both the types. The last examination lasts for 120 minutes, and it focuses more on practical knowledge. There are 15-25 lab simulations with troubleshooting that have to be solved.

Eligibility Criteria

The candidates need to pass the CCNA examination to opt for CCNP examination.

Salary Expectations

CCNP professionals get higher salary packages as compared to CCNA professionals. The salary packages vary depending upon the experience, company, and the city you are working in. The usual salary package ranges from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 50,000.

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Key Differences between CCNA and CCNP

  • CCNA is an associate-level certification that tests the candidates on the fundamentals of switching and routing. On the other hand, CCNP is a pretty much-advanced certification that requires an in-depth knowledge of LANs and WANs, and also how they both work together.
  • Out of both CCNA and CCNP certifications, CCNP certification is considered to be at a senior-level as it involves an in-depth understanding of networking and other associated content like wireless options and security.
  • There are no prerequisites for taking up the CCNA examination, but one needs to be CCNA or CCIE certified in order to take up a CCNP examination.
  • Any candidate needs to pass two exams for attaining CCNA certification, while CCNP certification can only be gained after passing four examinations.
  • CCNP certified candidates get higher salary packages as compared to CCNA certified professionals.

Scope of CCNA and CCNP

There are different levels of certifications offered by Cisco and all of them are completely different from one another. Every certification leads to a different path in building a career. CCNP certification cost is higher as compared to the cost of CCNA training because CCNP is an associate-level training program that is more advanced than CCNA.

Let us have a look at some of the job opportunities that are being offered after the completion of CCNA and CCNP training programs.

Job Opportunities after completion of CCNA Training

CCNA certification offers individuals with entry-level jobs in the IT industry with different roles like:

  • Helpdesk Engineer
  • First and Second Line Support
  • Network Technician
  • Service Desk Engineer
  • Network Support Engineer

Job Opportunities after completion of CCNP Training

CCNP is an ideal certification for those who wish to go further in building their career in the IT industry with different job roles like:

  • Network Specialist
  • Network Analyst
  • Third Line Support
  • Systems Engineer
  • Network Engineer
  • IT Team Leader
Nathalie Nicole Smith states that working hard and staying true to yourself are sure ways to win in life.

If you wish to enhance your career in the IT industry, you must look forward to opting for Cisco certification courses from Koenig Solutions. CCNA along with CCNP certification training would be a great step towards building your career in the IT industry.