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How Do I Become a Cisco Certified Network Professional

Become a Cisco Certified Network Professional
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There is no specified time for you to become a certified network professional. Most businesses are expanding their work online, increasing their reliance on the internal network to keep things running smoothly. Cisco, the biggest networking equipment manufacturer in the world, has developed a valuable and respected certification program. This guide will give you a quick overview of what it means to be a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and how to obtain a professional certification with Cisco.

What is a CCNP?

There are 5 steps of certification for Cisco Careers:

  • Entry-level
  • Associate 
  • Professional
  • Expert
  • Architect 

CCNP certifies you at the third tier ‘Professional’ level, which is a relatively easy way to set yourself up to make $90,000 per year.

How does the CCNP Certification Help IT Engineers?

The CCNP switching and routing certification can help engineers to grow their skills and take the next step in your IT engineering career. The certification approves a range of skills relating to local-area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks (WANs) for businesses. Professionals with a CCNP certification will be able to work together with specialists and maintain, implement, and troubleshoot a range of solutions.

Types of CCNP Certification

Apart from routing and switching certification, there are other types of CCNP certification also.

Switching and Routing – for network professionals to install and support networks

VOICE – for downloading and maintaining voice over IP (VoIP) networks

Wireless – to know how to configure, implement and support wireless networks

Data Center – focuses on technologies, data center solutions, and best practices

Security – for network experts who design and implement secure networks

Skills Measured by the CCNP Switching and Routing Certification

The CCNP switching and routing certification validate a range of skills. People who get this certification will learn the following skills:

Implement And Configure An Eigrp Based Solution

  1. Create a multi-area OSPF Network and configure OSPF routing
  2. Apply an eBGP based solution and configure eBGP routing
  3. Setup an IPv6 based strategy and document implementation results
  4. Implement and configurate an IPv4 or IPv6 redistribution solution
  5. Design Layer 3 Path Control Solutions and broadband connections
  6. Analyze the necessary resources and implement VLAN based solution
  7. Plan and implement a privacy and Security Extension of Layer 2 solutions
  8. Design and configure Switch based Layer 3 services
  9. Implement advanced VoIP, video, and wireless support solutions
  10. Implement High Availability and then confirm using show & debug commands
  11. Maintain the network and make a plan to monitor performance
  12. Troubleshoot Multi-Protocol systems, such as EIGRP, NAT, and OSPF

Cisco CCNP Certification Exams

To obtain a Cisco Certified Network Professional, it’s necessary to complete several exams. They are approximately 120 minutes in length and test different skills. 

There are 3 exams to complete and pass: 

  • 300-101 ROUTE
  • 300-115 SWITCH
  • 300-135 TSHOOT

Each exam costs $300 and the first two have between 45 and 65 questions.

There are several things that you can do to prepare for your certification exams. There is a range of study materials, such as Cisco Press books, can help you to have access to the information that you need. Taking hands-on experience can help you to practice, especially if you can do it in your current role. You can take advantage of Cisco hardware or even virtualization technology to practice and learn new things. It’s also important to make sure that you have enough time to prepare. At least 2-3 months preparation time will help you get ready and give you time for consistent study. Practice tests will help you to understand the exams too.

Cisco CCNP Certification Prerequisites

Before giving the Cisco exams, you need to get the routing and switching certification, it’s essential to make sure you fulfill all of the prerequisites. The Cisco CCNA certification is necessary before you can take the exams. This process consists of either two separate tests or taking a single combination exam. Altogether, it is a 90-minute exam.

Cisco Certified Network Professional Certification Training

To prepare for the certification, you may get materials that help you learn alone, or you might decide to have some professional training. If you don’t attend training by person, you might find a useful course online with video demonstrations that can help you. Many people try to build a lab at home so that they have somewhere to practice for their exams too. It can also be useful to complete the exams in an order that works for you. The Switch and Route exams can be completed in any order, so taking the one that you are most confident about first can be helpful.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to boost your IT career, Cisco Certified Network Professional can help get you move towards the right path.

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