The Top 5 Differences Between CCNP & CCNA

Remember those days when students used to queue up in front of Medical and Engineering institutes after their exams. The new age of Indian youth has learned to break stereotypes and opt for alternative and offbeat career choices. Out of the many options available, Cisco Certification courses have been gaining popularity over the last few years.

What are Cisco Certification Courses?

The IT industry is growing by the years, and Cisco has introduced a variety of certification courses for the professionals who are interested in Information Technology and wants to build a career in it. These certification courses offered by Cisco providing technical specializations are called Cisco Certified Courses.

The various Cisco Certified Courses can be listed as:

  • Cisco certified entry networking technician (CCENT)
  • Cisco Certified Technician (CCT)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA)
  • Cisco certified network professional (CCNP)
  • Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDF)
  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
  • Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)
  • Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr)

Among all these courses, two of them are fairly popular within the industry. Those are the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP).

Major differences between CCNA and CCNP:

Although both of these courses are the Cisco banner and deal in networking, infrastructure, routing, switching and other networking technologies, they have different curriculum and eligibility based on the grade they work in and the kind of work they carry out.

The five major differences can be classified on the basis of:

  1. Eligibility: CCNA is one of the best preliminary networking course available in India. It is an inexpensive certification aims at providing professional coaching to people who hold at least a couple of years of experience in network engineering. CCNP, on the other hand, is a more detailed and extensive study of networking. For CCNA no educational prerequisites prevail, whereas for enrollment in CCNP, a minimum of high school certification is mandatory.
  2. Evaluation: The CCNA course is pretty straight and allows the students to choose between a couple of options. They can either opt for 200-120 CCNA Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices: Accelerated (CCNAX) or 100-101 ICND1 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1) and 200-101 ICND2 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2). Whereas, the CCNP course is an advanced version and has more options to offer. IT networking professionals who want to pursue CCNP can choose from: 

1.Cisco remote access

2.Cisco advanced routing

3.Cisco multilayer switching

4.Converged network optimization

5.Scalable internet works

  1. Curriculum: The CCNA mainly aims at clearing the basic concept of Cisco networking and handling IT equipment without much of trouble. The students are trained and examined for installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of Cisco Networking platforms. On the other hand, in the CCNP course, the students are taught about installing, maintaining and troubleshooting WAN and LAN for systems ranging between 100 to 500 nodes. They are also trained in different network features like Route Redistribution, Access Lists, Ethernet, and AppleTalk.
  2. Examination: CCNA has got only one exam which is Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices 1 (640-822 ICND1). It is an hour and a half exam that has approximately 50 questions to be answered. In the case of CCNP, the patter is quite different. There are two parts to the exam, ICND1 and ICND2. Both exams have troubleshooting related questions. It also covers OSI working layers, LAN and WAN.
  3. Scope: Although both certifications are equally valued, one is a preliminary version and the other is a more advanced version. Both will give you a bright career path ahead. It depends on your interest and aims in life as to which course you want to opt for. Many students though go for both the courses in their careers if they really want to make a solid career in the IT networking field. After completing a CCNA certification you can get jobs like that of Network Technician, Helpdesk Engineer, Service Desk Engineer, Network Support Engineer or First and Second Line Support. And after completing the CCNP course you can be offered positions of Third Line Support, Network Engineer, IT Team Lead, Network Analyst, Network Specialist or a Systems Engineer.

There are many centers offering CCNA and CCNP training in Pune. If you really have the interest in the networking field then enroll and give yourself a bright career path ahead.