Top Difference between CCNA & CCNP Certifications

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) represent different levels of IT certification by Cisco. To become "Cisco Certified", a person must pass and complete five levels of evidence: entry, associates, professionals, experts and architect.

CCNA (Cisco Certified Networking Associate): It is one of the most important certifications within the Information Technology industry. This certification represents the associated level, oriented to practical skills in the diagnosis and solution of specific network problems.

Taking a course to study for the CCNA certification exam increases your understanding and knowledge of the core concepts of networking. Even if you have years of experience working with networks, you will find this course beneficial. While experience is important, the study materials used in the CCNA course will keep you updated with the latest developments in the industry.

When you obtain the CCNA certification, you will immediately have chances to advance in your career, to occupy a better paid position, with more responsibilities. A certified professional can hold positions such as IT network administrator, network engineer, systems engineer, IT manager and even IT director. Commonly, those professionals who obtain the certification obtain an immediate increase of 20% of their salary, and in some cases, the increase reaches 100%.

CCNP (Cisco Certified Networking Professional): Provides knowledge and practical experience to design and support complex business networks in a real environment, will provide a lasting basis since these skills are equally relevant in today's physical networks and virtualized network functions of tomorrow. This high-level certification demonstrates the capabilities of its owner to design, create and optimize an extensive network, using efficient methods that take into account data transfer security and convergence, including the implementation of a data infrastructure.

The Cisco CCNA program helps to prepare and successfully pass the exam of the largest American company. Having a Cisco certificate enhances employee status in the eyes of a potential employer and his chances of getting a well-paid job. In addition to the above advantages of certification, we can note another important advantage - support for vendors. That is, a Cisco Systems certified specialist has access to closed sites, the ability to receive invitations to attend conferences and seminars intended for technical workers. In addition, a Cisco certificate holder is provided with free subscriptions to technical literature.


CCNA and CCNP represent levels two and three, respectively, of IT certification by Cisco. CCNP is a more advanced certification. Both certifications are valid for three years.


CCNA certification authorizes the knowledge and ability to work with medium-sized route and switched networks. CCNAs solve problems, install and operate these networks.

The core program of the CCNA exam involves understanding wireless network concepts, basic security threats, connecting to remote sites through wide area networks (WAN), and using the following protocols: IP, the serial line interface of the Protocol Enhanced interior gateway routing (EIGRP), Frame Relay Protocol, Routing information protocol version 2 (RIPv2), VLANs, Ethernet, access control lists (ACL).


CCNP certification demonstrates the ability to maintain local area networks (LAN) and WAN and work together with specialists in advanced security solutions, voice and wireless. CCNPs are trained for support, systems or network engineer positions.

The CCNA is a prerequisite for CCNP. Cisco recommends that only those with at least one year of network experience apply for the CCNP exam.