Everything CCNP: Cisco Certified Network Professional Certification


In the realm of information technology, Cisco certifications are recognized as pivotal benchmarks that signify the expertise of networking professionals worldwide. These credentials encompass a range from foundational knowledge to advanced networking technologies and solutions, laid out in a structured pathway through Entry, Associate, Specialist, Professional, and Expert levels. Each level is meticulously designed to enhance the skills and understanding needed at various stages of a networking career.

At the heart of this respected certification pathway, the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) stands as a crucial milestone for those eager to showcase their proficiency at an advanced level. The CCNP credentials are aimed at IT professionals seeking to focus on various areas of network technology. They cover a wide range of specializations such as enterprise, security, data center, service provider, and collaboration. Explore the diverse CCNP certifications offered by Cisco and select the one that best suits your professional goals to enhance your knowledge and skills and boost your career.

CCNP Certifications: Elevating Network Proficiency

Earning a CCNP certification typically requires candidates to have already obtained the CCNA certification, demonstrating a foundational level of networking knowledge. Tailored for network engineers, administrators, and technicians, the CCNP credential aims to deepen their networking skills and knowledge in the chosen domain. Specifically, the CCNP certifications are designed to equip professionals with the skills necessary to design, deploy, confirm, and resolve issues in both local and wide-area enterprise networks while collaborating with experts on sophisticated security, wireless, voice, and video solutions. The certification process

involves passing several exams: a fundamental core exam and a specific concentration test. They assess a candidate’s abilities in specific areas related to the chosen track, emphasizing the importance of in-depth understanding and practical experience in the field. This makes the CCNP certifications highly valued by employers in the IT industry, as they validate an individual’s ability to manage and optimize network systems effectively. Consequently, obtaining the CCNP certification is recognized as a notable professional achievement, significantly enhancing career prospects.

The CCNP program encompasses a range of certifications, demonstrating Cisco’s dedication to offering in-depth, specialized training. This approach ensures networking professionals are well-prepared to face the unique challenges and opportunities in their careers. Below is a brief overview of the various CCNP certifications available.

CCNP Enterprise

One of the most sought-after professional-level certification is CCNP Enterprise. This credential demonstrates expertise in managing major corporate networks, encompassing configuration, troubleshooting, and maintenance. This credential, verified through the ENCOR exam and a chosen concentration exam, showcases skills in enterprise infrastructure, virtualization, security, and automation. Completion of these exams opens pathways to roles like Network Administrator and Systems Engineer. While there are no formal prerequisites, candidates often have three to five years of experience in the field, aligning with the certification’s advanced skillset requirements.

The certification journey begins with the 350-401 ENCOR exam, focusing on core enterprise network technologies, followed by specialized training in implementing and operating these networks. Various learning formats are available, including e-learning, classroom training, and personalized options through Cisco U., offering a tailored learning experience and community engagement. The next step is choosing one concentration exam, each with recommended training to deepen expertise in specific areas like advanced routing, SD-WAN solutions, or wireless network design. Concentration exam options include, but are not limited to, the 300-410 ENARSI, which evaluates expertise in advanced routing, infrastructure technologies, and VPN services. The 300-415 ENSDWI exam tests proficiency in Cisco’s SD-WAN solutions and their security aspects. Meanwhile, the 300-420 ENSLD exam confirms understanding of enterprise design principles, focusing on WAN and security services, among others.

This structured approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of enterprise networking, preparing candidates for advanced roles and challenges in the field.

CCNP Data Center

The CCNP Data Center certification by Cisco is a testament to a professional’s ability to manage and deploy robust solutions within large-scale, enterprise-grade data centers. This credential highlights the necessity for skilled individuals in establishing and maintaining sophisticated data center operations.

The certification process evaluates expertise in essential data center technologies – networking, computing, storage network infrastructure, automation, and security – through the DCCOR exam. Additionally, candidates can tailor their certification to their interests by selecting a concentration exam, with successful completion of both required for certification. Typical roles for certificate holders include Senior Network Designer, Network Administrator, and Senior Data Center Engineer, with no formal prerequisites, though three to five years of experience is common.

The journey begins with the foundational 350-601 DCCOR exam, emphasizing the design and implementation of critical data center technologies. Training options range from e-learning to classroom settings, aiming to fortify core competencies in data center architecture and operations.

For further specialization, candidates may choose from concentration exams like the 300-610 DCID, focusing on data center design; the 300-615 DCIT, emphasizing troubleshooting; or the 300-620 DCACI, centered on Cisco Nexus® 9000 Series Switches in ACI mode. Each of these exams, along with their corresponding training programs, deepens expertise in specific aspects of data center management and solutions, ensuring a comprehensive skill set for tackling the challenges of modern data center environments.

CCNP Security

Securing the CCNP Security certification underscores the capability to navigate the cybersecurity landscape, safeguarding essential networks and data upon which organizations depend. This credential is obtained by showcasing proficiency in enterprise infrastructure, virtualization, assurance, security, and automation through the SCOR exam, followed by the demonstration of specialized skills in a chosen concentration exam.

Holding the CCNP Security certification opens doors to roles such as Associate Security Engineer, Network Security Engineer, and Information Security Analyst, without formal prerequisites. However, candidates typically bring three to five years of experience in implementing security measures.

The certification path begins with mastering core security technologies via the 350-701 SCOR exam, complemented by targeted training. Following this, candidates select a concentration exam to deepen their specialization. Examples include the 300-710 SNCF, focusing on Cisco Firepower Threat Defense; the 300-715 SISE, concentrating on deploying Cisco Identity Services Engine; and the 300-720 SESA, which tests skills in securing email with Cisco Email Security Appliance. Each concentration exam, along with its recommended training, enhances specific security skills, preparing candidates for advanced security challenges.

CCNP Service Provider

Achieving the CCNP Service Provider certification demonstrates an individual’s expertise in configuring, verifying, and optimizing advanced service provider IP network infrastructures. This certification involves passing the SPCOR exam, which assesses knowledge in core network architecture, services, networking, automation, QoS, security, and network assurance, followed by a concentration exam that allows for specialization in a specific area.

Holders of the CCNP Service Provider certification are well-prepared for roles such as Network Designer, Senior Network Engineer, and Senior Network Manager, with no strict prerequisites. However, a background of three to five years in implementing service provider solutions is common among candidates.

The certification path starts with the 350-501 SPCOR exam, focusing on next-generation service provider infrastructures, supported by comprehensive training. Subsequently, candidates select from concentration exams like the 300-410 ENARSI for advanced routing, the 300-415 ENSDWI for SD-WAN solutions, or the 300-420 ENSLD for enterprise design. These exams, alongside specialized training, deepen expertise in vital areas, equipping professionals for the complexities of service provider networks.

CCNP Collaboration

Securing the CCNP Collaboration certification demonstrates an individual’s capability to devise and implement solutions that enhance communication in today’s hybrid environments. This credential is achieved by passing the CLCOR exam, which assesses proficiency in collaboration technologies, including Cisco’s Internetwork Operations System XE gateway, call control, and Quality of Service, complemented by a chosen concentration exam.

This certification prepares individuals for roles such as Collaboration Administrator, Solutions Engineer, and Solutions Architect, with no strict prerequisites. However, it’s common for candidates to have three to five years of experience in deploying collaboration solutions.

The certification journey starts with the 350-801 CLCOR exam, testing essential collaboration technology skills, followed by targeted training. Candidates then choose a concentration exam to deepen their specialization, such as the 300-810 CLICA, focusing on collaboration applications; the 300-815 CLACCM, covering advanced call control and mobility; or the 300-820 CLCEI, dealing with collaboration cloud and edge solutions. These exams and their respective trainings equip professionals with the advanced skills needed for the dynamic field of collaboration technology.

Cisco Certified CyberOps Professional

Obtaining the Cisco Certified CyberOps Professional certification signifies an enhancement in skills necessary for roles in information security, such as incident response, cloud security, and other proactive defense positions. This certification assesses proficiency in essential data center technologies like networking, computing, and security.

Roles suited for certificate holders include Cybersecurity Engineer, Incident Responder, and SOC Analyst, with no strict prerequisites. However, a background of three to five years in enterprise networking is typical.

The certification process begins with the 350-201 CBRCOR exam, evaluating both foundational and specialized knowledge in cybersecurity. Training focuses on securing networks and responding to cybersecurity threats. For further specialization, candidates may opt for exams like the 300-215 CBRFIR, concentrating on Digital Forensics and Incident Response; the 300-220 CBRTHD, focusing on threat hunting and defense strategies. These concentration exams, along with their specific trainings, aim to deepen expertise in critical areas of cybersecurity, preparing professionals to effectively counter and manage security threats and vulnerabilities.

Cisco Certified DevNet Professional

The Cisco DevNet Professional certification signifies expertise in developing and maintaining applications on Cisco platforms, merging app development capabilities with software and infrastructure knowledge essential for NetDevOps roles. This certification stresses importance on software design, API optimization, deployment automation, and data security.

Candidates typically have three to five years of experience in designing and implementing applications on Cisco platforms, including Python programming. To achieve this certification, passing a core exam alongside one of six concentration exams is required, supported by a variety of resources from guided learning to community forums for exam preparation.

The required core exam, 350-901 DEVCOR, evaluates knowledge in software development and design, focusing on API use, Cisco platforms, application security, and more. Concentration exam choices include 300-435 ENAUTO, highlighting enterprise automation; 300-535 SPAUTO, dedicated to service provider solutions automation; and 300-635 DCAUTO, concentrating on data center automation. These exams verify the capability to deploy automated solutions in different Cisco environments, equipping individuals for roles such as senior network engineer, senior automation engineer, and senior infrastructure architect.

Navigating the CCNP Certification Process: From Start to Success

Embarking on the CCNP Certification Path involves a series of steps designed to guide candidates through the process of gaining and maintaining this prestigious credential. Here is a structured approach to navigating this journey:

Firstly, it is crucial for candidates to familiarize themselves with the CCNP certification program, including understanding its prerequisites and recognizing the value of earning this certification.

Secondly, exploring the diverse training options available is encouraged, allowing candidates to select the learning method that aligns best with their preferences and goals.

Thirdly, engaging with the Cisco Learning Network is recommended. This platform offers access to complimentary study resources, such as training videos, webinars, and a dedicated CCNP Community, enabling candidates to pose technical queries, engage in discussions, and receive invaluable study advice.

Next, candidates are advised to utilize Cisco’s labs, simulation tools, and sandboxes to gain practical experience, which is essential for reinforcing the concepts and skills learned.

Following this, assessing exam readiness through official CCNP practice questions is a key step, helping candidates gauge their preparedness and identify any areas requiring further attention.

Subsequently, candidates should arrange to take the specified CCNP exam, available either online or at Pearson VUE testing centers globally.

Then, after successfully passing the exam, candidates need to access the Certification Tracking System to update their status and claim their digital certification kit. This milestone deserves celebration as it signifies the completion of the certification journey.

Lastly, maintaining and recertifying the CCNP certification through Continuing Education is vital for keeping skills sharp, knowledge current, and ensuring the professional’s ongoing relevance in the ever-evolving field of networking.

Conclusively, by diligently following these structured steps, individuals can effectively navigate the CCNP Certification process from its inception to successful completion. This journey not only enhances technical proficiency but also solidifies a professional’s standing in the competitive field of networking, marking a significant advancement in their career.


In conclusion, achieving the CCNP certification signifies a professional’s dedication and technical skill, tailored for those aiming to advance in networking. The program, covering Enterprise, Data Center, Security, Service Provider, Collaboration, CyberOps, and DevNet, enables a customized certification journey. It underscores the critical role of CCNP in affirming one’s ability to manage complex networks, opening advanced career opportunities. With a focused approach, it prepares candidates for technological advancements, making CCNP not just an achievement but a catalyst for innovation and excellence in networking. Ultimately, this certification offers a clear path to professional advancement, highlighting Cisco’s commitment to developing highly skilled and qualified network professionals.