Cisco Certification Showdown: CCNA vs CCNP – Learning Guide


Cisco has managed to stand its ground and compete in the IT industry, even with companies like Microsoft its competitor. The company has further consolidated its position as a tech mogul by offering an assortment of certifications, CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) and CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional certification), being the two major certifications provided by them.

Professionals are required to notice the basic and major differences among the certifications and keep in mind their end goal while selecting a certification. These courses aim to help you advance your vocation and search for better opportunities in your professional life.

In this article, we help you to decode these two certifications at various levels.

CCNA Certification

The Cisco Certified Network Associate is the entry-level certification that focuses on routers and servers and covers the implementation of various routers principles in the real-time world. You will require extensive Cisco training for a comprehensive understanding of the installation and maintenance process of Cisco’s medium networking-related devices. Professionals should enrol for Cisco training from an institute which is known to have hands-on experience in Cisco products.

As a prerequisite, prior experience of over a year in networking and its related fields is preferable. An important advantage of preparing for the CCNA exams is that the CCNA certifications are exceptionally reasonable as compared to the CCNP certification cost.

This certification provides proficiency in performing tasks related to implementation, maintenance and troubleshooting of network systems, servers, and routers, and is especially useful for professionals who want to achieve expertise in networking engineering.

CCNA provides for specializations such as CCNA Routing & Switching v3.0, CCNA Service Provider, CCNA Security (IINS V3), CCNA Data Centre and CCNA Collaboration.

New CCNA Certification

The New CCNA Certification program is designed such that possessing one certification would validate a broad range of fundamentals for all IT careers. It would cover a breadth of topics which would be including network access, network fundamentals, IP services, IP connectivity, security fundamentals, as well as automation and programmability. The New CCNA training course and exam is an ideal foundation required to take your career forward.


  • It forms the first step in starting your career with the most respected associate-level certification in the industry.
  • The course makes you proficient in the essentials of networking, including automation, security, as well as programmability, thus letting you apply to a wide range of roles.

CCNA Exam Details

Unlike CCNP courses, there are no prerequisites for taking the CCNA certification exams. CCNA certification requires you to clear the following exams. You can choose any one of the two options specified at each step according to your skills and requirements:

  1. CCNAX or 200-120 CCNA Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices
  2. ICND 1 or 100-101 ICND1 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1
  3. ICND 2 or 200-101 ICND2 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2

CCNP Certification

CCNP certification or Cisco Certified Network Professional certification is an advanced level certification which provides a thorough understanding of the working mechanism of WANs and LANs. This course is best suited for high-level networking professionals as it requires a certain amount of prior experience and a CCNA certification as its prerequisites.

A CCNP course will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to handle Cisco’s technologies and principles related to IP switched network, IP routers, networking, switching, and optimization of networks.

The new CCNP Enterprise certification program with an increase in intent-based networking, organizations could utilize automation for scaling and securing their networking infrastructure. For capitalizing on this opportunity, they need networking professionals with a wider range of skills as well as greater focus in strategic technology areas.

The CCNP Enterprise certification program has been designed to help you develop your skills based on the ever-changing requirements of enterprise network technologies. CCNP courses will cover the core technologies and allow you to study an enterprise area of focus of your choice.


  • The certification provides the validity that you possess the required knowledge, thus guaranteeing advancement in the fast-paced world of enterprise technologies.
  • It allows the customization of your certification for your technical focus.
  • CCNP training makes networking automation skills your area of expertise.
  • It allows achieving any Specialist certification for clearing any CCNP exam – core or concentration. You can also qualify for a CCIE Enterprise lab exam by clearing the CCNP core exam.

Exam Details

A CCNA certification is a prerequisite for taking the CCNP certification exam. The CCNP certification consists of the following three exams:

  • 300-101 ROUTE Implementing Cisco IP Routing (ROUTE)
  • 300-115 SWITCH Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks (SWITCH)
  • 300-135 TSHOOT Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks (TSHOOT)

Both certifications have unique advantages and help a professional achieve their goals at different stages. Irrespective of the certification you pick, it is crucial that you opt for a reliable source for the exam training so that you are adequately prepared for the certification exams.




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