The Next Level
Take your Cisco Associate-Level Certification to the
Next Level with Cisco Professional-Level Certifications.
Up Your Game with Cisco Professional-Level Certifications
Earning your Cisco CCNA® certification was a huge accomplishment and, no doubt, you look proudly at how it's helped you prove yourself on the job, get to a more desired position, or even win a higher salary. If it's approaching the time to recertify, it could be an opportunity to step up your game and set your sights on certification at the CCNP® level.
Here's why: the IT networking industry is changing rapidly in terms of the skill sets required, and for those who are able to stay on top of those changes, the demand will be intense during the coming years. Let Cisco help you take your future in IT Networking to the Next Level!
Register for the Next-Level Professional Certification challenge and we will email you a discount code you can use towards a 35 percent discount on Cisco Press products. Simply fill out this brief online form to receive your discount code.
CCDP FAQs Show Titles
Q. What types of job roles and responsibilities could I anticipate after achieving my CCDP certification?
A. The most common roles are that of senior network design engineer, senior analyst, and principal systems engineer. With the advanced knowledge of intelligent network design concepts and principles that comes with CCDP certification, you could expect typical responsibilities to involve design and development of advanced addressing and routing, security, data centers, and IP multicast complex architectures that include virtual private networking and wireless domains. Learn More
Q. Where can I get more information on the ARCH exam and topics that will be covered?
A. More information is available on the ARCH exam page.
Q. Will taking the recommended classes, using the official Cisco study material and leveraging the study groups, be enough to pass the exams? Is hands-on experience with equipment necessary?
A. Taking the instructor-led training and using the available resources will certainly help you be prepared to pass the CCDP exams. Hands-on experience is not required but could prove to be beneficial. You can use the study group to understand the experience of others who have passed the exams. Find out more from existing CCDP holders by joining the study group. Learn More
Q. What are the prerequisites and exams needed to achieve my CCDP certification? I have my CCNA certification, but what will I need to get my CCDP certification?
A. A valid Cisco CCDA and CCNA certification, or a Cisco CCIE certification in any track, can act as a prerequisite. Since you have your CCNA certification already, you will need to pass the DESGN exam to get your CCDA certification and complete the prerequisite. Learn More
Q. If I have another Professional certification, will it recertify my CCDP certification?
A. First, you must currently hold a CCDP certification. If you recertify another Professional certification, it will recertify your existing CCDP certification. View the recertification policy.
Q. I am a sales engineer. How would achieving my CCDP certification help me in my career?
A. A CCDP certification can be very useful in a sales engineering role. The CCDP certification will enable you to confidently lead customer discussions on the design and development of advanced addressing and routing, security, data centers, and IP multicast complex architectures. Check out this CCDE case study that discusses an engineer's career journey and how his design knowledge has prepared him in becoming an accomplished sales engineer.
Q. With the changes to the CCNA Routing and Switching certification, how will that affect the requirements for CCDA certification?
A. CCNA Routing and Switching certification is not a prerequisite for CCDA certification. Effective October 1, 2013, a CCENT certification will become a prerequisite for achieving a CCDA certification. Learn More
Q. Are there any CCDA or CCDP lab simulations available?
Q. Where can I learn about the product training available for CCDP certification?
A. Many resources are available. The CCDP certification website contains information on available training including what and how to study. Join and participate in the study group to learn from those who are studying for the exams as well as those who have passed the exams.
Q. If I have my CCNP certification, do I just need to take the 642-874 ARCH exam to be CCDP certified?
A. The prerequisite for CCDP certification is a valid CCNA Routing and Switching and CCDA certification. You will need to pass the DESGN exam to achieve your CCDA certification, and also the ARCH exam to achieve a CCDP certification. Learn More
Q. How can I get more information on CCDE certification and recommendations for how to prepare for it?
A. There are many tools available to support you as you prepare for your CCDE certification. Learn More
Q. What is the recommended Design certification path? Is it CCNA>CCNP>CCIE or CCNA>CCDA>CCDP and CCNP then CCIE?
A. The right path depends on your goal. We would recommend the following path: CCENT>CCDA>CCDP>CCDE>CCAr. Check out the Cisco Design and Architecture Certification overview for more information.
CCNP Data Center FAQsShow Titles
Q. Where can I get more information about what to expect on the CCNP Data Center exams?
A. A list of exam topics is available for each of the required exams and can be viewed on the CCNP Data Center certification page.
Q. How can I determine if Data Center certification is the right path for me?
A. Look at the job roles associated with the data center. You can run a quick search through an online job portal to see if the technologies and responsibilities are of interest to you. Select a Data Center certification and then start studying. You will quickly find out if you have an interest. View the certification comparison document for more information on the available certifications for Data Center.
Q. What books are available to help study for the CCNP Data Center exams?
A. There are a limited number of titles available for CCNP Data Center. Please check the Study/Learn tab for the specific certification you are interested in.
Q. If I have other certifications, will they qualify as a prerequisite for the CCNP Data Center certification?
A. The prerequisite is a valid Cisco CCNA Data Center certification or any Cisco CCIE certification. Learn More
Q. How can I get guidance through the Data Center certification process?
A. We would recommend joining and participating in the communities and study groups. You can access them on the certification site. You can also join the discussions area for CCNP Data Center on the Cisco Learning Network.
Q. What are the exam requirements for achieving the CCNA Data Center certification?
A. CCNA Data Center certification requires the successful completion of two exams. Learn More
Q. Does Data Center Specialist mean less than CCNP Data Center certification?
A. No, the Specialist certifications are not less of a certification than a CCNP certification. Typically, Specialist certifications provide more in-depth knowledge in one particular technology. Specialist certifications shouldn't be compared to the CCNP certification in terms of value. A Specialist certification would be recommended for an individual who is in a job where he or she needs specific skills in a technology area.
Q. Is there more information available on the various Data Center Specialist certifications?
A. There are a variety of Data Center Specialist certifications to choose from. Learn More
Q. What are the steps to achieving the CCIE Data Center certification?
A. You must pass both a written exam and a lab exam to achieve a CCIE Data Center certification. Learn More
CCNP FAQsShow Titles
Q. Where can I learn more about what to expect on the CCNP Routing and Switching exams?
Q. How many questions will there be on the ROUTE exam?
A. There are approximately 45 to 55 questions. The exam page will provide you with more details about the ROUTE exam.
Q. I understand that IPv6 is an element of the CCNP certification exams. How can I get more information on what will be included?
A. IPv6 is an element of the ROUTE and TSHOOT certification exams. The Exam Topics section for these exams will provide you with more detail about how IPv6 is included:
Q. What are the prerequisites for achieving my CCNP certification?
A. A valid Cisco CCNA certification or any Cisco CCIE certification can act as a prerequisite. Learn More
Q. With the updates to the CCNA Routing and Switching certification, are the older exams 640-802, 640-822, and 640-816 still valid prerequisites for the CCNP certification?
A. You still have the option to complete the older exams prior to October 1, 2013 to earn the CCNA Routing and Switching certification, which would act as the CCNP certification prerequisite. Learn More
Q. If I have my CCNP certification, will other Professional-level certifications qualify for recertification of this certification?
A. Passing any 642-XXX Professional-level exam is one qualified option for recertifying the CCNP certification. Learn More
Q. Is there any online forum where people with like minds can chat about the CCNP certification and share ideas?
A. Yes. We would recommend that you join and participate in the communities and study groups. Study Groups
Q. Once you take the CCIE Routing and Switching Written exam, you have 18 months to take the Lab exam. Are the 18 months renewed if you achieve another CCNP certification, such as CCNP Data Center certification, without taking the Lab exam?
A. No. You will have to take the Written exam again if 18 months have passed since you last took it.
Q. Is there a recommendation of what order I should take the ROUTE, SWITCH, and TSHOOT exams for the CCNP certification?
A. Yes. We recommend you pass ROUTE, SWITCH, and TSHOOT in that order.
Q. Would Cisco Packet Tracer be recommended to practice and prepare for the CCNP certification?
A. No, but we would recommend Cisco Learning Labs.
Q. I currently have a CCNA certification. With the recent topic updates, will I be prepared for the CCNP exams?
A. There have been a few updates. A document has been created providing a summary of the topics that have been removed as well as the incremental topics that have been added.
Q. Is experience crucial or mandatory if I am pursuing my CCIE Routing and Switching certification?
A. Achieving CCNP certification will complement experience, but it does not replace it. If you have CCNP credentials and no practical experience, you may find it difficult when you are on the job and situations arise outside the book knowledge. Also, skills may be hard to retain if you're not actively using them.
CCNP SECURITY FAQsShow Titles
Q. What types of job roles should I be looking for with a CCNP Security certification?
A. The role of network security engineer is one that would be compatible for an individual with a CCNP Security certification.
Q. What resources are available to study for the CCNP Security certification?
Q. In preparation for the CCNP Security exams, what topics should I expect to study for?
A. The exam topics for each of the exams are available on the CCNP Security certification page.
Q. I currently have a valid CCSP Security certification but will need to recertify soon for a CCNP Security certification. What is the path for recertification?
A. As the CCSP certification is now retired, you will be unable to recertify that specific certification, but there is a roadmap that, depending on which exams you had passed, could lead you to a CCNP Security certification. Learn More
Q. I have several Cisco certifications. Would they qualify as a prerequisite as I pursue the CCNP Security certification?
A. The prerequisite for CCNP Security is a valid Cisco CCNA Security certification or valid Cisco CCNA certification plus the SND exam. Learn More
CCNP WIRELESS FAQsShow Titles
Q. Where can I find more information on the available training for CCNP Wireless certification?
A. The CCNP Wireless certification page provides a list of recommended training. Learn More
Q. Where can I find more information on available CCNP Wireless self-study materials?
Q. What can I expect to be covered on the CCNP Wireless certification exams?
Q. Is there a recommendation as to which order I should take the CCNP Wireless exams?
A. The exams associated with the CCNP Wireless certification can be taken in any order. There is no recommended order for them to be taken in.
Q. What additional knowledge will I need to know as I move from CCNP Wireless certification towards CCIE Wireless certification?
A. The exam topics indicate the areas of knowledge that will be tested during the CCIE Wireless exams.
Q. What types of jobs would each of the Wireless certifications be recommended for?
A. The jobs will differ for each level of Wireless certification and can be viewed on the Wireless certification comparison chart.
Q. What are the benefits of getting the CCNP Wireless certification?
A. The CCNP Wireless certification will prepare you for more advanced support and responsibilities as well as career advancement. This certification will enable you to assess and translate network business requirements into technical specifications that, in turn, are incorporated into successful installations. Learn More
CCNP VOICE FAQsShow Titles
Q. I just obtained a CCNA Voice certification. Is CVOICE a good place to start when working towards CCNP Voice certification?
A. CVOICE would be a great place to start. Also, be sure to check out the Study/Learn tab and practice questions on the CCNP Voice page.
Q. Is MPLS included in any of the training for CCNP Voice certification?
A. MPLS is not covered in any of the Voice courses or exams.
Q. I've completed my CCNP certification. What would you recommend be the next step in pursuing a career in voice?
A. The best place to start would be to review the CCNA Voice description and exam topics. A CCNP Voice certification will require either a CCNA Voice certification or a valid CCIE certification. If you have voice experience, you may be ready to take the CCNA Voice exam. Learn More
Q. I am CCNA certified but not CCNA Voice/Video certified. Can I take the CCNP Voice exams?
A. You can take the CCNP Voice exams, but to actually get your certificate, you must meet the prerequisite of either a current CCNA Voice or current CCIE certification. The prerequisite must be met prior to getting a certification. In most cases the prerequisites ensure you have the technology basics. We recommend looking through the list of CCNA Voice exam topics to ensure that you have the necessary knowledge before starting on your CCNA Voice exam or any CCNP Voice exam. Learn More
Q. Job postings for voice engineers seem to require a minimum of five years of experience. What would the job functions be of an entry-level position?
A. Typically the entry-level positions have "administrator" in the job title or description. A few common ones are voice administration engineer, associate voice engineer, and voice network engineer. Visit the Cisco Job Portal for more information.
Q. If I've already passed one of the CCNP Voice exams, how much time do I have to complete the remaining exams?
A. You will have up to three years from the date you pass the first exam to train and pass the remaining exams.
Q. If I've achieved my CCNA certification but would like to receive training on the implementation of IP telephony, what would you recommend?
A. It is recommended that you start with CCNA Voice certification. This will provide you with a basic understanding of how to administer a voice network as well as skills in VoIP technologies such as IP PBX, IP telephony, handsets, call control, and voice-mail solutions. The CCNA Voice certification is a prerequisite for achieving a CCNP Voice certification.
Q. What are the prerequisites for a CCNA Voice certification?
A. The prerequisites for CCNA Voice certification include a valid CCENT or CCNA Routing and Switching certification or a valid CCIE certification. Learn More
Q. What is the recertification process for renewing my CCNP Voice certification?
A. Your CCNP Voice certification is valid for three years. Learn more about the recertification process requirements.
Q. What order would you recommend I complete the required exams for CCNP Voice?
A. Suggested Order = ICOMM + CVOICE + CIPT1 + CIPT2 + TVOICE + CAPPS
CCNP SERVICE PROVIDER FAQsShow Titles
Q. Are there any CCNA or CCNP Service Provider self-study materials available?
Q. Can I go for a CCNP Service Provider certification if I already have a CCNP certification?
A. Yes. A CCNP certification can act as a prerequisite for the CCNP Service Provider certification. Having a CCNA certification plus passing the ROUTE exam also acts as a prerequisite. Learn More
Q. I currently have a CCIP certification. I would like to migrate and recertify to a CCNP Service Provider certification. What exams would I need to pass?
A. Depending on when you received your CCIP certification, you will need to pass both the SPEDGE and SPCORE exams to migrate your CCIP certification to a CCNP Service Provider certification. Learn more about the migration.
Q. How would you recommend getting hands-on or lab configuration experience?
A. You can get access to lab configurations through the instructor-led training (ILT) courses. Each exam page contains a list of the recommended classroom training. Learn More
Q. Is the CCNP Service Provider certification the recommended path for an engineer working in the GSM telecommunications field?
A. The CCNP Service Provider certification is recommended for network engineers who are working on a service provider IP network infrastructure. The CCNP Service Provider certification is the recommended certification for engineers in the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) telecommunications field. It is not an exact match, but you can leverage the components of this certification. It is valuable for the backhaul portion of mobility, and mobile IP. Learn More
Q. What are the prerequisites for achieving a CCNP Service Provider certification?
A. For more information on the prerequisites, visit the CCNP Service Provider certification page.
Q. Are there books available to study for the CCNP Service Provider certification?
A. There are books and other study materials listed under the Study/Learn tabs for each of the exams. Learn More
Q. I have earned a CCIP certification. Am I eligible to continue on to the CCIE Service Provider certification?
A. There are no formal prerequisites for the CCIE Service Provider certification. However, seven or more years of experience working in a service provider infrastructure environment is recommended. Learn More
Salaries are on the rise as the demand for networking skills continues.
If you are looking to get ahead in the networking field, or considering the potential of a career in networking, you will find motivation in a Robert Half Technology (RHT) survey (as reported by Network World) regarding the 15 IT job titles most expected to see an increase in starting salaries between 2012 and 2013. Of the 15 jobs listed by RHT, five of them land squarely within the realm of networking...
Thoroughly Prepared for Networking: Martin Brown
Martin Brown sat in a Brussels hotel room pondering the challenging day he just had on a support call as a product specialist for security systems for a firm based in the United Kingdom. The customer had raised network questions, and Martin had again felt inadequately prepared to answer them... Read More
Read how Tobias Coldwell developed his career with Cisco certifications.
Tobias Caldwell, a U.K.-based lead network engineer for clothing retailer Gap, has a favorite saying: “There’s no point in sitting on a thistle and moaning about how thorny it is. You’ve got to get up and do something about it.” Tobias has embraced this as a personal motto in his own life. He took a desire to learn networking, and used hard work and certification training to build it into a successful career... Read More
Download the Cisco Certifications Career Poster to help you launch and determine your IT Networking career.
Cisco Certifications help you launch and advance your IT Networking career. Choose a career path that meets your goals for professional and financial rewards. View Now
The place on the Cisco Learning Network where you can ask questions and share ideas with other members as you prepare for your Certification. Join Now.
Cisco Learning Network Premium membership helps you create a study plan that lets you progress at your speed. Find out what the Cisco Learning Network Premium membership has to offer. Learn more