The Ultimate Guide to CCNA vs CCNP Certifications

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The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) are two of the most popular certifications in the IT industry. They both are offered by Cisco and are associate-level and professional-level certifications, respectively.

The CCNA vs. CCNP debate is one of the most hotly debated topics in the networking industry. With so many fields within the IT and Networking field, it can be difficult to know where to start for a career. And which one should you get?

In this guide, we’ll compare the two certifications in depth so that you can make an informed decision about which one to choose for your career.

What is CCNA?

CCNA certification is an associate-level Cisco certification that validates the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot networks. The 200-301 CCNA exam is the latest version available.

The CCNA course covers all the fundamentals of networking, including LAN switching technologies, IPv4 and IPv6 routing technologies, WAN technologies, infrastructure services, infrastructure security, and infrastructure management.

Earning your CCNA certification demonstrates that you possess the knowledge and abilities to administer and maintain cutting-edge networks. Having prior expertise in deploying and managing Cisco solutions is a plus for any prospective employee.

 Benefits and Perks of Cisco CCNA Certification

What is CCNP?

CCNP stands for Cisco Certified Network Professional. 350-401 ENCOR exam is the latest version available. This networking certification validates the ability to plan, implement, verify and troubleshoot local and wide-area enterprise networks and work collaboratively with specialists on advanced security, voice, wireless, and video solutions.

The CCNP certification is appropriate for those with at least one year of networking experience who are ready to advance their skills and work independently on complex network solutions. Individuals who achieve CCNP have demonstrated the skills required in enterprise roles such as network technician, support engineer, systems engineer, or network engineer.

It is preferred for a candidate to have at least 3-5 years of experience in implementing enterprise network solutions.

Key differences between CCNA and CCNP

Although both the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certifications are aimed at network professionals, there are some key differences between the two:

  • Primarily, CCNA is designed for associate-level and mid-level network engineers, while CCNP is aimed at more experienced professionals.
  • CCNA covers a broad range of topics, including network fundamentals, LAN switching technologies, routing technologies, WAN technologies, and infrastructure services. CCNP narrows the focus to specific technologies, such as advanced IP addressing and routing, multicast traffic management, security protocols, and network troubleshooting.
  • And finally, CCNA certification requires passing one exam, while CCNP certification requires passing 2 exams.

Read more: CRISC vs CISSP

CCNA vs CCNP: Detail Comparison

CCNA Job Roles

Entry-level network engineer Network administrator
Help desk technician Systems Engineer
Network administrator Network support technician
Network support technician Mid-level network engineer

CCNA vs CCNP: Salary

When it comes to salaries, both the CCNA and CCNP offer great earning potential. According to, the median salary for a CCNA is $72,000 per year, while the median salary for a CCNP is $109,353 per year.

Jobs requiring CCNA and CCNP certification are expected to be in high demand and to pay more as the sector of information technology expands.

CCNA vs CCNP: Similarities

Despite being different paths within Cisco’s certificate program, the CCNA and CCNP actually have a lot in common- Let’s take a closer look at their similarities:

  • The CCNA and CCNP exams have a mix of different types of multiple-choice questions. Some questions want you to choose the best answer from a list, while others want you to drag and drop answers into the right order.
  • Both tests are available in English, Spanish, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese, among other languages.
  • Both tests are given at Pearson VUE testing centers under the supervision of a proctor. You can also use the Cisco Online Exam Portal to take the tests online.
  • Both are valid for 3 years
  • In the end, advancing your career in networking can be facilitated by both the CCNA and the CCNP certifications.

CCNA vs CCNP: Exam Difficulty

Both exams are difficult as per a person’s knowledge and experience. But somehow generally CCNA is considered to be easier than CCNP.

  • And this is mainly because CCNA is a mid & associate-level certification while CCNP is more a professional one, so it’s obvious that CNNA will have a lower difficulty level.
  • The fact that CCNA test takers are permitted to use a simulator is another possible reason for the exam’s relative simplicity. Candidates can use this simulator to become more accustomed to Cisco IOS and study various networking principles. On the other hand, the CCNP exam forbids the usage of a simulator.
  • In general, the level of difficulty between the CCNA and CCNP exams varies according to the candidate’s level of expertise and understanding of the field. The CCNA exam may be simpler for individuals who are already familiar with the subjects presented than for those who are less educated in these concepts.

Read more: CRISC vs CISM

CCNA vs CCNP: Conclusion

After reading this guide, you should now have a good understanding of the differences between the CCNA and CCNP certifications. The CCNA is a great entry-level certification that will give you the foundation you need to pursue a career in networking. The CCNP is a more advanced certification that will build on the knowledge you learned in the CCNA and give you the skills you need to manage enterprise networks.

The CCNA and CCNP credentials are both worthwhile if you want to advance your networking career. The CCNA might be a better choice if you’re just getting started. On the other hand, the CCNP could be preferable if you already have some experience in the field. 

It is also possible to pursue both the CCNA and CCNP credentials. As such, we suggest that you earn your CCNA certification first, and subsequently your CCNP.

Thanks for reading!

Read more:   Benefits and Demands of Cisco certifications in the present time


To earn your CCNP credential, you need to pass two exams—one mandatory “core” test and one elective “concentration” exam tailored to your specific interests and professional goals.

The passing score for CCNP Certification is 750-850/1000

Yes! Since It’s a professional certification, it’s obviously difficult and you need to work really hard to clear this. We recommend here to check out Exam dumps at DUMPSGATE. These will help you a lot in your exam preparation.

Cisco certifications are highly demanded network certification in 2022. It’s a popular certification that covers a wide range of topics. it is a valuable credential that can help you advance your career in networking.

One exam must be passed to earn the CCNA certification.

A score of 82% or higher is required in order for you to pass the CCNA exam.

There’s no denying that the CCNA can be a difficult exam to pass. But with the right preparation, you can definitely increase your chances of success. The key is to focus on understanding the concepts. There are plenty of resources out there to help you study for the exam, so make use of them! And don’t forget to practice, practice, practice. With enough hard work and dedication, you can ace the CCNA and earn your certification.

CCNA is mandatory for CCNP. You cannot achieve a CCNP certificate directly, without having CCNA knowledge and training. So, it is recommended to take and clear CCNA Exam first and then move toward CCNP.

Yes! It is simpler to obtain an associate-level CCNA than a professional-level CCNP. CCNA requires passing just one exam, whereas CCNP requires passing two examinations. Additionally, advanced topics are covered in considerably more detail in CCNP tests.

No, experts recommend that a person should at least do preparation for 6 months before giving the CCNA exam.

Following your certification date, the CCNA credential is valid for three years. By meeting the requirements for recertification, you must renew your certification before it expires.



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