A CCNP Cisco Certified Network Professional certification is a good way to prep for a career in IT management
The CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) title is one of a number of other certification programs offered by the telecom giant, Cisco. According to CISCO, this is what the CCNP certification seeks to achieve:
“The CCNP 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.”
In other words, those who complete the certification gauntlet will be able to handle nearly every aspect of networking, from start to finish and beyond. However, there’s also mention of being able to collaborate with other specialists in the fields of security as well as more specific technologies. This is very important because setting up and/or running a network these days can be a very tumultuous proposition. For starters, you’ve got the capabilities of the network itself to contend with, which desperately need to be in alignment with the interests and goals of a business. Then of course you have the constant forward motion of technology, which must always be addressed.
There are a number of reasons why CCNP certification makes a great prep tool for a more involved career, like that of IT management. Simply put, a CCNP program allows individuals to absorb the imperative aspects of establishing and maintaining a network. This alone would be extremely useful, but what makes the CCNP even more valuable is its focus on sectors which are in flux and /or constantly growing.
Security is a great example of that; certainly anyone with even a smidgen of IT experience is aware of the near constant changes, adaptations and developments taking place in the security sector (this is especially true of those who routinely deal with cloud-based systems or components). In order to remain protected, IT personnel have to remain connected with what’s going on in the development word, there’s no other way around it. Likewise, if the individual who is designing and maintaining a network is forward-thinking enough to consider where security technologies are headed, they will be able to better leverage these technologies, not to mention maintain wider stability.
But it’s not just about security; new tools are introduced on a near constant basis these days, particularly where wireless, voice and video are concerned. Certainly no one could disagree with the statement that an organization’s internal communication network is vital to its daily as well as long-term success. However, what most people tend to forget is that these infrastructures are routinely upgraded with new software, services and technological components all the time. Anyone who is tasked with establishing a network must be able to take these factors into consideration before they begin construction. Naturally, a CCNP certification will go a long way toward helping an individual grasp the intrinsic nature of network design from multiple perspectives.
However, this respect for peripheral networking elements also provides CCNP recipients with a greater understanding of how to align the capabilities of a network with the goals and abilities of a business. This more than anything, is something that employers are more apt to get excited about. Moreover, it’s also a clear indication that an individual grasps the core duties of an IT manager; which is essentially to create a rock-solid IT department which is capable of fulfilling the short and long-term business goals of the organization.
Those who successfully complete the CCNP program have demonstrated that they understand how to establish and maintain a network which comprises 100 – 500 (or more) machines or devices. But you can’t simply approach the CCNP certification without some prior experience. More specifically, anyone attempting the CCNP program is required to have completed their CCNA (or, Cisco Certified Network Associate). This lower-level course serves as an excellent introduction to more complex networking and lays the foundation for greater learning and training. At least one year of hands-on experience is also a prerequisite to enrolling in a CCNP course. CCNP Cisco Certified Network Professional
What types of careers should a typical CCNP certification holder expect to land? While becoming a CCNP should certainly be considered a stepping stone toward a career in IT management, most graduates end up receiving near-immediate employment as support engineers, network technicians, network engineers, or system engineers. Regardless, each of these positions in turn serves as an excellent “training ground” of sorts, for those who have their eyes set on a managerial position.