Differentiating CCNA from CCNP

Have you recently checked on the job requirements for a certain networking position? If not, then check on various online job seeker web sites. It will definitely indicate that an applicant has to at least attain CCNA status. Now what does this  CCNA  acronym mean?

The term  CCNA  is short for Cisco Certified Network Associate. Often considered as an entry-level certification, passing the CCNA exams proves an individual s basic knowledge of networking concepts. These two exams are the following:

(a) ICND1 640-822 and
(b) ICND2 640-816.

Passing ICND1 entitles an individual a certification for Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT). A candidate can also take a single test that is CCNA 640-802, which happens to be much cheaper (US $150) than taking both ICND1 and ICND2 (US $125 for each).

The CCNA certification is valid for three years only. Aside from recertification, it is typical for most CCNA holders to take on the CCNP exam. The Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification has CCNA as its prerequisite. Getting CCNP certified means that a candidate is ready to take on bigger roles, such as installing, configuring and troubleshooting converged enterprise networks of 100 to 500 end devices.

CCNP requires candidates to pass four exams, which are:

(a) Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BCSI),
(b) Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks (BCMSN),
(c) Implementing Secure Converged Wide Area Networks (ISCW) and
(d) Optimizing Converged Cisco Networks (ONT).

The candidate has also the option to take one single composite exam that covers the both BCSI and BCMSN. Passing the CCNP exams will definitely open a lot of opportunities for growth, not only on the intellectual aspect but financial aspect as well.