Knowing basic networking concepts gives a candidate a chance to obtain an associate level Cisco certification, may it be Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA). These are considered entry-level certifications, prerequisites to four higher level professional certifications that include Cisco Certified Internetworking Professional (CCIP), Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP), Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) and Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP). Among these four, CCNP certification is the most widely recognized as it paves the way to obtaining one of many key positions in an enterprise organization. Job roles include LAN Administrator, Network Administrator or Network Engineer, wherein all of these promise a stretch on both financial and intellectual capacity of an individual.

Now what does an individual, who is interested in getting a CCNP certification, has to do for him or her to qualify for an exam? As mentioned, a candidate should obtain an associate level certification first, that is CCNA. This requirement will expose a candidate in installing, configuring and troubleshooting converged networks of 100 to 500 nodes, which happens be the skills needed for CCNP. In addition, a candidate must also show that he or she has the knowledge and proficiency when it comes to managing switches and routers that form the network core, as well as integrating wireless, voice and security features into the network. These qualifications will definitely give a candidate an advantage to obtain an expert level certification known as Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIE). This is the next step for CCNP certification holders or they also have the option to regain CCNP status after 3 years by getting into recertification. Recertification automatically renews one s CCNA certification.

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