At this day and age, a lot of IT aficionados are coming out of colleges and universities to join the bandwagon of today s most reputable IT professionals. But then again, to be able to at least come close to what these practitioners have achieved in their chosen careers, one has to prove a lot in terms of skills and knowledge on the latest trends as far as providing IT solutions is concerned. A very strong proof that a candidate has what it takes to become successful in this industry is by obtaining a certification.

Cisco is one of the leading institutions that provide certifications to a lot of hopefuls worldwide, eager to earn a much coveted credential that will give them an advantage when finding a high paying job. At Cisco, there are a lot of certifications to choose from and one of them is CCNP.

CCNP stands for Cisco Certified Network Professional and it validates a candidate s ability to design, configure, troubleshoot and work with medium-sized networks (converged LAN and WAN) of 100 to 500 or more nodes. The competencies that these network professionals should demonstrate include working knowledge and skills in dealing with technologies such as virtual private networks (VPN), broadband, quality of service (QoS), routers, switches and other security features into the network.

Getting the CCNP is like moving a notch higher in achieving an expert level certification that is Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE). Though there are no formal prerequisites for CCIE, getting the experience from being a CCNP will count a lot especially in the exams. This is also the reason why CCNP was ranked 4th in 2003 and 2004 in Certcities  Top 10 hottest certifications.

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