In order to prosper in the IT profession, one has to have a certification in his field of specialty. The need for skill is imperative but he also has to have something to show his knowhow to his current or future employers.
IT professionals specializing in Cisco products need to have their certification too. The Cisco Career Certifications are in three levels. They are the associate, the professional and the expert levels. Although one does need any prior Cisco certification before he can proceed to the expert level, one has to be a certified Cisco associate first before can take the professional examination.
So before one can take the Cisco Certified Network Professional or the CCNP test, one needs to be CCNA certified first. Then to be CCNP certified he needs to pass 3 or 4 exams. The coverage of the whole exam is BSCI (Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks), BCMSN (Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks), ISCW (Implementing Secure Converged Wide Area Networks) and ONT (Optimizing Converged Cisco Networks. These are 4 exams in total. But one can combine the BSCI and BCMSN into one exam and take only 3 exams to get the CCNP certification.
And like any exam, one needs to make preparations for this exam. Not all pass the test quite easily so every examinee needs to get all the review he can get. There are some sites on the internet specifically for this so he would not find it hard to find reviewers and study guides. If he has the skills and he takes it well prepared he will pass the CCNP test and he will get a good advantage when it comes to employment opportunities and salary.