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CISCO certification showdown- CCNA Vs. CCNP.

In this article, we will discuss the paramount updates done by cisco in its credentialing if you have currently made your mind to study for any of these certifications. Then what should be your approach? Exactly what you should do and what matters the most. The changes were affected from February of 2020, and this change is termed as certpoclypse by many experts. Why is that we shall study in detail below. The best part of the change is there is no prerequisite for appearing both the certifications like earlier. 

The changes in CCNA & CCNP certifications

In all the cisco credentialing, the certification levels remain the same. At the same time, there is a significant change in technological tracks. Consolidated in the CCNA & CCNP levels. The outmoded CCENT certification, which was an entry level certification, is being retired. So you have to choose from the Associate, professional levels to perfect your journey at the expert level.

The major update is in the recertification criteria, in which the period is three years. All the 10 tracks of CCNA are succumbed to form only two, and they are:

  • CCNA 
  • Cisco certified DevNet Associate

This was done to avoid confusion for engineers and employers. All the 10 tracks are consolidated in the CCNA certification, and this certification covers all the foundational level knowledge of the 10 tracks. With a major inclusion of Network Automation and Programmability. That means Python has a scope in it. 

You get 5 days classroom course for each of the tracks from cisco. And the knowledge you have galvanized here forms the baseline for your CCNP certification in the future.

While the DevNet Associate certification is to build engineer’s confidence in programming networks. 

The exam 

The CCNA exam is a 90-minute long associate exam with 6 domains and 50-60 questions in the exam:

  • Automation& Programmability that holds 10% of the exam weightage
  • Security Fundamental that holds 15% of exam weightage
  • IP services hold 10% of exam weightage
  • IP connectivity holds 25% of exam weightage and remains the most important domain out of all.
  • Network Access holds 20% of weightage
  • Network fundamentals hold 20% of exam weightage.

While the passing score of CCNA is 825/1000. 

CCNA preparation

The first step towards your preparation starts from joining the CCNA certification community in cisco. Here you start with your introduction, where you need to mention your current experience, background & goals. It has exclusive CCNA exam topic webinars, and as a member, you have access to the CCNA quiz and learning map. To stay focused and motivated. 

The cisco platform has training videos available for you to download and study at your pace. Being a member, you get these amazing opportunities to learn directly from the experts. These videos are roughly 56 hours long, covering every concept! These are so much precise that you hardly need a textbook. It is great for you if you are a visual learner.

CCNP certifications

Earlier CCNP had 8 technological track, and that has been reduced to 6, and they are as follows:

  • CCNP Enterprise that covers wireless and wired track
  • CCNP Data Center
  • CCNP Security
  • CCNP Service Provider
  • CCNP Collaboration
  • CCNP DevNet Professional this track is new to CCNP and CCNA certification.

This professional-level certification also does not include any strict eligibility criteria like before. You can opt for it without having a certification belt before! The only thing for newcomers’ experts recommends is they should not neglect CCNA certification because CCNA certification forms the cornerstone for this professional-level certification. The changes brought into this certification, if described in one word, is it is now a “Specialist Program.” 

Of all the technological tracks we have mentioned forms you core knowledge. All these domains have further lists of concentration or branches for specialization, giving your certification a touch of perfection.

The Exam

Earlier, we had 3 exam model that included a core exam followed by 2 lab exams. But from now on, we have only 2 exams, and they are.

The core exam: it consists of consolidated knowledge of each and every domain we have listed above, following the same pattern as CCNA certification.

The concentration exam: from the list of Subjects in each core, you get a chance to choose your area of specialization. Experts suggest to think and choose from the concentrations as this will be the critical factor that decides your destiny.

The exam is of 120minutes long having 50-60 questions depending upon the core. While the examination fees for CCNP start from $900- $1200. 


Now, though we are not surrounded by any restriction, experts still recommend you to choose wisely. Having a CCNA certification is the wise option before you move on to tussle with CCNP. As of now, we can see that comparing both these certifications is futile. Rather you can see they both complement each other like before the change.

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Comments on this entry

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  2. Henry an

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