CCNA vs CCNP – Detailed Guide and Differences

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CCNA and CCNP, both are Cisco-approved certification courses, which are very popular among those seeking a career in computer networking.

Cisco is a very reputable and well-established organization that manufactures and sells networking related equipment and solutions. In 1998, Cisco started this initiative to provide proper training in a certification module to discover the best human power. The main purpose behind this is that the company does not need to search for the suitable and suitable employees but the interested candidate can register for the course so that the company has a database of candidates really interested and well trained on board. This idea filters the unenthusiastic person from the list so that the company can discover real talent.

Here, CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate and CCNP stands for Cisco Certified Network Professional.

If you have some technical and networking related knowledge and want to pursue a career in the same field as a team member, CCNA is a good option. But if you want to gain in-depth knowledge and become a network engineer, CCNP is a good choice over CCNA.

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

By completing CCNA, we can improve our knowledge of networking skills and gain the ability to create, manage, and control network devices and architecture, including software and hardware. The focus is on switching and routing technology.

This certification is a valid course, so after completing it, we can apply for a network associate in any related business. Cisco also expects its aspirants to join the Cisco community.

After completing this course, you can:

  1. Easily understand any network and its features.
  2. Create a mid-level network system.
  3. Create, understand and explain different network topologies.
  4. Provide better communication and transaction channels in existing networks.

CCNA is the second level in Cisco’s five-level career certification process, as listed below:

cisco certification levels

Course coverage

The CCNA covers a broad category of topics as listed below:

  1. LAN/WAN for network creation and management
  2. TCP/IP model for end system management
  3. Switches and routers for connectivity
  4. security fundamentals to prevent unauthorized access
  5. Network utilities for data consistency
  6. Noise control and suppression to prevent data loss
  7. NAT and ACL for configuration understanding
  8. IP addressing and subnets for distributing data packs
  9. Storage area network for data storage
  10. VLAN for faster communication
  11. Routing protocols for device control
  12. WLAN for range improvement
  13. Automation and programmability for an error-free continuous operating environment

Cisco also focuses on developing employees’ soft skills to create a better teamwork environment. This is a non-technical part of the training which includes:

  1. Development of communication and ethics
  2. Resource Usage
  3. Creative and Critical Thinking
  4. Develop and improve problem-solving skills
  5. Management of time
  6. Team work
  7. Deadline management
  8. Continuous learning and self-development skills

Types of CCNAs

We can choose the desired CCNA course from the given list of all CCNA courses:

  • Cloud to design and manage a cloud-oriented network
  • Collaboration for network video engineering, IP telephony and network engineering design
  • Data center to install and configure the data center
  • Industrial to implement standard protocols
  • Routing and Switching for network communication technology
  • Security for available data and devices
  • Service provider to configure, implement and troubleshoot next-generation networks
  • Wireless for wireless LAN configuration, monitoring and troubleshooting
  • Cyber ​​operations for the field of cybersecurity analysis


Today, several private and public colleges, universities, and institutes offer Cisco training. They are recognized and approved members of the Cisco Networking Academy. Only professionals can hold such an organization. So, if you are opting for admission, check the validity of the institute first. You can find the nearby center online. Here we give a list of some good institutes:

  1. NetworkBulls
  2. Network experts
  3. MAXX Networking Technologies
  4. I-Medita Solutions
  5. Networking Guru
  6. IIHT
  7. IITE
  8. NIIT
  9. Cybersecurity Studies and Research Laboratory
  10. ACIT Education Pvt Ltd
  11. Net Experts India


Once the certification is completed, we receive the certificate but it is valid for three years from the date of issue. Indeed, technology is changing rapidly, so we must update ourselves to maintain our certification.

If we get a job during this 3 year period, no recertification is necessary. But if we don’t, we have to go through recertification.

For this, either we can opt for a higher level exam or retake the previous exam. The choice is based on the reason for recertification.


  • 12e pass or graduate (any technical or non-technical degree from a valid institute)
  • One or more years of experience implementing and administering Cisco solutions.


INR 20-30,000

CCNA Exam Details

We must qualify for the CCNA 200-301 CCNA exam.

The exam duration is 120 minutes and is available in English and Japanese.

The general program is divided into the following parts:

  1. IP connectivity (25%)
  2. Network access (20%)
  3. Networking Fundamentals (20%)
  4. Security Fundamentals (15%)
  5. Automation and programmability (10%)
  6. IP services (10%)

How to prepare?

Clearly remember one thing “CCNA is a certificate means we have to pass the exam organized by Cisco.”

For the preparation, we have to study and cover the curriculum of any registered institute. Additionally, we can prepare from online courses and study materials. Once we are sure we can give exams online.

How to pass the exam?

Once we’re all ready, we need to schedule a test appointment on the Pearson VUE portal. It is a global training and testing company in partnership with Cisco. This company has several test centers around the world. We can choose the center according to our choice. The test is online and the result is produced onsite after completing the exam.

Once we qualify the exam, we are rewarded with an online certificate.

If one does not pass the exam, one can retake the exam after a short time.

Possible work roles

  1. Junior Network Engineer
  2. Technical Support Engineer
  3. Help desk technician
  4. Network administrator
  5. Network Support Technician
  6. IT manager

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

The CCNP certification is intended for those who wanted to acquire in-depth knowledge in order to be able to create a network architecture. The CCNP certification program has the following sections:

  1. Cisco Advanced Routing
  2. Cisco Multilayer Switching
  3. Converged Network Optimization
  4. Cisco Remote Access
  5. Scalable Internet Works

The CCNP is the 3rd level of Cisco’s five-level professional certification process.

CCNP focuses on network architecture, so the primary focus is creating, installing, and troubleshooting wide area networks (WANs) and local area networks (LANs).

Course coverage

  1. IPv4 addressing
  2. IPv6 addressing
  3. TCP and UDP
  4. The routing table
  5. Classful vs Classless Routing
  6. Static vs Dynamic Routing
  7. Configuring static routes
  8. Default routing
  9. Dynamic routing protocols
  10. Advanced routing functions
  11. Soft skills are similar to CCNA.

CCNP Exam Details

To become a CCNP Certified Professional, we need to pass 3 exams as listed below:

  1. 300-101 ROUTE Cisco IP Routing Implementation (ROUTE)
  2. 300-115 SWITCH Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks (SWITCH)
  3. 300-135 TSHOOT Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks (TSHOOT)

Types of CCNPs

Similar to CCNA


Similar to CCNA


Similar to CCNA


Similar to CCNA

CCNA certification is required


15000-75000 INR

Registration and Exam Attempt

Similar to CCNA

Possible work roles

  1. Third line support
  2. Network engineer
  3. IT team leader
  4. Network Analyst
  5. Network Specialist
  6. Systems Engineer


CCNA and CCNP are quite similar, but the basic differences are given below:

Eligibility No minimum eligibility Should have CCNA
Curricular competence Basic Networking Advanced Networking
Type of exam Associated Professional
main object switching and routing LANs and WANs
Career path Network technician
Help desk engineer
Service desk engineer
Network support engineer
First and second line support
Third line support
Network engineer
IT team leader
Network Analyst
Network Specialist
Systems Engineer

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