CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE are certifications offered by Cisco Systems that help a person master special technical fields in the networking industry. For any aspirant aiming to make an impact in the networking field, these certifications will be of great help.
Often, people get confused between CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE examinations. These three are certifications offered by Cisco but each of them refers to a specialization or a level of a course. Let us take a brief look at what these courses are.
What is CCNA Certification?
CCNA expands to Cisco Certified Network Associate, the second level in Cisco’s five-level career certification process. It is a three-year course that covers topics of Routing Information Protocol (Version 2), Internet Protocol, virtual local area networks, access control lists, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, and Ethernet in its curriculum.
To complete the certification, a candidate has to pass the Cisco Exam No.640-802 or should enroll for two other exams, namely ICND1 No.640-822 and ICND2 No.640-816, and score passing marks. The validity of the certification is two years.
What is CCNP Certification?
There are five levels of Cisco certifications – entry, associate, professional, expert, and architect. CCNP stands for Cisco Certified Network Professional – it refers to a professional in the Information Technology (IT) field who has completed Cisco Career Certification.
- Entry – CCT, CCENT
- Associate – CCNA
- Professional – CCNP, CCDP
- Expert – CCDE, CCIE
- Architect – The highest level of recognition
By achieving one out of the many career certifications offered by Cisco, a candidate can become a certified professional. The completion of these courses helps a professional to acquire great employment opportunities in the IT field.
What is CCIE Certification?
Considered to be one of the most valued certifications for networking professionals, the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification is specifically focused on senior professionals in the field.
A candidate should have immense in-depth knowledge in the field to undertake this examination; also a minimum of 3-5 years of hands-on experience in the field will come in handy. There are different specializations in this course including routing, switching, and voice systems or technologies.
Professionals who complete this certification are considered to be capable of managing complex and multi-level network infrastructure. Also, the course enables an aspirant to develop problem-solving and innovative skills to come up with efficient solutions to networking problems.
Requirements for Cisco Certifications
The main requirements for Cisco career training certifications such as CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE are to take and pass one or more Cisco career training certification exams and sign the “Cisco Career Training Certification Agreement.” Passing the exam gives networking professionals the opportunity to demonstrate their networking knowledge and expertise.
Before taking any Cisco Career Certification exam, candidates must accept the Cisco Career Certification and Non-Disclosure Agreement online at the test center on the day of the exam. Otherwise, candidates will not be able to take the exam and the registration cost will not be refunded. Signing this legal agreement is a prerequisite for formal certification.
Details about the Cisco Certification Exams
The exam is extremely challenging – more than mere memorization, it also requires candidates to solve real-world problems. Questions include single choice, multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blank, and mock questions.
With the exception of lab exams, all exams are administered online, with questions answered in sequential order, and candidates are not allowed to go back and do a question after “marking” it. Exams may contain unmarked questions designed to collect data on new questions.
Non-scoring items will not be used to determine passing grades and will not be added to a sub-item on the transcript. All unmarked questions are randomly inserted into the exam and sufficient time is calculated and provided for candidates to complete the entire exam.
After completion of the computer-based exam, candidates will receive a report card that identifies the benchmark score provided by the testing department and the passing score for the specific exam. Lab exams only differentiate between pass/fail. Results will be posted online within 48 hours (login required). Cisco may adjust exam questions and passing scores without notice.
Exam Related Cost
- The CCNP Comprehensive Exam 642-892 exam is priced at 300 US dollars and the CCIE written exam is priced at 350 US dollars.
- The CCNA 640-802 exam is priced at 250 US dollars and the CCNP 642-901, 642-812, 642-825, 642-845 exams are priced at 150 US dollars each.
- The CCIE lab exam costs 1750 US dollars.
- Payment can be made online by credit card or by wire transfer. Different test agencies have different refund policies.
How Should You Schedule the Exam?
For the timing of CCIE lab exams, please visit this website for more information on how to schedule CCIE lab exams.
For all other exams, contact the Cisco Authorized Exam Reseller in your region for exam registration. In the U.S. and Canada, you can apply for the exam as early as 6 weeks in advance, and the deadline is on the day of the exam. Regions have different exam scheduling policies.
Candidates who fail the exam must wait five (5) days after taking the exam before retaking the exam. Once you pass the exam, no make-up exams are allowed.
What Do You Get After Passing the Exam?
After candidates pass all the exams required for certification and sign the necessary agreements, Cisco will send the candidate a Cisco Professional Training Certification, which indicates the candidate’s Cisco Professional Training Certification ID and certificate validity period.
Electronic certificates will be delivered within 3-5 working days, while paper certificates will be delivered within 6-8 weeks. Certified candidates are entitled to use the appropriate Cisco Career Training Certification Mark showing the certification level. They must read and accept the Cisco Professional Certification Mark Agreement prior to use.
Marks are available through the Cisco Credentials Tracking System. The Cisco Career Training Certification Tracking System provides a record of exam and certification status. Candidates and certificate holders are required to provide up-to-date contact information in order to receive notifications from Cisco.
One of the best ways to boost your career in the IT and networking field is to get a Cisco certification. CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE certifications are extremely helpful for anyone who aspires to make an impression in these industries.
The Cisco exams are very tough and need intense preparation. Not just bookish knowledge, but some of these certifications also need hands-on experience. But once a candidate clears the examinations, they can definitely land a great position in any company that uses Cisco solutions.