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CCNA vs CCNP Certification: Differences

Created by Vanshika Sharma in Articles 16 May 2024

We all are already aware about IT fields and networking and the way how networking has made its place in the market. Networking certifications are gaining more and more popularity over last decade. As this is the time for many freshers to start their career after completing their 12th or graduation. So, let’s share some information about entry level certification or Associate level certification which could help them in starting their career.

CCNA and CCNP are one of the most popular certifications in the information technology field. Today, most candidates are pursuing Cisco certification in order to get good job opportunities in the IT industry. Cisco certification has different options, such as CCNP, CCNA and CCIE. But in this article we will be discussing about CCNP and CCNA.

You might be confused about which certification to take right? Let’s help you to deal with your problems.

CCNA (CISCO Certified Network Associate)

CCNA which stands for Cisco certified network Associate is an entry level certification. This article is mainly for discussing about scopes after completing CCNA certification. In the IT sector, there is a strong scope for networking professionals. Companies are searching for professionals who can handle their computer networks.

It will definitely enhance candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the core networking concepts. Those candidates who are working in the IT industries also find training beneficial.

Cisco CCNA certified candidates can demand hike in their salary. Nowadays, several industries are looking for the certified CCNA professionals for their complex networking projects. Being a CCNA certified, you will get promotions easily.

CCNA Career Path

Whether you are fresher to the IT field or have some experience, you’ll have to start with the associate level Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification. Earlier there were approximately 11 certifications but now they all have combined and formed a single certification. Now only pursuing a single CCNA will make you an all rounder.

Job roles offered to a CCNA Certified

Some popular Job Roles for a CCNA Certified Professional are given below:

● Network Engineer

● System Administrator

● Network Technician

● Network Associate

● System Engineer

● Network Support Engineer


There are no formal requirements, but candidates are recommended to have an understanding of the exam topics before taking the exam.

● You should have 1+ years of experience in implementing and administering Cisco solutions

● Knowledge of basic IP addressing

● A good understanding of network fundamentals

CCNP – CISCO Certified Network Professional

CCNP stands for Cisco certified network professional is a professional level certification of Cisco. You need to pass 2 exams for each track:

● A technology core exam – covers foundational and common concepts

● A concentration exam – a deeper dive into the technology

CCNP Career Path

You can customize your professional-level certification by picking a core track and with a concentration exam of your interest. The CCNP certification can only be received after Core and one concentration certification exam is complete. CCNP examination has 5 domains which you can choose for yourself which are given below:

● CCNP Enterprise

● CCNP Collaboration

● CCNP Data Center

● CCNP Security

● CCNP Service Provider

Job roles offered to a CCNP Certified

Some popular Job Roles for a CCNP Certified Professional is given below: 

● Senior Network Engineer

● Network Specialist

● Network manager


There are no formal requirements for CCNP Enterprise, but candidates are recommended to have a good knowledge of the exam topics before taking the exam.

CCNP candidates often also have three to five years of working experience in implementing enterprise networking solutions.

Difference between CCNA and CCNP

Key Features




CISCO Certified Network Associate

CISCO Certified Network Professional

Certification level






Examination Modules

One Exam

One main Core Exam, and one exam from 6 concentration Exams

Examination Code


(300-401 core)

300-410, 300-415, 300-420, 300-425, 300-430, 300-435

Examination Fees

USD 195

USD 400 for Core Exam, USD 300 for concentration exam

Job Type

Network Engineer, Network Analyst

Network Specialist, Senior Network Engineer Network Manager, Sr. Network Engineer

Skills-set Requirement

Basic Level of Configuring Routers and Switches

Advanced Level of Configuring Routers, Switches and Troubleshooting

Prospective Career Options

Freshers/One or two years experienced

Fresher, 3-5 years experienced  professionals

So, this table will give you a brief knowledge of differences between CCNA and CCNP. If you are interested in field like networking you need to start with CCNA, an associate level certification but if talking about salary differences After pursuing CCNA training it takes you to different career path such as Helpdesk Engineer, Network Technician, Network Support Engineer, Service Desk Engineer, and others. However, the CCNP certifications offer the maximum salary when compared to the CCNA certifications. So, you can choose the CCNP to earn a high salary.

The first certification which was introduced by Cisco was junior and professional network Cisco certification. As per the demand and the increased technology Cisco has increased its certification from Associate level certifications to expert level certification especially with updated syllabus and also offered a large number of certifications for each level of candidates. These certifications help you to develop or increase the routing base and network.


Both the certification has its own value and equally certified but if you see the difference on salary basic obviously the hand will be going on CCNP but for that you need equally experience and should follow the prerequisite for the certification and qualify them. Rest if you are fresher and need to make a start in Networking field you have to start with CCNA as it is the base or an Associate level or entry level examination. The main of the candidate will be made through the entry level certification. Choose the best for yourself and give your best. All the best for a new journey.

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