Over the past 2 decades or so, the Cisco plethora of Certifications has been gaining a lot of momentum. Let us go through some details regarding the options that an individual has in the Networking domain as such.

You can get more updates on the new Certifications that are introduced by the Cisco Organization on their website and for a complete list of Certifications offered by them, please refer to this CCNA and CCNP Certification Path. In this article, we will discuss "CCNA VS CCNP" in detail

If you want to enrich your career and become a professional in CCNP Real-time Environment, then visit Mindmajix - a global online training platform: "CCNP Online Training" This course will help you to achieve excellence in this domain. 

CCNA vs CCNP - Cisco Certification Levels

Cisco has put down the Certifications that it offers to individuals based on the experience, knowledge, and exposure to all these concepts. There are 5 different levels of Certifications that are provided by Cisco, which are depicted in the diagram given below. We will now take a look at each of these Certification levels and also will try to understand what are the requisites or prerequisites (if any)

  • Entry Level (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician)
  • Associate Level (Cisco Certified Network Associate)
  • Professional Level (Cisco Certified Network Professional)
  • Expert Level (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert)
  • Architect Level (Cisco Certified Architect)

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CCNA VS CCNP - Which is Better?

What is CCNA?

CCNA which stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate, as its name suggests - is one of the most sought-after Certifications that individuals in this line of work tend to attempt. An individual with this Certification is expected to showcase his / her ability to install, configure, troubleshoot, and operate routed and networked switches. The CCNA Certification covers the following domains:

  1. Data Center
  2. Collaboration
  3. Industrial / IoT
  4. Cloud
  5. Security
  6. Routing and Switching
  7. Service Provider
  8. Wireless

[ Related blog: Learn CCNA Tutorial  ]

There are no prerequisites to take CCNA as such, but for an individual to attain the CCNA Certification - they are supposed to choose between the following 2 options:


  • 200-120 CCNA Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices: Accelerated (CCNAX)


  • 100-101 ICND1 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1)
  • 200-101 ICND2 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2)

Not just that, in recent years Cisco has introduced a wide range of CCNA certifications that you could possibly choose from and give an attempt.

Are you looking for cracking CCNP Interviews? then Visit CCNP Interview Questions and Answers 

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What is CCNP?

CCNP which stands for Cisco Certified Network Professional stands as an intermediate level of Certification amongst the plethora of Certification options provided by Cisco. This Certification is aimed at professionals who tend to work on the WAN, LAN-based concepts of a Network infrastructure.

An individual can attain this Certification if he/she has been able to showcase his / her ability to plan, implement, troubleshoot, and verify the LAN (Local Area Network)  and WAN (Wide Area Network)  infrastructure.

[ Related blog: Interview Questions for CCNP ]

The CCNP certification covers the following domains:

  1. Data Center
  2. Collaboration
  3. Cloud
  4. Routing and Switching
  5. Security
  6. Service Provider
  7. Wireless

As mentioned earlier, for you to take up CCNP - you’re supposed to clear the CCNA Certification. Over and above that, you’re supposed to clear the following 3 exams:

  • 300-101 ROUTE Implementing Cisco IP Routing (ROUTE)
  • 300-115 SWITCH Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks (SWITCH)
  • 300-135 TSHOOT Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks (TSHOOT)

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CCNA VS CCNP: Key Difference

In a nutshell, if you want to differentiate both of these Certifications then CCNA is an associate-level certification that tests the knowledge of an individual on switching and routing fundamentals.

Whereas on the other hand, CCNP is a much more mature and advanced Certification that demands much deeper knowledge. It also requires a very good understanding of the concepts of LAN, WAN, and how these work in conjunction.

  • As per the diagram above that displays the Certification levels, it is evident that the CCNP Certification comes at the third level over CCNA which stands at the second level. 
  • Per the Certifications achieved as well, CCNP is considered a much more knowledgeable one as it tests the deeper understandings of the Networking and Security aspects of a given network.
  • Based on this, it is also evident that the CCNA Certification can be given with no prerequisites actually, but if you are willing to give a CCNP then you are supposed to clear the CCNA Certification along with the CCIE Certification (in any of the tracks).
  • An individual can attain a CCNA Certification by passing two exams (depends on the subjects of the program), whereas CCNP requires that you clear 4 exams at least.

[ Related Article: CCNA Certification Exam ]

CCNA Vs CCNP: Career Difference

The Certifications CCNA and CCNP should be pretty clear by now, following the details that were presented in the sections above. Based on these, there is a definite difference in the opportunities that you would receive based on the completion of these Certifications. In simpler words, completing each of these Certifications will translate to different Career paths as well.

Taking up just a CCNA would lead you to junior roles like the Network Support Engineer, Helpdesk Engineer, First or Second line support Engineer, or Network Technician. Taking up a CCNP along with a CCNA will help you boost your career, thereby giving you an opportunity to try at the roles like Third Line Support, Systems Engineer, or Network Specialist.

Final Verdict:

Taking a look at the scope that these Certifications give to an individual, each of these provides better ways to move ahead in the career.

This not only helps in getting the boost in the IT sector but also helps you headed in the right path as well. MindMajix provides a range of IT training that includes CCNA and CCNP training and certifications.

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Last updated: 11 Jul 2024
About Author

Pooja Mishra is an enthusiastic content writer working at She writes articles on the trending IT-related topics, including Big Data, Business Intelligence, Cloud computing, AI & Machine learning, and so on. Her way of writing is easy to understand and informative at the same time. You can reach her on LinkedIn & Twitter.

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