In February 2020, Cisco did some rearranging and updating its certification program to address the needs of modern networking, requiring both infrastructure and software expertise. One of the credentials that were affected is the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification. The CCNP is a professional-level certification that validates your proficiency in building, implementing, and troubleshooting local area networks (LAN) and wide-area networks (WAN).
Previously, the CCNP certification only required that you pass one exam to become certified. Now, the CCNP requires that you pass two exams, the first one on networking basics, and the second is an exam in the concentration area you choose. These areas include:
- CCNP Enterprise
- CCNP Security
- CCNP Collaboration
- CCNP Service Provider
- CCNP Data Center
- Cisco Certified DevNet Professional
With these changes to the certification, you may have questions about how your CCNP certification is affected and what the recertification process will be like moving forward.
CCNP Recertification Requirements
First of all, it’s important to note that if you have a current CCNP certification, it will remain valid and active until its current expiration date. In the meantime, your certification will be transitioned to an equivalent one in the new program. To renew your certification when the time comes, you will have to complete the requirements before your certification’s expiration date. If you allow your certification to lapse, you will have to repeat the whole exam process to regain your credential.
With Cisco’s new certification programs, some great changes will make your life easier. Perhaps the most significant change to recertification is that, like some other certifying agencies (such as CompTIA), Cisco will now accept continuing education credits to renew your certification. This is really good news. You won’t have to worry about finding the time to study for exams when renewal time comes around anymore.
More good news – Cisco is giving you the choice of how you want to renew your CCNP certification. You can choose to renew by taking and passing exams, earning continuing education credits (as mentioned above), or with a combination of the two.
If you choose to recertify by taking exams only, your options are:
- Pass one core technology exam
- Pass two professional concentration area exams
- Pass one CCIE lab exam
If you choose to recertify by earning continuing education credits only, you have to complete 80 CE credits. Continuing education credits can be earned by participating in activities like completing online training courses, completing instructor-led training courses, authoring content, attending Cisco Live training sessions, and more.
If you choose to recertify with exams and continuing education credits, you are required to earn 40 CE credits and pass one professional concentration area exam.
A couple of other items to note about recertifying your CCNP certification are:
- There are no longer any prerequisites for the CCNP certification. That means that you don’t have to obtain CCNA certification first, as was required previously. You can start with the CCNP exam if you are ready for it.
- Cisco started a new digital badge program that allows you to show that you have put in the time and effort to gain new skills and complete training courses, even when it doesn’t end with full certification. You can add digital badges to your resume to indicate that you are part of the way through certification and on schedule to get it done.
- All certification levels will now be valid for three years, upon which there is a recertification requirement.
TrainACE CCNP Certification in Maryland
The changes made by Cisco to their certifications may be a bit confusing, but they are better suited to meet today’s technology needs. If you have your CCNP or other Cisco certifications, and you have questions about recertification, let us know. We can help you determine your best course of action.
TrainACE can also help you prepare for taking the CCNP certification exams for the first time. We offer training and exam prep to ensure that you have the knowledge and skills to pass your exams on the first try. There’s never been a better time to earn IT certifications than right now. IT professionals are in demand in Maryland, the Washington, D.C. metro area, and around the world.