CCIP vs. CCNP

After reporting on changes to the Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional program, an IT specialist wrote to ask me to outline the differences between CCIP and the Cisco Certified Network Professional. Some of you may be wondering the same thing, so I'll share the explanation.

I posed the question to Cisco and got the rundown from Nader Nanjiani, a marketing manager for Cisco's Internet Learning Solutions Group. The CCIP and CCNP are alike in that individuals with those certifications are expected to manage, support and troubleshoot IP networks. Each identifies skills at a midcareer or project manager position, he says.

However, the key distinction is that CCNP is targeted at professionals working within an enterprise, whereas CCIP is aimed at those who work for service providers such as incumbent local exchange carriers, competitive local exchange carriers and ISPs.

Both certifications are professional level- the next step beyond Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). Both designations require candidates to pass four exams. One exam, Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI), is common across both certifications.

So while each track focuses on network support, again, the environment is different. CCIP is geared towards service provider networks, while CCNP is the one to choose for enterprise needs.

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