Cisco CCNP Credentials: IT pro’s guide to launching a successful IT career in 2020

Job seekers, it’s time to build an IT career you’ve always dreamt of! If you cited joining the networking field as one of your biggest goals for 2020, then don’t lose your chance to go for it.

It is to be noted that according to TechRepublic, 4 out of 5 IT specialists believe that business owners who deploy the latest IT trends and tools are better placed to survive the harsh reality check posed by the new wave of digital transformation. And IT networking is at the heart of these required innovations, with many companies willing to build a first-class technical staff that can support these technologies. But, what’s the best way to become a part of it? The answer is to obtain a Cisco certification.

To help any IT professional who’s interested in starting a career with Cisco credentials, we put together a comprehensive guide to the new . So, let’s start with an overview of these badges.

Building a career with professional-level Cisco Certifications

Cisco’s career track at the professional level aims to validate middle IT professionals have all the skills needed for performing modern tasks. These credentials verify an in-depth understanding of key networking concepts, extending across various technologies while at the same time providing avenues for professional growth.

To build a career with one of the popular CCNP certifications, learners should pass one core exam and a concentration test that focuses on a particular path. You can tailor it to your needs or personal interests to ensure the badge matches your proficiency in the chosen track. So, these are just the details but what are those credentials you can apply for? Let’s see some of the most demanded options.

Popular CCNP Certifications for 2020

Cisco introduced the new certification path in early 2020, replacing most of the previously attainable CCNA and CCNP badges. Today, some of the most popular professional-level credentials include the following:

  • CCNP Data Center

The CCNP Data Center certification targets candidates looking to prove their skills related to data center solutions. Cisco provides no prerequisites for signing up for this badge.

However, it’s highly recommended that learners must have attained strong knowledge of the exam topics in addition to possessing a minimum of 3-5 years of experience in managing data center.

Like with most CCNP credentials, you should pass two tests to complete your CCNP Data Center training. The core exam is Cisco 350-601 and there are 5 options of concentration exams from which you need to choose one.

  • CCNP Enterprise

Earning the new Cisco CCNA Enterprise certification shows that you can work with enterprise networking solutions. For this badge, a core exam is Cisco 350-401, and a concentration assessment can be selected from 6 variants.

The core exam covers the basic understanding of enterprise infrastructure solutions such as network assurance, security, and virtualization just to mention a few. Speaking of the second assessment you need to sit for, the specializations vary from SD-WAN and automation to implementing and designing wireless networks.

  • CCNP Security

Looking to work with IT security concepts? Exam-Labs Pass Cisco ENWLSI 300-430 can help you achieve just that. Obtaining this credential shows mastery of different security solutions which will be important when you want to launch an IT career in this field.

To qualify for this badge, you should first ace the core exam, Cisco 350-701, that assesses your ability to work with security infrastructure and will also qualify you for the CCIE Security certification. Then, you’ll have a list of 6 concentration exams to choose one. For this accreditation, they involve paths such as securing Web or Email and implementing automation among others.

Two more professional Cisco Certifications

The named CCNPs are popular but they are not the only options. Following the recent overhaul of its certification program, Cisco also introduced unique job-specific badges like CyberOps Professional and Associate Professional.

CyberOps Professional was designed to verify that the candidates take pride in protecting, detecting, and defending systems against cybersecurity threats. Attaining this credential proves your skills and competency as a senior analyst.

To achieve this badge, you should take and pass two exams, Cisco 350-201, which is the core test in this case, and Cisco 300-210 as the concentration assessment. It should be stated that the two exams will be available starting in November 2020.

DevNet Professional certification, on the other hand, is already attainable and focuses on software and infrastructure. This credential confirms if a learner can develop and maintain applications that are designed on Cisco platforms.

This badge also allows applicants to customize their learning according to their area of specialty. This means candidates should pass the core exam, Cisco 350-901, and a desired concentration exam from the available choices. There are 8 of them, and their focus varies from implementing DevOps solutions to implementing automation to developing applications, etc.

Recertification Policy

CCNP certifications are valid for 3 years. After that, you will have to complete the recertification process. Cisco provides different options to update your skills and verify them including attempting one technology exam, acing 2 concentration exams, taking a Pass Cisco DEVASC 200-901 Exam in First Attempt Easily , or collecting at least 80 points from the continuing education program on the Cisco official website.


The demand for network administrators is expected to grow by a significant rate in the coming years. So, as you continue to invest in new knowledge, keep in mind that this will help you manage the next set of mission-critical technologies.

It’s time to refresh your resume by acquiring new competencies that will put you on course to a fruitful career in IT. So, don’t give up now. You can do it.

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