Difference Between CCNA and CCNP

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: August 17, 2022


Difference Between CCNA and CCNP Difference Between CCNA and CCNP

Why read @ Diffzy

Our articles are well-researched

We make unbiased comparisons

Our content is free to access

We are a one-stop platform for finding differences and comparisons

We compare similar terms in both tabular forms as well as in points


Almost all network engineers take the Cisco Associated Network Associate (CCNA) exam, an entry-level certification. Candidates who earn this certification can comprehend networking fundamentals. Additionally, this aids engineers in advancing their networking careers. After earning a CCNA, you may easily manage a small or medium-sized network. The prerequisite for all other network courses is CCNA. The CCNP certification from Cisco aids engineers in their understanding of the network environment. The certification teaches network optimization and how to scale the internet more professionally. Network engineers and network specialists are among the professions.

The Cisco ecosystem, major networking, and infrastructure component supplier include the CCNA and CCNP certifications. Over the years, it has also led to switching, routing, and networking technology advances. These certificates target various IT roles and job kinds while teaching varied abilities at varying levels. Before taking these examinations, students must put in many hours of study. These tests are good for three years before needing to be updated.

The major goal of CCNA certification is to give networking enthusiasts and newcomers with some background a certificate at the associate level. For maintenance, installation, and troubleshooting of Cisco's medium networking devices, CCNA program candidates must undergo a demanding set of training and testing. Additionally, testing and training for students include end-to-end networking installation and troubleshooting. It is a tool for teaching you more about networking fundamentals and principles. Additionally, this certification ensures that just starting is at least somewhat comfortable using IT equipment. The information would be tailored to an environment based on Cisco. Let's find out more about how CCNA and CCNP vary.


The top networking certification offered by Cisco is called CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate). The major objective of this certification is to provide intermediate to entry-level certification for experts and novices with some prior networking experience. Training on installing, testing, troubleshooting, and maintaining Cisco's medium networking equipment is required for those interested in the CCNA program. For those new to networking, it has become one of the most well-known qualifications.

It provides a thorough introduction to contemporary networking. Before discussing FHRPs, IPv4/IPv6 static routing, and OSPFv2, it covers both wireless and wired network access and routing fundamentals. It covers various IP services, such as NAT, QoS, and DHCP. It also introduces network security by addressing issues like AAA, ACLs, and VPNs.

Candidates can learn more about the foundations and ideas of the Cisco networking ecosystem by earning the CCNA certification. Additionally, the certification provides students with important information about using IT equipment without difficulty.

A networking certification at the professional level is called CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional). It verifies the range and depth of knowledge in the field of technology. Data Center, Enterprise, Service Provider, Security, and Collaboration are the five available tracks. To obtain CCNP in any track, the candidate must pass two exams: a core exam and a concentration exam.

One of the most common CCNP tracks is CCNP Enterprise. Using enterprise network technologies such as dual-stack architecture, infrastructure, security, network assurance, virtualization, and automation, the CCNP Enterprise core exam assesses the candidate's knowledge of those topics. In addition, candidates for the CCNP program receive training on installing, troubleshooting, and maintaining both LAN and WAN for systems with up to 100–500 nodes. The five CCNP Enterprise exams cover advanced routing in enterprise networks, SD-WAN, network architecture, automation, wireless deployment, and wireless design. Here is how they compare in a few key areas:


Although the CCNA and CCNP programs have a similar objective, there are distinct requirements for each program before you can enroll. For example, depending on your specialty, you might need to finish the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) certification before signing up for a CCNA certification program. However, you don't need to hold a CCENT certification to enroll in several CCNA specializations. In this situation, having a solid grasp of information technology and a drive to learn more may be sufficient.

Since the CCNP program is more complex, IT professionals must obtain the CCNA qualification associated with their desired CCNP specialty. To be eligible for a CCNP program, you might also need a high school diploma or GED.

Skills and Training

Although CCNA and CCNP programs both offer IT professionals training, the teaching varies between the two programs. For example, you can learn how to install, configure, and manage small to medium-sized routing and switching networks by enrolling in a CCNA program. Additionally, you could discover how to resolve problems and eliminate security hazards. Lastly, a CCNA curriculum can teach you how to connect to faraway locations.

You can hone the abilities you acquired during your CCNA training by enrolling in a CCNP program. For example, you might concentrate on installing, troubleshooting, and configuring networks during your CCNP curriculum. The network's central routers and switches are another skill you could pick up. The maintenance of edge applications where phone, wireless, and security are integrated into the network can also be learned through a CCNP curriculum.

Education Qualifications

The number of tests IT workers must complete to earn their certification varies between the CCNA program and the CCNP program. Most CCNA programs demand that you pass one test to become certified.

The CCNP certification requires more examination than the CCNA certification since it is more advanced. Depending on the field you choose to concentrate in, you might need to pass three to four examinations to earn your CCNP certification.


Because the CCNA and CCNP programs require varying degrees of education and training, the salaries of IT workers who hold these certificates vary. IT specialists who have earned their CCNP and CCNA certifications typically make more money than those who have only earned their CCNA.

However, work experience, business size, and location can also affect how much an IT expert is paid. For example, an entry-level CCNP who works for a small business may make less money than an IT expert with a CCNA and ten years of experience who works for a major organization.

Difference Between CCNA and CCNP in Tabular Form

Below is the topmost comparison between CCNA vs. CCNP

Table: CCNA vs. CCNP
The Basic Comparison
Mandatory prerequisite
There is no requirement for this qualification.
You require a high school diploma.
Exam type
Learning curve
Tests on switching and routing fundamentals
Requires a deeper knowledge and understanding of LANs and WANs and their co-existence.
Exam details
Provides you with an option to choose among two kinds of examinations
Three exams are required, namely the switch, root, and shoot.
Career Path
  • Network technician
  • Helpdesk Engineer
  • Service Desk Engineer
  • Network support engineer
  • First and Second line support
  • Third Line Support
  • Network Engineer
  • IT Team leader
  • Network Analyst
  • Network Specialist
  • Systems Engineer

What is CCNA?

One of the market's most well-known entry-level networking certifications is the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) credential. The CCNA certification is intended for those with a year to two network engineering expertise. The most significant advantage of CCNA training is the low cost of the CCNA certification.

The major goal of this Cisco certification is to give networking enthusiasts and newcomers with some expertise an associate-level certification. Installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting Cisco's medium networking devices requires testing and training for students interested in the CCNA program. Additionally, end-to-end networking installation and troubleshooting are tested and taught to program participants.

Aspirants have the chance to learn more about the fundamentals and ideas of the Cisco networking environment through the CCNA certification program. The certification also gives novices a great deal of knowledge about using IT equipment without having any issues. Furthermore, the information is relevant on a fundamental level even if it has been tailored to the Cisco environment; persons who earn this certification can put their knowledge to use in a wide range of contexts and boost their marketability across many platforms.

Why is it your Best Option?

One of the most well-known & well-liked networking qualifications in the business is the Cisco Certifications Network Associate (CCNA). A professional can become as knowledgeable about network engineering as someone with a few years of experience by obtaining this certification. This certification's launch was to complement fundamental certifications like CCIE. In addition to giving scholars a complete understanding of the Cisco networking environment, it provides an overview of the networking industry to ambitious experts and amateurs. Along with these fundamentals, the CCNA also teaches professionals how to use IT equipment without running into problems.

Another factor contributing to CCNA's popularity is the certification's affordability and minimal training requirements. CCNA now offers several certificates in specific specializations like Wireless, Security, Voice, WAN, Data Center, and Service Provider, among its different modules. Any professional earning a CCNA certification must have the skills necessary to set up connections to remote sites, such as WAN, operate switches and routers, and keep the network safe from harmful attacks. After receiving certification, professionals can also handle network problems that arise.

What is CCNP?

The CCNP designation stands for Cisco Certified Network Professional. This certification is open to IT workers with at least a year of work-related networking experience. Additionally required is a high school diploma or its equivalent.

The CCNP certification is designed for professionals looking for specialist training courses in setting up, managing, and organizing Cisco's extensive selection of high-end network solutions. The foundations of IT networking are covered in various courses that make up the CCNP certification curriculum.

Professionals who enroll in this certification program receive training in wide area networks (WAN) and local area networks (LAN) maintenance, installation, and troubleshooting for systems with 100 to 500 nodes. Students in this certification program also become knowledgeable in various network technologies and protocols, including Ethernet, AppleTalk, Route Redistribution, and Access Lists.

Preparing professionals for the CCNP exam is the main goal of the certification course. The student's comprehension and expertise of Cisco's IP switching network and IP routing technologies are evaluated through a series of practice examinations. These exams gauge a student's aptitude for testing, maintaining, and troubleshooting diverse methods.

Benefits of CCNP over CCNA

The CCNP certification gives applicants more chances than the CCNA certification since it is a professional test. While jobs can be obtained after passing the CCNA exam or completing the training, your career advancement increases significantly after passing the CCNP exam or completing the training. In addition, your title and income will increase if you earn your CCNP certification. Therefore, once you have earned your CCNA certification, don't stop there; continue to CCNP Certification and Exploration Training.

Main Difference Between CCNA and CCNP in Points       

  1. The CCNA certification program seeks to give newcomers and networking enthusiasts some pre-networking experience. While CCNP applicants will concentrate more on a specialist program since this will be an improved level of certification, they will be familiar with IT equipment and the installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of solutions for end-to-end networking.
  2. Almost all network engineers must have the certification of CCNA or Cisco Associated Network Associate. With this certification, applicants can comprehend the fundamentals of networking. Additionally, this advances the networking careers of engineers. The CCNA can manage a small or medium network with ease. CCNA is the foundational course for all subsequent network courses. Engineers can learn more about the network environment with the aid of CCNP professionals, who are Cisco Certified Network professionals. The certification offers network optimization and Internet scale-up and is more professional. The jobs include network specialists and network engineers.
  3. The CCNA certification, which tests professionals on the fundamentals of routing and switching, makes a difference. The CCNP is an advanced certification requiring increased WAN and LAN communication and cooperation skills.
  4. Given that the CCNP certification digs deeper and covers a wider range of networking topics than the CCNA, including security and wireless choices, it is regarded as superior to the two Cisco certification standards.
  5. The CCNA certification is more general than deep. This entails superficially testing applicants on the ideas and fundamentals of several methodologies. The CCNP certification, on the other hand, concentrates on a particular technology and tests candidates on challenging ideas.
  6. Passing the CCNP certification exams is more difficult than passing the CCNA exams. However, as stated elsewhere in a certification guide or data page, it is possible to ask Cisco questions, which might occasionally be subjective, not only because you need to cover more material.
  7. While most CCNA certificates only require one test (some require two), the majority of CCNP certifications require passing up to four exams! Additionally, CCNP certification takes at least three to four times as long as CCNA certification.
  8. These distinctions account for the roughly $20,000 difference in average national annual pay between CCNP and CCNA holders.


The CCNA and CCNP certifications will be valuable to your profession, especially if you want to advance in the networking industry. Because this is a constantly evolving field, pick a certification that fits your background and objectives and shines in the market. Additionally, you can take both the CCNA and CCNP exams. In that scenario, we advise you to pursue CCNA first before CCNP.

Please return frequently to our blog to read further stories like these.


Cite this article

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:



MLA Style Citation

"Difference Between CCNA and CCNP." Diffzy.com, 2023. Mon. 20 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-ccna-and-ccnp-747>.

Edited by

Share this article