CCNA vs CCNP: Which Certification is Better?

Computing technology is becoming more and more important in our everyday lives. There are a few different Cisco certifications, but the two most popular are CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) and CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional).

In this article, I’ve compared these two certifications and you’ll get a clear view of which is better for you in the case of CCNA vs CCNP. So let’s start with what are CCNA and CCNP.

What’s CCNA?

CCNA is an entry-level IT (Information Technology) certification for Cisco networking. Your ability to install, configure, run, and troubleshoot the CCNA credential confirms medium-sized switched and routed networks. It’s one of the most common and easiest Cisco networking certifications.

Skills needed: Time management, problem-solving, teamwork, basic knowledge of IP addressing, and basic programming skills would be helpful for the CCNA exam.

What’s CCNP?

CCNP is a professional-level Cisco certification for networking for people with at least one year of experience. It’s one step below Cisco’s top certification, CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert). Certified professionals of CCNP have the skills to grow an enterprise network.

Skills needed: Problem-solving, teamwork, advanced knowledge of IP addressing, and Python coding skills would be helpful for the CCNP exam.

Image showing levels of Cisco certifications
Levels of CIsco Certifications

What are the Main Differences Between CCNA and CCNP?

CCNA and CCNP are quite popular certifications for networking. But what are the differences between them, let’s take a closer and deeper look.

Exam Type

CCNA is an associate-level examination for associate-level jobs. On the other hand, CCNP is a professional-level examination over 1 year of experience.

Ease of the Exam

As CCNA is an associate-level examination for beginners that’s why it’s easy to crack as compared to CCNP which is an examination for professionals and experienced people.

Choices in Exams

In CCNA you have to attempt any one exam between two exams while in CCNP you have to attempt three mandatory exams each charging $300.

CCNA vs CCNP: Comparison Table

1. It’s an associate-level examination for beginnersIt’s a professional-level examination for professionals with over 1 year of experience
2. Easy as compared to CCNPHard to crack
3. Have to choose any one exam from twoHave to attempt all three exams each costing $300
CCNA vs CCNP Comparison Table

CCNA vs CCNP: Infographics Comparison

Image showing Differences between CCNA and CCNP
Differences: CCNA vs CCNP

Which is More Difficult CCNA or CCNP?

The entry-level certification for Cisco networking is called CCNA, while the professional certification is called CCNP. CCNP is, therefore, more challenging than CCNA in terms of difficulty. However, both certificates require a thorough knowledge of networking principles as well as some practical experience.

Exam Requirements for CCNA and CCNP

Requirements for CCNA: To become CCNA certified you must take and crack the 200-301 CCNA exam. For taking the CCNA exam there are no requirements.

Requirements for CCNP: There are no requirements and prerequisites for taking the CCNP exam but you should have one year of experience in managing enterprise networks.

CCNA vs CCNP: Exam Details

The CCNA and CCNP are quite popular exams for networking. Following are the main details of CCNA and CCNP.

Details of the CCNA exam: The CCNA exam has two major sections of 90-minute, 50–60 question assessment which tests the networking, LAN switching, IP routing, and WAN configuration skills of the candidate. CCNA exam has an 85% passing score.

Details of the CCNP exam: The CCNP exam has three exams named ROUTE, SWITCH, and TSHOOT; each exam costs $300. According to an estimate, the CCNP has a 75% passing score.

CCNA Job Opportunities

The Cisco Certified Network Associate certification is a globally recognized validation of the ability to build, configure and operate simple networks. Following are some of the high pay jobs that a CCNA certified can get.

Network Manager

A network manager is a professional who is responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of an organization’s computer network. They are responsible for ensuring that the network can support the organization’s business goals and objectives.

A CCNA certificate will be at the top of your resume.

VOIP Expert Engineer

A network VOIP expert engineer is responsible for the installation, configuration, and maintenance of VOIP systems. They also troubleshoot VOIP problems and provide support to VOIP users. A CCNA-certified person would be a great fit for this role.

Network Admin

A network administrator is responsible for the day-to-day operation of a computer network. They install, configure, and maintain network servers, routers, and other equipment. They have a sound knowledge of networking and the employer would like a CCNA certificate on your resume.

CCNP Job Opportunities

There are countless job opportunities available with the CCNP Routing and Switching certification. You can work as a network engineer, support engineer, systems engineer, or network technician after earning this certification. Following are some of the high pay jobs that a CCNP certified can get.

Network Engineer

A network engineer is responsible for the planning, designing, and implementation of computer networks. They are also responsible for troubleshooting network problems and ensuring the smooth operation of the network. Network engineers must have a strong understanding of networking concepts and be able to apply them to real-world scenarios.

CCNP certificate would look good on your resume.

Infrastructure Engineer

An organization’s technical infrastructure must be designed, implemented, and maintained by an infrastructure engineer. This can range from managing storage and backup systems to guaranteeing system security and network service uptime. A CCNA-certified person would be a great fit for this role.

Which Certification is Better?

This question does not have a single, clear answer. Depending on your goal CCNA is a wonderful option if you want to start a career in networking. CCNP is a better option if you wish to develop into a more advanced networking profession.


Both CCNA and CCNP are two of the most popular and best networking certifications by Cisco. They both offer a great foundation in networking concepts and skills.

However, CCNA is for beginners and associates while CCNP is for professionals and experienced people. In this article, we’ve discussed some of the differences between CCNA and CCNP.

What do you think which certification is better and enough in the case of CCNA vs CCNP? Let us know in the comments.

Being a web developer, writer, and blogger for five years, Jade has a keen interest in writing about programming, coding, and web development.
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