Cisco Certified Network Professional

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What Does Cisco Certified Network Professional Mean?

A Cisco certified network professional (CCNP) is someone in the IT industry who has achieved a Cisco career certification, which is a type of IT professional certification created by Cisco Systems to prove that a person is duly qualified and properly equipped to handle Cisco networking products and systems.


This makes the professional highly employable in any organization using Cisco’s networking products.

Techopedia Explains Cisco Certified Network Professional

A Cisco certified network professional has achieved one of the many Cisco career certifications that are on offer.

Certification can be achieved through study and training, then by passing the corresponding exam of the chosen certification.

There are five certification levels:

  • Entry – Serves as the starting point for becoming a Cisco certified professional. Certified Cisco Technician (CCT) and Certified Cisco Entry Network technician (CCENT) belong in this category.

  • Associate – This is the foundation level for network specification and has various kinds of Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) branches depending on chosen field such as data center, routing and switching, and security.

  • Professional – This is the advanced certification level where you can get the Certified Cisco Design Professional (CCDP) and Certified Cisco Network Professional (CCNP) and all of its variants.

  • Expert – As the name suggests, this is the expert tier where applicants can get Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) and Certified Cisco Internetwork Expert (CCIE) and all of its variants.

  • Architect – The highest level of certification will give the professional the level of Architect which recognizes the candidate’s architectural expertise of network design to be able to support increasingly complex global networks.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.