The CCNP Enterprise certificate is designed to validate the candidates’ skills in enterprise networking solutions. Before delving into the details of this professional-level credential, let’s talk a little bit about the changes to the CCNP certification pathway.
On February 24, 2020, Cisco has overhauled its certification program and made some major changes. Almost all the Examsnap CCNA credentials have been retired and replaced with only one associate-level certificate. Instead of specializing in CCNA, as it was in the old path, the candidates can only specialize at the Professional level in the new program. From February 2020, the CCNP certifications available to the applicants are as follows:
- CCNP Enterprise
- CCNP Security
- CCNP Data Center
- CCNP Service Provider
- CCNP Collaboration
- DevNet Professional
The CCNP certification pathway has experienced some major changes and one of them is the absence of the popular Routing & Switching domain. Other professional-level credentials that have been retired include CCNP Wireless and CCDP. If you already have any of these certificates, you shouldn’t worry because your credential is still valid until its expiration date. Another interesting change to the CCNP track is that the students are no longer required to pass three to four exams to earn their certification. They only need to take two testsin order to obtain any certificate of this level, which makes it a bit easier to plan their preparation and keep track of their progress.
In addition, all formal requirements for the Cisco CCNP certificates have been removed. This means that you don’t even need to get Exam-labs CCNA first before you pursue CCNP. However, it is recommended that the students who have little to no experience in the industry work up their certification path gradually, obtaining CCNA first before specializing. Nevertheless, the decision is entirely yours.
General Overview of Cisco CCNP Enterprise Certification and Its Exams
The candidates for the CCNP Enterprise credential are required to pass two exams –core and concentration. It’s interesting to note that every test available in the professional-level path also leadsthe individuals tothecertificates of the Expert level.
The core exam, Cisco 350-401: Implementing Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies (ENCOR), focuses on one’s knowledge and skills in an enterprise infrastructure, such as dual-stack (IPv4 & IPv6) architecture, virtualization, automation, security, and network assurance. This test is also a qualifying exam for the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure &the CCIE Enterprise Wireless credentials. By passing this test, you fulfill some of the prerequisites for earning any of these CCIE certifications.
The 350-401 ENCOR exam associated with the CCNP Enterprise certificate covers six main topics that should be explored. They include:
- Architecture: 15%
- Virtualization: 10%
- Infrastructure: 30%
- Network Assurance: 10%
- Security: 20%
- Automation: 15%
It’s important to pay attention to the weight of percentages associated with each objective, as this indicates the weight of questions that may be expected from each of them. The complete details of these topic areas can be found on the officialwebpage. Cisco 350-401 is a 120-minutetest. The actual number of questions andthe cost of the exam have not been disclosed by Cisco, but it’s certain that this certification test will be available in English and Japanese.
The concentration exams, on the other hand, focus on the industry-specific and emerging topics, which include SD-WAN, automation, wireless, and network design. After passing thecore test, the candidates have a list of six concentrationexams to choose from. They include:
- Cisco 300-410: Implementing Cisco Enterprise Advanced Routing & Services (ENARSI)
- Cisco 300-415: Implementing Cisco SD-WAN Solutions (ENSDWI)
- Cisco 300-420: Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks (ENSLD)
- Cisco 300-425: Designing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks (ENWLSD)
- Cisco 300-430: Implementing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks (ENWLSI)
- Cisco 300-435: Implementing Automation for Cisco Enterprise Solutions (ENAUTO)
Any concentration exam lasts 90 minutes, evaluates a wide range of objectives, and can be taken in English and Japanese. It is recommended that the students go through the official pageof their chosen test to learn more about its details. There is no official prerequisite for taking these certification exams. However, it is a good ideato have at least three or five years of experience in implementing enterprise networking solutions. Your understanding of the exam topics is also a strong requirement.
The CCNP Enterprise certificate is valid for three years. It is important that the applicants fulfill the recertification requirements before the expiration date. Failure to do so will mean that you have to restart the certification process again. In other words, you have to pass both the core and any concentration exams in order to regain your status. To recertify, you canalso earn 80 Continuing Education Units within the period of three years.