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CCNA VS CCNP – What sets them apart

We’ve already come across the words CCNA vs CCNP, they sound familiar and are often quite similar as well. We don’t blame you, they definitely have the same ring to them. But that ain’t the only similarity about it, right, or is it? Do you also wonder if they are similar or different, if the former is true then what are the similarities and if not then what sets them apart? Enough of wondering, to end your queries let’s have a detailed comparative study.

The CCNA and CCNP are two certifications provided by the same vendor ie. Cisco. The main difference is that CCNA is an associate-level course whereas CCNP is a professional level course. 

ccna vs ccnp

Learn to differentiate between two most sought after certifications.





CISCO Certified Network Associate

CISCO Certified Network Professional 

Certification Level 





CCNA Completed (prefered)

Examination Modules

One Exam

3 Exams

Examination Code 



Examination Fees

USD 300 Per Exam

Total USD 900

Job Type

Network Engineer, Network Analyst

Network Specialist, Senior Network Engineer Network Manager

Skill-set Requirement

Basic Level of Configuring Routers and Switched

Advanced Level of Configuring Routers, Switches and Troubleshooting

Prospective Career Options

Freshers/One or Two Years Experienced

CCNA completed  (prefered) Professionals with one or two years experience

Salary Expectations

Rs. 3 Lakhs to Rs 5 Lakhs per annum depending on Companies

Rs 5 Lakhs to Rs 8 Lakhs per annum depending on Companies


What is CCNA?

We’ve all become aware of what CCNA is but for those of you who are new here, CCNA can be described as the launchpad for a successful career in Networking. CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate. This course is an entry-level course, ideally meant for initiating a journey into the world of Networking.

What is CCNP?

As the name suggests is another Cisco certification; Cisco Certified Network Professional. The CCNP certification is also one of the most sought after certifications.
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) is an intermediate-level certification that deals with  Enterprise Networking technologies. The course consists of core technologies with enterprise specializations of the candidate’s choice.  It’s an upgrade to the CCNA certification. It involves advanced routing, switching, troubleshooting, security, SDN, etc.

Intended Audience for CCNA:

The CCNA course is ideally meant for a person who wants to clear their network fundamentals etc.

Intended Audience for CCNP:

People willing to advance the basic knowledge they’ve gained from CCNA certification, and become competent enough to handle mid side and bigger enterprises.

The CCNA course covers topics like:

  1. Network Fundamentals.
  2. Routing And Switching Essentials
  3. Scaling Networks.
  4. Connecting Networks
  5. Security Fundamentals.

CCNA certification stands as proof that a candidate is skilled and equipped aptly to the point where he/she can navigate the ever-changing and evolving landscape of IT. 

The certification and training and qualifying for the exam give you the foundational boost to your career in the direction you want to take as per your choice of specialization. 

The topics covered in CCNP:

  1. Everything you need to clear the CCNA 200-301 exam in an updated way  
  2. Installing, configuring and managing network systems  
  3. Routing and switching technologies; Wireless implementation.  
  4.  Hands-on lab training on Cisco CCNA configuration and troubleshooting  
  5.  Build skills to work in enterprise networks 


CCNA Learning ladder:

  • CCNA Routing and Switching
  • Network Fundamentals
  • Network Access
  • Routing and Switching protocols
  • Wireless Access Point
  • Internet protocol (IP) Service
  • Automation and programmability
  • Infrastructure Services
  • Infrastructure security

CCNP Learning Ladder:

  • Dual-stack architecture 
  • Virtualization    
  • Infrastructure  
  • Security and automation 
  • Network assurance

CCNA Course Details:


Course Duration of Cisco Certified Network Associate [CCNA] is 50+ Hours.

Average Salary

upto INR 4 LPA

Employment Roles

Network Engineer, Network Administrator, Senior Network Engineer, System Engineer, Field Engineer, Network Designer, Network Planner, Network and Support Technician

Placement Opportunities

CSS Corp, Airtel, Wipro, Ericsson, Sophos and many more.

CCNP Course Details:


Course Duration of Cisco Certified Network Professional [CCNP] is 120+ Hours.



Average Salary

Upto INR 7+ LPA

Employment Roles

Third Line Support., Network Engineer, Infrastructure Engineer, IT Team Leader, Network Analyst, VoIP Engineer, Systems Engineer, Advanced technician.

Placement Opportunities

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Accenture, Cognizant, Infosys and many more.

CCNA Exam Format:

Exam Name

200-301 CCNA

Exam Cost

USD 300

Exam Format

Multiple Choice

Total Questions

120 Questions

Passing Score

849 out of 1000

Exam Duration

2 Hours (120 Minutes)

CCNP Exam Format

Exam Name

Implementing Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies

Exam Cost

USD 400

Exam Format

Multiple Choice

Total Questions

120 Questions

Passing Score

849 out of 1000

Exam Duration

2 Hours (120 Minutes)



Difference between the salary Prospects of a CCNA certified Professional and a CCNP certified Professional.

United States

USD 61,000 to USD 125,000

United Kingdom

Pounds 27,000 to 52,000


Rupees 3 lakhs to 4 lakhs


AUD 81,000 to 101,000


AED 303,000 to 548,000

Salary Prospects of a CCNP

 Here is a look at the salary packages that are offered to CCNP Certified Professionals all over the world

United States

USD 71,000

United Kingdom

Pounds 57,500


Upto INR 8+ LPA


AU$60k – AU$123k


AED 303,000 to 548,000


SGD 100,000 to 181,000


The CCNA and CCNP are two certifications provided by the same vendor ie. Cisco. The main difference is that CCNA is an associate-level course whereas CCNP is a professional-level course.

Both the courses are popular choices and tend to seem alike but there are a few differences. The primary difference emerges from their magnitude of learning to mean hereby that the courses have different levels of knowledge being imparted. The CCNA is designed to provide an associate level of knowledge to IT enthusiasts.

This is an entry-level certification for network engineers. It being the foundational course, it is competent enough to handle a small or medium-sized network. All other network courses can be done after CCNA has laid the foundation for further learning. Whilst CCNP is helpful to understand and develop knowledge about the network environment. This certification is more professional and aids optimization and internet scaling.  

On the whole, the two certifications have huge scope in terms of introducing employment for all, and upskilling in networking. CCNA is the introduction to the basics of networking and CCNP is the upgrade to the former. Hopefully, you were able to understand the difference between these two certifications. The path to networking can’t be more defined than taking up these two certifications.