IT Certification and Training Blog

Changes to the CCNP Program

Feb 8, 2011 10:20:00 AM / by Kelson Lawrence

By Bryan Baize, CCIE #16139

Cisco has recently announced a revamp of the CCNP program. To begin this process, Cisco ordered a Job Task Analysis (JTA) to discover what the marketplace really expects from a CCNP certified professional. The participants in the JTA included subject matter experts from all over the world.

The results of the JTA indicate that it is time for the CCNP to get back to the basics of routing and switching and also bring back troubleshooting. Overall, the marketplace would like the CCNP professional to be a more a self-sufficient and freethinking network engineer. The IT professionals surveyed indicated that the CCNP job role would include three items:

  • planning
  • network maintenance
  • troubleshooting

Cisco developed the new program around several goals, including:

  • to better align the CCNP certification to the job roles
  • to better prepare the CCNP for the CCIE Routing and Switching certification
  • to focus on core technologies while delving deeper into complex routing and switching solutions
  • to reduce the emphasis on deep knowledge of advanced features
  • to provide more focus on security

To meet these goals, the three new classes have been developed: ROUTE, SWITCH and TSHOOT. Three corresponding tests will follow shortly. ROUTE and SWITCH replace BSCI and BCMSN, and TSHOOT is an entirely new class. The ISCW and ONT classes have been removed. Specialized technologies such as wireless, voice and IPSec have been removed. No order of classes is enforced, however it is strongly recommended that ROUTE and SWITCH be taken prior to TSHOOT.

If you have already begun your journey to CCNP, there is no need to worry (yet). There are many scenarios where tests you have already passed can be combined with the new test to attain CCNP certification. The old exams will continue to be available until July 31, 2010. Also, if you will need to pass BSCI or BCMSN for other certifications, such as CCIP and CCDP, ROUTE and SWITCH will count towards those certifications.

The Instructor team at Boson had the privilege of participating in the Alpha classes for ROUTE, SWITCH and TSHOOT. It was an amazing experience to go through the process of analyzing every slide and every lab instruction to make these classes what they are today. Many new features were added to aid in the learning process, such as lab debriefs, tear out topology maps and job aids in the lab book. We hope that you’ll agree that these classes have reached a new level of quality and technical accuracy, and we look forward to integrating these classes into our Bootcamp program, as well as delivering them as individual one-week classes.

As you read through the new info presented by Cisco, you may still have questions . Please feel free to get in touch with us here in Tampa, and we will do our best to help.

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813-925-0700 (opt 2)
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FAX: 813-925-3957


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Topics: certification, ROUTE, TSHOOT, SWITCH, CCNP

Kelson Lawrence

Written by Kelson Lawrence

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