Cisco finally has announced what we’ve known was coming for about 6 months or so….an update to the CCNP Exams available starting March 10th, 2010. The new exams are simply called ROUTE, SWITCH, TSHOOT, with the latter not available until April 30th. So, if you’re working on your CCNP, you have until July 31st to finish using the old exams: BSCI, BSMSN, ONT and ISCW. The new CCNP offers a nice, new path for Cisco CCNA® certified network engineer and will provide you with a solid foundation for those interested in the Cisco CCIE® R&S.
There are two nice benefits about the latest exams: you’ll spend only $450 instead of $600 to get your CCNP (we’ll see how long that lasts), and you now get 120 minutes instead of just 90 to complete them.
Cisco has provided four various paths to achieve your CCNP, depending upon how far along you presently are with your CCNP Studies and exams. You can find the page describing each of those four paths here.
There are some interesting changes in the courses that will definitely affect the way that I’ll be teaching the 12-day bootcamp. First, the ROUTE and TSHOOT courses have some very cool e-learning lessons that you can only get from a Cisco Authorized training company. This means that if you do not go to an authorized bootcamp or class, you will not get said e-learning modules and yes—the information in them is absolutely vital to meeting the exam objectives! I’ve always wondered about people who claim they’ve passed the exam by just reading a book or using brain dumps, but now, I no longer will. In the new Cisco World, without attending an authorized course, getting the information required to pass will be next to impossible without doing something really shady—something that honest people with well, brains will realize is just not worth the risk. Cisco is not known to be the least bit forgiving of ill-gotten certifications! I am not saying you can’t self-study, it just seems that Cisco is making it harder to do so. Inside the Cisco Authorized kits will be a CD that allows access to the all-so-important material. So, how can we pass these exams without the new curriculum? Beats me.
Okay—that said, the ROUTE part of the CCNP provides you with information and labs on how to plan, configure, and verify the implementation of complex enterprise LAN and WAN routing solutions, using a range of routing protocols and securing routing solutions to support branch offices and mobile workers. There are more than 7 hours of extended e-learning outside of the classroom needed to meet the exam objectives.
The SWITCH part of the CCNP gives you with information and labs on how to plan, configure, and verify the implementation of complex enterprise switching solutions, using Cisco Enterprise Campus Architecture. The exam objectives also cover securing integration of VLANs, WLANs, voice, and video into campus networks with switches.
Lastly, The TSHOOT part of the CCNP supplies you with the information and labs on how to plan and perform regular maintenance on complex enterprise routed and switched networks, plus use technology-based practices and a systematic ITIL-compliant approach to successfully pull off complex network troubleshooting. I’m really interested to see what Cisco will use from ITIL in this exam. BTW… This course is all hands-on labs and has 9 hours of extended e-learning lessons.
With all this in mind, I really can’t say the CCNP will become any easier to attain, that’s for sure. The writing on the wall is that it’s going to be harder to instruct the course effectively and harder for the students to pass the exams unless they have some serious study and hands-on lab time. So if you are trying to finish your CCNP or wanting to get your CCNP, you’d better get with it. The bar is seriously rising soon!
While we’re all waiting with baited breath for the new exams to be available so we can finally get the skinny about what’s going on, be sure and check out www.globalnettraining.com for some sweet New Years’ special offers from the only place that delivers the highest quality Todd Lammle Cisco Authorized training!