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  1. Senior Member /usr's Avatar
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    #1

    Default I'm concerned about this CCNP change...

    I realize this is only my personal opinion, so please don't take it as anything other than that.

    IMO, the CCNP seems to have been devalued from a real world standpoint with this change.

    For example, I'm still studying off and on for BCMSN. The knowledge I've gained from that study, I've been able to directly apply to 3Com hardware. Looking forward, I was actually fairly excited to get to ONT and ISCW, because topics on those exams (VPN's, QoS) directly relate to things I either do now, or will be doing more of in the future.

    As best as I can tell, Cisco seems to have simply eliminated nearly all topics on those exams and essentially turned the CCNP into a pure routing/switching certification. Hell, even this new TSHOOT exam seems to basically be troubleshooting what you already learned on BSCI/ROUTE and BCMSN/SWITCH.

    In all honesty, if I hadn't already devoted so much time to BCMSN and if the CCNP wasn't so valuable in the job market, I'd just disregard it, because I feel like this narrow focus has done nothing but limit the scope of this certification. From a practical standpoint, I feel I'll know a lot less when I complete the CCNP now than if they would have kept ONT and ISCW.

    Am I the only one who's frustrated with this?
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  3. Senior Member ColbyG's Avatar
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    #2
    You will know less technologies, but you will (theoretically) have a much deeper understanding of the topics you do know.
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    #3
    I feel your pain, and I'm basically in the same boat. As crazy as it sounds, I'm going to try to finish all 4 by July, I've procrastinated for so long, that I don't have any one to blame but myself...

    I agree with you though, I deal with that stuff somewhat day-to-day, apart from QOS and the thought of getting to ONT and ISCW had (still does) excite me, so I won't give up just yet...
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  5. Senior Member /usr's Avatar
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    #4
    I understand where you're coming from, but I don't know that I necessarily agree 100%.

    Sure, they've added a troubleshooting exam so you can't "get lucky", so to speak, but it seems like that exam is simply validating ROUTE/SWITCH level knowledge, as opposed to actually teaching you anything new. Isn't that the entire purpose of taking those two exams to begin with...to validate your knowledge?

    Unfortunately, the CCNP was a lot more practical for me before the change. I don't, and most likely won't for the foreseeable future, work with a lot of in depth routing. That's not to say I don't want to learn, but it's much harder when you don't get to apply the knowledge at least somewhat. It makes the studying seem completely irrelevant.

    Before, BSCI was just going to be something I had to endure in order to get my CCNP and learn the other technologies. Now, routing has essentially become half of the exam.

    I'm just confused and concerned. I almost don't even want to bother with this cert anymore, but I feel as though I'll doom myself to never really moving ahead unless I obtain it.
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  6. The Bringer of Light DevilWAH's Avatar
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    #5
    See I disagree, I think with the massive incress in Voice, wireless, and Security fields in tha last few years. A single certification can't possible expect to cover any of it in any real detail.

    For me the CCNP is the core networking certification, which is routing and switching at its heart. It should not try to fully cover it all at the expence of depth.

    You now have the CCNA tracks like Security, (which has many of the topice from the old CCNP exam) you have the option of getting a deep knowlage of core networking in the new CCNP and then by taking one or two extra extra CCNA's which are single exams, demonistrate knowlage in other areas.

    of course if the CCNA tracks are not enough, you have the other CCNP level certifications to show off with.

    I think seeing as how large the networking field now is, the new CISCO certifications give you a great ability to pick and choses how to show of you skills. And once you have a few under your belt, it will give a would be employer a much better view of your areas of strenths.

    AS far a the trouble shooting goes I think this is a great addition. The other two exams are to show you have the knowlage of the technoligies, but we all know that much of what we do in our jobs is trouble shooting and problem solving. After all a employer dosent want to know jsut if you know something, but how well you can apply that to something out side your comfort zone, and how you can adapt.

    I dont use routing in my day to day job much, I am much more focuced on switching, so the CCNP Routing exam will give me great optunity to practice and expand that field. Ok not important for this job i am in now.. but then again I might want to change it one day, and that will be a lot simpler if I can show I have Strong, rather than Basic routing skills.
    Last edited by DevilWAH; 02-09-2010 at 01:57 PM.
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  7. The Bringer of Light DevilWAH's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by /usr View Post
    but it's much harder when you don't get to apply the knowledge at least somewhat. It makes the studying seem completely irrelevant.
    I can't agree with that,

    Most of the topice in CCNA security and some in the CCNP Switch are ones I haven't be exposed to through work, or am lickly to be. But I have a Lab / simulatior set up and I play around most nights.

    To be honest my home lab is more feature filled than the network I work on. Ok it may not be as big, or have many devices attached, but thats the joy of networks, the fundementalys can be configures on a small lab network, that directly scale to enterprise size networks.

    I don't think you need to apply the knowlage in a work situation for it to be relevent to your over all skill level.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
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  8. Senior Member
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    #7
    I actually think the CCNP was devalued by the current iteration. I will state flat out that the CCNP did not really prepare me to manage the network I now have responsibility for. The current format fails because it tries to teach you everything, but some subjects are covered so lightly, that it might as well be there. Great, so we're gonna cover VoIP. Any other CCNP's feel confident they could deploy VoIP on anything larget than a small office just off the material you've learned? I guarantee you'd be spending some time on Google.

    So I think it's actually a good step to cut out the chaff. They've created other full certification paths for the other technologies. So while they may take away some of the ability to appear as a jack of all trades, it'll make you a better R&S engineer, and that's something I have no problem with. I deal with enough bad engineers that I'd kill to get some folks who've cashed in their cluepons on the other end of the phone
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  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by /usr View Post
    Before, BSCI was just going to be something I had to endure in order to get my CCNP and learn the other technologies. Now, routing has essentially become half of the exam.
    Well, sheesh. Routing *is* kind of important, you know. The packets don't move around by magic. Determining where and how you move traffic is as core as it gets, without that, the other technologies are pretty useless
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  10. nel
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    #9
    Although i am disappointed i wont be tackling the subject in ISCW and ONT i think it makes logical sense to seperate the certifications into seperate areas of specialisation - just like the CCIE.

    Like people have mentioned you will be able to study the material in other tracks and hell get another cert whilst doing it.

    From someone like myself, who is looking towards a possible future goal of the IE R&S, im releaved to see a troubleshooting section in there as it should help prepare towards the more advanced troubleshooting in the v4 of the R&S now.

    Only thing you can do is either finish the exams before the due date or start on the new track - simple as that.
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  11. ...loading... gorebrush's Avatar
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    #10
    CCNP covers far too much as others have said.

    The ISCW is more or less an SDM exam. It's garbage, but I am enjoying it in the most part.
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  12. Senior Member chrisone's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by gorebrush View Post
    CCNP covers far too much as others have said.

    The ISCW is more or less an SDM exam. It's garbage, but I am enjoying it in the most part.
    sorry i disagree with you. Knowing how to configure an IPSEC and GRE tunnel is a huge plus in a network engineers arsenal, many companies run GRE over IPSEC to save thousands of dollars monthly.
    2017 Goals: Dark Side OPS: Custom Pentesting (complete), eCPPT (in progress), LFCS (in progress), OSCP
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  13. Senior Member jovan88's Avatar
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    #12
    I made a thread similar to this not too long ago... The lesson is to just learn any missing material on your own. Certs are just a piece of paper at the end of the day, its all about what you know
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by jovan88 View Post
    I made a thread similar to this not too long ago... The lesson is to just learn any missing material on your own. Certs are just a piece of paper at the end of the day, its all about what you know
    Very nicely put.

    At the end of the day you have to take it upon yourself to learn the technology. For example, the CCNP really doesn't cover layer 1 stuff, but if you needed L1 for your job, wouldn't you learn it? Or would you just skip it because it's not on the CCNP?
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  15. Senior Member seraphus's Avatar
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    #14
    It is entirely possible that the upcoming version could be more challenging (thus, hopefully making it more valuable). I suppose we'll have to see...
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  16. Member eduromer's Avatar
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    #15
    Thats because they are trying to focus you on what you are studying if you want to learn security basics you go for the CCNA Security and of course its business cause its more expensive. i dont know about ont but when i did the ISCW and the CCNA Security even though the subjects i study were a bit different the exam was 85 % the same information, so i felt i wasted some money on the ccna Security.

    i do felt however the CCNP should have been 5 exams i mean keeping the 4 they had and add the troubleshooting exam, its only fear that if you are a ccnp you know how to troubleshoot and not jsut how to configure, cause in the real world everything that shouldnt fail, fails.
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  17. Senior Member /usr's Avatar
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    #16
    Well, sheesh. Routing *is* kind of important, you know. The packets don't move around by magic. Determining where and how you move traffic is as core as it gets, without that, the other technologies are pretty useless
    Surely you don't assume that I was discounting the importance of routing as a whole, as that is most certainly not even close to how I worded my previous posts. I was only making note of the fact that *I* don't deal with in depth routing in my day to day job. Considering it's fairly well known that information not often used has more of a tendency to be forgotten, it stands to reason that my concern lies in studying for a certification that is roughly 50% routing, only to not frequently use the knowledge and have it escape me.

    However, I do appreciate you enlightening me, as I was always predisposed to believing the packets did, in fact, move around by magic.


    sorry i disagree with you. Knowing how to configure an IPSEC and GRE tunnel is a huge plus in a network engineers arsenal, many companies run GRE over IPSEC to save thousands of dollars monthly.
    That's kind of where my opinion was stemming from. Being able to apply QoS and having the knowledge to create and manage client access and site to site VPN's is, IMO, crucial to managing even the smallest of networks anymore. You know how I said I don't deal with in depth routing? Do you know how many sites I visit that run QoS and implement some sort of VPN? It would be easier to count those that didn't and among all these sites, I've never ran into the need to configure or troubleshoot OSPF or EIGRP.

    When I think of a "Network Professional", I think of a well rounded individual who has experience in multiple areas. Kind of what the current version represents. As it stands now, it just seems like Cisco simply chopped off information and added no new material, but simply an exam to further validate what you'll have already been tested on. It seems like this TSHOOT exam should have been made an R&S specialization or something, while keeping the CCNP broad.

    But, you know what they say about opinions.
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  18. Senior Member
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisone View Post
    sorry i disagree with you. Knowing how to configure an IPSEC and GRE tunnel is a huge plus in a network engineers arsenal, many companies run GRE over IPSEC to save thousands of dollars monthly.
    Sure, but people make a bigger deal out of this than is really necessary. Sure, it's useful knowledge, but it's not going to make or break you as an engineer. It's just a few more knobs to turn, and not really essential ones at that.
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  19. Senior Member
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by /usr View Post
    Surely you don't assume that I was discounting the importance of routing as a whole, as that is most certainly not even close to how I worded my previous posts. I was only making note of the fact that *I* don't deal with in depth routing in my day to day job. Considering it's fairly well known that information not often used has more of a tendency to be forgotten, it stands to reason that my concern lies in studying for a certification that is roughly 50% routing, only to not frequently use the knowledge and have it escape me.
    Ok, so if you're not going to do R&S, don't certify in R&S. And yes, you certainly did seem to be marginalizing routing as a whole, as you were complaining that routing now comprised half the certification.

    However, I do appreciate you enlightening me, as I was always predisposed to believing the packets did, in fact, move around by magic.
    Yeah, unfortunately, J.K. Rowling's forthcoming series of books from Cisco Press has been put on hold indefinitely due to this discovery.

    That's kind of where my opinion was stemming from. Being able to apply QoS and having the knowledge to create and manage client access and site to site VPN's is, IMO, crucial to managing even the smallest of networks anymore. You know how I said I don't deal with in depth routing? Do you know how many sites I visit that run QoS and implement some sort of VPN? It would be easier to count those that didn't and among all these sites, I've never ran into the need to configure or troubleshoot OSPF or EIGRP.
    And do you have any idea how many networks I've touched where they're not doing VPN on the router (which is stupid in my opinion anyway!). Usually it's either a dedicate server, or dedicated appliance. SSL VPN is also becoming more and more prevalent, and there's nary a mention of that in ISCW. It's all about being able to configure EazyVPN from SDM, and then do some tweaking of IPSEC from the CLI. In my opinion, this is hardly best practice and can lead to some lessons that will need to be unlearned in the future if you *really* want to be good at your job. It's just another example of Cisco trying to cram too much into the CCNP, and doing a half ass job of it.

    I mean, let's talk a bit about GRE over IPSEC. Great in concept, and a very useful tool.

    Go look at the ISCW Exam Cert Guide if you have it. Their *entire* idea of teaching a network 'Professional' to configure a Secure GRE Tunnel....... is to use a wizard. Really? Seriously? That's not good training. I haven't taken a look at the most recent edition, but I'd be willing to bet I could get a better solution out of O'Reiley's Cisco IOS Cookbook.

    ISCW, and to a degree, ONT are *horribly* executed exams. ONT isn't as bad as ISCW, as it's QoS coverage is actually pretty good, but it fails in that it's Voice and Wireless coverage is just absolute crap. ISCW is just bad all around. For both exams, the technology they cover will pretty much require you to learn more than the exams cover. I guess that's great if it provides a Catalyst to learn more, but under the current certification, if I saw CCNP, I wouldn't assume they knew dick about VPN's, because if I point them to a server running, say, OpenVPN, and tell them to set it and the network gear up for client VPN termination, I don't think they could do it, unless they're already familiar with the software invovled, or without a good bit of time spent on Google. The only things I assume a CCNP can do pretty well are IGP's and most layer 2 stuff. But I may be a little bit cynical about it, since I've been through it and know what to expect.

    When I think of a "Network Professional", I think of a well rounded individual who has experience in multiple areas. Kind of what the current version represents. As it stands now, it just seems like Cisco simply chopped off information and added no new material, but simply an exam to further validate what you'll have already been tested on. It seems like this TSHOOT exam should have been made an R&S specialization or something, while keeping the CCNP broad.

    But, you know what they say about opinions.
    Keeping the CCNP as a jack of all trades is a bad idea when they're busy creating new certifications to deal with focused areas, and they're all training pretty well to deal deeper with their respective technologies. That, IMHO, devalues the CCNP just as much as you seem to think that pulling content off of it will do. Cisco is sending a pretty clear message - if other concentrations are what interest you, go certify in that. They are obviously intending the CCNP to be the routing and switching specialty, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them change the name to reflect that.
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  20. The Bringer of Light DevilWAH's Avatar
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    #19
    honestly I really don't get what the issue is here.

    For a start the BCMSN topics are hardly in depth at all, I been going over them to prepare for the SWITCH exam and I really hope this goes a lot deeper, at the moment its just skimming the surface of what I think of as the switched environment.

    In my view the CCNA level is there to show you have over all basic knowlage (and when i say basic I don't mean simple I mean good introduction to a topic.)

    The CCNP should show you have a good indepth, understanding of a topic.

    what some people seem to be suggesting is that the CCNP should be the same, as having all the CCNA certificates.

    If you take the ccna voice, security, wireless, and design then you knowlage is not going to be that different from the old style CCNP.

    IF you look here

    IT Certification - Cisco - Cisco Systems

    you will see the CCNP is only part of the Router + switching path and the storage path. the security, voice, wireless and design already have there own separate profsional level certificates. So as Forsaken shugested, the CCNP is a switching and routing certification. it is not general "network" knowlage any more.

    There not going to split switching and routing up as these are the "core" networking concepts. And do go hand in hand. But I for one am glad they have gone in to more depth.
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    #20
    I agree with everyone saying that the additional subjects are good in principle.

    But I'm also grounded in practicality. The reality is that the level of training you're expected to do to be able to pass those additional subjects is laughable, and not always translatable into real world skills. The VoIP and Wireless sections are pretty much just trivia, if you want to seriously deploy those technologies, you will need more training than what the CCNP expects of you, so in that vein, I regard the CCNP coverage of those topics as worthless.

    Folks just seem to give the exams, ISCW in particular far far too much credit.
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  22. ROFL-Copter pilot snadam's Avatar
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken_GA View Post
    Well, sheesh. Routing *is* kind of important, you know. The packets don't move around by magic...
    Wait, rewind real quick. They DONT move by magic?
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  23. Senior Member Mrock4's Avatar
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken_GA View Post
    Yeah, unfortunately, J.K. Rowling's forthcoming series of books from Cisco Press has been put on hold indefinitely due to this discovery.
    Hilarious.
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by snadam View Post
    Wait, rewind real quick. They DONT move by magic?
    I know, right? It's called Ethernet! That just screams magic! (or drugs, which I suppose are magical in their own way)
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  25. ROFL-Copter pilot snadam's Avatar
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken_GA View Post
    I know, right? It's called Ethernet! That just screams magic! (or drugs, which I suppose are magical in their own way)
    Ether-what?

    I do this to the network guys at work (I'm more of an Intel guy myself; but have self-proclaimed basic/intermediate networking knowledge). Its always fun when they take the bait...Luckily TE is much smarter


    K, my tangent is done; sorry guys.
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    #25
    One side effect taking things out will have is to further deflate the price of a base CCNP in the job market for those with only one P. For an all rounder, you will be expected to have supporting Ps which is what Cisco want - not just to make more money from certifications - but to get a more in depth all rounder of Cisco technology.
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