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Through Cisco CCNP certification to excellent career of network engineer

The value of IT certifications has always been high, as these credentials testify that you are competent and skillful enough to work in the field you’ve been hired, be it management, design, networking, security.

In today’s rapidly developing tech world, where new technologies emerge constantly specialists need to update their skills to show that they are qualified and keep the pace with the tech world.


 

The Certification

IT certifications in your CV makes you noticeable for employers, give you more opportunities to find a better job and career prospects, get a higher salary and personal growth.

They help you win in the silent competence with other uncertified colleagues. The certifications gain more value when they have been obtained by such leading IT vendors as Microsoft, CompTIA, Oracle, EC-Council, Cisco among many.

The certifications offered by Cisco cover such areas as Architect, Cloud, Collaboration, Security, Cybersecurity Operations, Routing and Switching, Design, etc.

They are intended for candidates who would like to start their career in IT and for those who need to upgrade their skills to boost their careers.

Cisco is a globally known IT vendor that prepares best specialists in various fields in IT, but mostly those ones who specialize in networking. That’s why Cisco Routing & Switching certifications are so popular.

The way starts from getting CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician) credential of entry level or CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) credential of the associate level and leads to CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) and finally to CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert) of the expert level. This is a brief description of this way.

Now, let’s see in details, which exams candidates require to pass to get to a professional level on one’s career path. The first step to a career in networking is getting CCENT credential.

For that, candidates pass 100-105 exam and testify the basic skills to create, troubleshoot, and operate small enterprise branch networks.

On this level, candidates get the initial security skills. After that, they can get CCNA R&S certification by taking 200-105 exam.

It tests their skills to work with switching and routing technologies as well as with infrastructure services.

Still, most candidates choose to take one exam that includes the topics of the previous two, it is a 200-125 exam, which leads to CCNA R&S certification.

Their candidates test their foundational skills necessary to successfully complete tasks of Network Engineer which includes the abilities to work with cutting-edge technologies.

The next step is to get the certification of professional level -CCNP R&S. This certification is designed for network engineers, system engineers, network technicians who are skillful enough to complete tasks related to wide-area enterprise networks.

The certification also means that you have 1 year of networking experience and are able to work with physical networks and complete virtualized functions.

To get these credential candidates should sit for three certification exams: 300-101 ROUTE, 300-115 SWITCH and 300-135 TSHOOT.

The article is focused on taking 300-101 ROUTE exam and provides you with the details that you need to take into consideration during your exam preparation.

To start with, CCNP Implementing Cisco IP Routing (ROUTE) is one of three exams the candidates choose to take after attaining the CCNA R&S certification in order to pursue in-depth credentials in the networking domain.

300-101 test allows learners to acquire the needed set of skills in using innovative IP addressing and executing highly secure and scalable Cisco routers that are associated with LANs and WANs using IPv4 and IPv6 protocols.

Typically, the certification exam qualifies the candidates for job roles, such as a network engineer, a network administrator, a network technician, and a systems engineer.

Cisco Certified Network Professional – Implementing Cisco IP Routing (ROUTE) is considered a professional-level certification test, which authenticates knowledge and expertise required in the networking domain.

A valid Cisco CCNP Certification or any Cisco CCIE certificates is a prerequisite for this test.

Training Programs

Training for the Cisco CCNP ROUTE 300-101 exam is available through Cisco Learning Partners and Cisco Learning Solutions Partners.

The training program includes eight chapters as follows:

  • Chapter 1: Basic Network and Routing Concepts
  • Chapter 2: EIGRP Implementation
  • Chapter 3: OSPF
  • Chapter 4: Manipulating Routing Updates
  • Chapter 5: Path Control Implementation
  • Chapter 6: Enterprise Internet Connectivity
  • Chapter 7: BGP Implementation
  • Chapter 8: Routers and Routing Protocol Hardening

Chapter 1 explains how to configure Routing Information Protocol Next Generation (RIPng) and differentiates between dynamic routing protocols, traffic types, network types, and overlaying network technologies.

Chapter 2 teaches how to build the EIGRP topology table, establish EIGRP neighbor relationships, optimize EIGRP behavior, and configure EIGRP for IPv6 and named EIGRP configuration.

Chapter 3 discusses how basic OSPF configuration and OSPF adjacencies are performed, OSPF builds the routing table, configuration of summarization and stub areas in OSPF is performed, and configuration of OSPFv3 for IPv4 and IPv6.

Chapter 4 discusses how to use multiple IP routing protocols on a network and control routing update traffic.

Chapter 5 covers path control, implementation of path control using policy-based routing and Cisco IOS IP SLAs, and usage of Cisco Express Forwarding Switching.

Chapter 6 examines how to plan enterprise Internet connectivity, establish single-homed IPv4 and IPv6 Internet connectivity, and improve Internet connectivity resilience.

Chapter 7 explains BGP terminology, concepts and operation, implementation of basic BGP, BGP attributes and path-selection process, control BGP routing updates, and BGP for IPv6.

Chapter 8 is dedicated to securing the management plane on Cisco routers, routing protocol authentication, and configuring authentication for EIGRP, OSPF, OSPFv3, and BGP peers.



Exam Details

The following details apply for the CCNP Routing and Switching exam as shown below:

Exam duration: 120 minutes

Questions: from 50 to 60

Passing score: subject to change thus not officially published by Cisco

Question types:

  • Multiple-choice with a single answer
  • Multiple-choice with multiple answers
  • Drag and drop
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Simulation
  • Testlet (scenarios with several questions)
  • Simlet (scenarios with several questions)

Registration: Pearson VUE

Cost: 300 USD

Languages: English, Japanese

Exam topics:

  • Network Principles 10%
  • Layer 2 Technologies 10%
  • Layer 3 Technologies 40%
  • VPN Technologies 10%
  • Infrastructure Security 10%
  • Infrastructure Services 20%

Exam Policies

Individuals under the age of 13 are not allowed to take the test even with parents’ approval. Individuals who are 13-17 years old may take the exam and obtain the certification after they receive parent consent(this still excludes written CCIE, written and practical CCDE, CCIE labs).

Individuals of 18 years and over can take the tests without any restrictions. For any further information regarding exam policies, candidates’ rights and responsibilities, visit Cisco’s website.

Exam Retake

The retake policies are as follows:

  • After an unsuccessful attempt for Professional, Associate, and Specialist exam, the candidate must wait for five days before trying to retake.
  • For the written expert exam, the students must wait for fifteen calendar days, beginning the day after the failed attempt.
  • If a student successfully passes the exam, a waiting period of minimum 180 days is required before taking the same test again.

The Subsequent Step

Implementing Cisco IP Routing (ROUTE) is the first of three required exams to obtain the Cisco Certified Network Professional Routing and Switching (CCNP R&S) credential.

Usually, after taking the ROUTE exam, students proceed to the next step by taking one of the remaining two tests. The candidates can choose between the following two exams:

  • Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks (SWITCH) – 300-115
  • Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks (TSHOOT) – 300-135

After successfully passing the ROUTE exam, we highly recommend taking the SWITCH test before TSHOOT.

The reason behind this recommendation is that the students will have the chance to understand the advanced switching concepts and techniques, which will make the materials of the TSHOOT exam more comprehensible.

Thus, after successfully passing the Cisco CCNP 300-101 Routing and Switching exam, the candidates can proceed to the final step in the Routing and Switching path by taking the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Routing and Switching (CCIE R&S) credential.


Recertification

After passing the Cisco exam, the certification remains valid for three years. To recertify, the candidates must successfully pass one of the current 300-XXX professional-level exams, or the current written CCIE test.

When successfully passing a higher level of certification, the expiration date of the older certification will extend to that of the higher certification.

Career Options

Cisco Routing and Switching certifications are most sought after that it’s no wonder why. According to Payscale.com which offers a useful salary guide that assists learners in determining suitable salaries for CCNP job opportunities, an employee who holds the CCNP R&S certification can earn an average salary ranging from $41,022 to $133,590 per year.

Most common roles for the CCNP certification holders are a Network Administrator, a Network Engineer, a Network Technician, and a Systems Engineer.

Conclusion

Cisco provides a collection of resources that help students prepare for Cisco certification exams and to CCNP R&S exams in particular.

These resources include an overview of the exam, exam topic, study materials, which play a crucial role in preparing candidates for the certification, and practice tests covering every topic.

The candidates should seriously consider obtaining the practice tests since they play a vital role in the preparation for the CCNP R&S exams. Organize the proper preparation for your certification exams and build a successful career in network field!

Mokhtar Ebrahim
I'm working as a Linux system administrator since 2010. I'm responsible for maintaining, securing, and troubleshooting Linux servers for multiple clients around the world. I love writing shell and Python scripts to automate my work.

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