Career / Career Progression

Roadmap to Success: CCNP Security

by Karin Klinger
Roadmap to Success: CCNP Security picture: A
Published on October 20, 2015

Roadmap to Success is a series of posts designed to help learners better understand certification pathways, career opportunities associated with those certifications, and next steps beyond certification.

UPDATED: We recently updated this article on November 22, 2016 to reflect relevant changes to the Cisco CCNP Security certification curriculum.

The Cisco Certified Network Professional Security (CCNP Security) certification continues to be a top certification for IT security professionals. As security concerns continue to dominate the industry, employers are looking for security professionals who have earned the experience and credentials to develop and maintain secure networks.

Cisco Certified Networking Professional Security (CCNP Security) The CCNP Security certification is uniquely designed to align with the role and responsibilities for security in routers, switches, networking devices and appliances, as well as choosing, deploying, supporting and troubleshooting firewalls, VPNs and IDS/IPS solutions for networking environments.

The CCNP Security is an intermediate-level certification for which the CCNA Security certification is a prerequisite. Cisco provides a CCNP migration tool to help learners understand how their other Cisco certifications may provide credit toward the CCNP Security certification. It is recommended that learners have 2-5 years of experience and have earned both the CCNA Security and CCNA Routing and Switching certifications. In addition, learners should have a deep, working knowledge of Microsoft Windows.

The CCNP Security certification is made up of four exams, which are covered by CBT Nuggets training:

Exam Details Because the CCNP Security is made up of four exams, please review each exam detail section carefully to fully understand the requirements of each exam experience.

300-208 SISAS Time allotted for exam: 1.5 hours (90 minutes) Number of questions: 65-75 Passing score: Cisco does not publish the passing score for its exams Question types: Multiple choice/single answer; Multiple choice/multiple answer; Drag and drop; Fill-in-the-blank; Simulation; Testlet; Simlet Exam registration: Pearson VUEExam cost: $250 (USD)* *Learn more about exam fees from Pearson VUEExam topics: Implementing Cisco Secure Access Solutions SISAS 300-208 (free resource)

300-206 SENSS Time allotted for exam: 1.5 hours (90 minutes) Number of questions: 65-75 Passing score: Cisco does not publish the passing score for its exams Question types: Multiple choice/single answer; Multiple choice/multiple answer; Drag and drop; Fill-in-the-blank; Simulation; Testlet; Simlet Exam registration: Pearson VUEExam cost: $250 (USD)* *Learn more about exam fees from Pearson VUEExam topics: Implementing Cisco Secure Access Solutions: SENSS 300-206 (free resource)

300-209 SIMOS Time allotted for exam: 1.5 hours (90 minutes) Number of questions: 65-75 Passing score: Cisco does not publish the passing score for its exams Question types: Multiple choice/single answer; Multiple choice/multiple answer; Drag and drop; Fill-in-the-blank; Simulation; Testlet; Simlet Exam registration: Pearson VUEExam cost: $250 (USD)* *Learn more about exam fees from Pearson VUEExam topics: Implementing Cisco Secure Access Solutions: SIMOS 300-209 (free resource)

300-207 SITCS (last day to test: December 31, 2016) OR 300-210 SITCS v1.5 Time allotted for exam: 1.5 hours (90 minutes) Number of questions: 65-75 Passing score: Cisco does not publish the passing score for its exams Question types: Multiple choice/single answer; Multiple choice/multiple answer; Drag and drop; Fill-in-the-blank; Simulation; Testlet; Simlet Exam registration: Pearson VUEExam cost: $250 (USD)* *Learn more about exam fees from Pearson VUEExam topics: Implementing Cisco Secure Access Solutions: SITCS 300-207 OR Implementing Cisco Secure Access Solutions: SITCS 300-210 v1.5 (free resources)

Recertification Cisco's Professional-level certifications, including CCNP Security, are valid for three years from the date of certification. Learners can recertify by passing any Cisco 642-XXX or 300-XXX exam, any CCIE written exam, CCDE written or practical exam, or the CCAr interview and the CCAr board review.

The Next Step Many learners who earn their CCNP Security certification will choose to continue to advance their careers in security, and within the Cisco universe. Therefore, many will choose to pursue the CCIE Security certification.

Some learners may choose to diversify their certification vitae/resume by pursuing certifications that fall outside the scope of Cisco products. The most popular security certifications pursued by CBT Nuggets learners include:

  • Certified Ethical Hacker v9.0

  • ISACA CISA 2016

  • (ISC)2 CISSP 2015

Career Considerations Payscale.com/ provides a helpful salary guide to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the CCNP Security. Depending on professional experience, Payscale.com/ reports a range of salaries for employees holding any CCNP certification between $46,364 and $153,434. Roles that are common for those holding a CCNP Security certification include network engineer, special agent, senior network engineer, senior network architect, Cisco engineer, network security architect, Network security engineer, IT manager, and more.

Cisco Certifications Cisco certifications are layered, with each layer building upon the knowledge and skills developed at previous layers — structurally designed as a pyramid. The layers are Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert, and Architect. Associate-level certifications include CloudCollaborationData CenterIndustrialRouting and SwitchingSecurityService Provider, and Wireless.

Once a learner has earned an Associate-level certification, they are eligible to pursue Cisco Certified Network Professional-level certifications. Cisco offers a variety of Professional-level certifications, including Design Professional (CCDP)CloudCollaborationData CenterRouting and SwitchingSecurityService Provider, and Wireless.

Finally, learners can choose to pursue Expert-level certifications, which include Design Expert (CCDE)CollaborationData CenterRouting and SwitchingSecurityService Provider, and Wireless.

Cisco provides an excellent certification overview that succinctly outlines each certification, its prerequisites, and related careers.

Begin exploring other Cisco certification options for which CBT Nuggets provides training to open up even more professional development opportunities.

Concluding Thoughts Security continues to be a hot topic in IT. Learners who equip themselves with a CCNP Security certification often create new and exciting professional opportunities. Launch your security career in order to reach new heights with the CCNP Security!

Watch. Learn. Conquer the CCNP Security!


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