Roadmap to Success: CCDP
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.
The Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP) certification is aimed at IT professionals who are seeking to advance their network design skills, particularly as they work to improve enterprise network performance, availability, and scalability. Typically, job roles for which this certification is intended include network engineer, senior network engineer, network architect, solutions architect, systems engineer, and more.
Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP) The Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP) certification focuses on advanced addressing and routing protocols, WANs, services virtualization, and integration strategies for multi-layered enterprise architectures. The CCDP is an intermediate- to advanced-level certification. Learners should have 3 to 5 years of experience (or more) and be very comfortable with Cisco products. As a professional certification from Cisco, learners must have earned the CCDA or CCNA Routing and Switching certification before being eligible for the CCDP.
The CCDP is made up of three exams, two of which are covered by CBT Nuggets training:
Cisco CCDP 300-320 ARCH (A CBT Nuggets trainer is scheduled to begin work on this course soon! Check our in-progress courses to see our progress on the new course!)
*Please note that the first two exams of the CCDP certification are the same as two of the three exams for the CCNP Routing and Switching certification.
Exam Details Many of the details of the individual exams that make up the CCDP certification are shared.
300-101 ROUTE Time allotted for exam: 2 hours (120 minutes) Number of questions: 45-65 questions Passing score: Cisco does not publish the passing score for its exams Question types: Multiple choice/single answer; Multiple choice/multiple answer;Â 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 IP Routing (300-101) (free resource)
300-115 SWITCH Time allotted for exam: 2 hours (120 minutes) Number of questions: 30-40 questions Passing score: Cisco does not publish the passing score for its exams Question types: Multiple choice/single answer; Multiple choice/multiple answer;Â 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 IP Switched Networks (300-115) (free resource)
300-320 ARCH Time allotted for exam: 1.25 hours (75 minutes) Number of questions: 60-70 questions Passing score: Cisco does not publish the passing score for its exams Question types: Multiple choice/single answer; Multiple choice/multiple answer;Â 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: Designing Cisco Network Service Architectures (300-320) (free resource)
Recertification Cisco's Professional-level certifications, including CCDP, are valid for three years from the date of certification. Learners can recertify by passing any current Cisco Professional-level Â 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 CCDP certification will choose to continue to advance their careers in network design, and within the Cisco universe. Therefore, many choose to pursue the Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) certification. The CCDE is made up of two exams (CCDE Written Exam and CCDE Practical Exam). Unfortunately, CBT Nuggets does not currently provide training for the CCDE exams.
Some learners may choose to diversify their certification vitae/resume by pursuing certifications that fall outside the scope of Cisco products. The most popular network design certifications pursued by CBT Nuggets learners include:
Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate (JNCIA-Junos) (made up of one exam: JN0-102)
Juniper Design Certification Track:
Juniper Networks Certified Design Associate (JNCDA) (made up of one exam: JN0-110)
Juniper Networks Certified Design Specialist, Data Center(JNCDS-DC) (made up of one exam: JN0-1300)
Career Considerations Simplyhired.com/ provides a helpful salary guide to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the CCDP. Depending on professional experience, an employee who holds a CCDP certification can earn, on average, $74,000. Payscale.com/ reports a range of salaries for employees holding the CCDP certification between $63,276 and $151,846. Roles that are common for those holding a CCDP certification include network engineer, senior network engineer, systems engineer, solutions architect, and more.
Cisco Certifications Cisco certifications are layered, with each layer building upon the knowledge and skills developed at previous layers â€” structurally designed as a pyramid. The layers are (from the bottom up) Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert, and Architect. Associate-level certifications include Cloud, Collaboration, Data Center, Design, Industrial, Routing and Switching, Security, Service 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), Cloud, Collaboration, Data Center, Routing and Switching, Security, Service Provider, and Wireless.
Cisco provides an excellent certificationÂ overview that succinctly outlines each certification, its prerequisites, and related careers. Please note that the most recent version of the document does not include the recently released Cisco Collaboration certifications, but you can learn more about the Collaboration path from our blog post.
Concluding Thoughts Effective, flexible, and scalable networks are critical to organizational success in today's fast-paced business environments. As needs and workplaces continue to evolve, IT professionals who are adept at designing and architecting networks that ensure performance and availability are in high demand. Design the future of your career with the CCDP certification!
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