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John McGovern
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Cisco CCNP Automating and Programming Cisco Service Provider Solutions (300-535 SPAUTO) FAQs: Cost, Training, Value

Is the CCNP Service Provider worth it?

The CCNP is a big and challenging certification that is absolutely worth it for network professionals who want to stay relevant in the ever-changing world of network automation and software defined networking. The 300-535 SPAUTO in particular is a specialty exam that emphasizes familiarity with automating and optimizing next-gen service provider IP network infrastructure, which makes it worthwhile for network professionals working in Cisco-enabled, large-scale service provider networks.

How much does the CCNP Automating and Programming Cisco Service Provider Solutions cost?

The 300-535 Automating and Programming Cisco Service Provider Solutions concentration exam costs $300. Since it's a concentration exam, the certification you'll earn depends on what core exam you also take. The CCNP Service Provider's core exam (350-501 SPCOR) costs an additional $400. The Cisco Certified DevNet Professional's core exam (350-901) also costs an additional $400. You're free to take 300-535 on its own, but without a core exam, you won't receive a certification.

Are the CCNP Service Provider exams difficult?

The CCNP Service Provider's exams cover advanced configurations and automating them as well – they are difficult exams. The core exam (350-501 SPCOR) represents roughly five years' worth of experience implementing core service provider network technologies. The concentration exam (300-535 Automating and Programming Cisco Service Provider Solutions) is also challenging, testing your comfort with streamlining operations in service provider environments, reducing manual tasks, and improving efficiency.

Does CCNP Service Provider expire?

Yes, all Cisco certifications are valid for only three years. Your CCNP Service Provider will expire three years from the date you completed all its requirements. Fortunately, CCNP certifications are easy to renew, with a number of options available, including: passing a technology core exam, passing two separate professional-level concentration exams, or passing any one expert-level written or practical exam. There are also continuing education credit options available for renewing the CCNP Service Provider.

How to study for the CCNP Service Provider exams?

Your study approach will need to include hands-on experience with automation technologies. Since you won't want to experiment with new ideas in real-world service provider networks, you're going to need simulations and virtual sandboxes to practice in. Learn about, but most importantly practice, what you'll find on the exams: CCNP Service Provider's core exam focuses on traditional methods for ensuring network availability in a service provider context and the 300-535 SPAUTO requires deep familiarity with automation and programmability technologies.
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