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Anyone have any insight into what the best track to take would be in
terms of the CCNP and CCDP certs? I know that they are, at their heart,
different tracks (operations vs. design). However, is there a trend in
industry that places more emphasis on or other? I read recently (I
believe on TechRepublic) that the CCNP was falling out of favor at the
expense of the CCDP, yet the job boards seem to suggest that the CCNP is
more "valuable" based on jobs listing required certs. I currently hold a
CCNP and would like to begin thinking about my next cert direction. I
suppose I could obtain both, but I don't want to waste time and money on
a cert that is in its sunset phase! :-)

Thanks for your input!


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They share two exams so lets not be convinced they are too different.
If you take the CCNP by passing the required 4 exams, you only need one
more to be a CCDP.

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I would say there are more people doing jobs that require CCNP-type
skills as compared to CCDP.  However I think you'll find that the decent
network designers are harder to come by and better paid the the people
who do day to day / BAU maintainence.

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I assume you meant CCNA there?  I'd have to suggest you take the CCNP
first.  If you believe you can gain real skills through following the
certification track then I think you'll gain more skills that you can
use on the job from taking the CCNP.

I've taken something like 16 Cisco/Microsoft/CompTIA exams and passed
them all first time until I took the ARCH a couple of weeks ago.  I
spent the longest I've ever spent revising for it because I just didn't
feel I was really learning any real cohesive skills; partly because the
Cisco press book is pretty poor but also because the bounds seem so
poorly defined.  I think Cisco either need to tighten up the ARCH exam
by dumping some material or split it into 2 exams.  I work with Windows
servers at the mo so I don't do this day to day so perhaps it's right
that I shouldn't be able to pass it too easily.  However a colleague at
work who has been doing it for years has failed it 3 times so far and we
both agreed that the materials available are really poor and it's pretty
much imposible to try and understand what Cisco really expect from you
in the exam.
-> The email address used in this message *IS* valid <-

Assuming you have a CCNA, you have 4 more exams to do either "P" level
exam. Two of those are common - BSCI and BCMSN.  CCNP then needs BCRAN
(which is fun) and CIT (which is bollocks). CCDP needs CCDA (the DESGN
exam - learn the cisco lingo) and ARCH (which isn't as bad as everybody
says it is, but its more rote learning).

So go and sit those the two common exams first.

Which one is more valuable depends on what you want to do as a job. If
you want to do support or administration, do the CCNP. If you want to
do design work for an enterprise or a vendor/reseller, do the CCDP. The
latter probably pays a bit more in the longer term, but rather than
playing with tech you'll be going out and visiting clients, writing a
lot of documentation and defending your designs and decisions, often to
hostile audiences.

Work out what your career path is (over the next three years - the life
of the cert), then pick the one that suits your goals.

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