CCNP question

Can anyone advise on which path to take. I'm thinking of either CCNP or CCSP. I had heard CCNP greatly expands upon the topics in the CCNA.  

Whereas the CCSP focuses more on security.

Does the CCSP teach you some CCNP stuff?

Thanks for any feedback
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Dr-IPConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I think the CCSP really is a separate skill set from that of the CCNP. You will probably cover some of the CCNP stuff since no doubt some of the CCSP training will cover items common to the CCNP, but chances are they will only deal mostly with the items most relevant to the CCSP. The same I think goes for the CCNP, you are bound to cover some items relevant to the CCSP, but chances are they will not be covered in much detail Also Cisco has as a prerequisite that you have a Valid CCNA or CCIP certification for both the CCNS and CCNP. Money wise with all the demand for security specialist the CCNS is probable worth more, but having strong CCNP skills is probably more important day to day unless you are working for a company so big it has an in house security specialist whom spends most of their time working on security.  
nodiscoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It depends on what direction you want to take.  I did CCNA and started CCNP - have BCRAN (remote acces) and am most of the way through BCMSN (switching).  Then I started working in a company that do a lot more with PIX so I started towards the CSPFA.  I will do the BCMSN exam just to get it (I think its easier than the BCRAN) but for the last few months have been much more interested in the CSPFA (PIX firewall advanced).  As a lot of my work pertains to this, I find it much easier than learning some stuff I have never worked with.

CCNP - generally a very good routing/switching certification.  If you want to work in that realm then this is definitely the cert to work to.

CCSP - PIX, firewalling, tunnelling, vpn and security - pretty much as it says on the tin!

There are some overlaps between the two - e.g. you'll learn all about nat in CSPFA and in BCRAN.  But it really is a matter of preference.

Good luck
dissolvedAuthor Commented:
Now heres a thought for many years down the road:

If I choose the security route, (CCSP>CCIE Security) ...will I have enough knowledge to pass the CCIE security?

Does it concentrate more on security related? Or are they going to drill you on CCNP stuff?

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The CCSP course mostly deals with security, most of the CCNP stuff in there probably are the types of things that interrelate with one an other like basic securing of your routers telnet access using an access list. But the CCSP will get down to more detailed security measures like implementing AAA, using access lists to protect a routers from more advance security threats, firewall configuration, and extensive VPN work. A lot of these will be mentioned in CCNP, but not a lot of time devoted to them. Below is a link for the CCSP which has descriptions of the topics for CCSP training.


dissolvedAuthor Commented:
thanks! From the brief look at the CCNP objectives:
It appears as if much of the meat is in Routing protocols???

I'm really interested in the TCP/IP stack. I'm assuming the CCSP would go more into detail with this than the CCNP ???

Sorry for all the questions, kind of at a crossroads. I got my CCNA last friday (after 9 months of studying. Being a grown up isnt easy stuff :-D )
BSCI (routing) is exactly that and from what I have been told from friends who completed it, is the hardest of the 4 CCNP exams.  The CCSP does not go into TCP/IP more than CCNP persay - both have their merits in this dept - I think you need to have a look at exactly what you want to do with TCP/IP.

If you follow DR-IPs link and have a look at the specs of each exam that makes up the 2 certifications, it will give you an idea of where to go from here.  Or you could also shoot into a bookstore and browse one or two study guides - get a feel for it.

congrats on the ccna!
Pentrix2Connect With a Mentor Commented:
CCNP has in-depth focus on routing and switching and does go into the TCP/IP stack.

The CCSP is mainly into security with the list provided by nodisco.  

Both has it's benefits but a CCSP will not prepare you as much compared to CCIE ( routing & switching ).  

If you look at the CCIE r&s what comes to mind, routing and switching so of course the CCNP will benefit you the most because thats all it mainly does in the CCNP is routing and swtching.

dissolvedAuthor Commented:
What about the CCIE Security certification?  It looks as if you can do:

My fear is that there will be holes in my knowledge if I go this route.... I guess I will pursue the CCSP since the Cisco Press book arrived today...
nodiscoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
While CCNA is a prerequisite for both CCNP and CCSP, there are no prerequisite certs needed to go any of the CCIE paths.  The path you listed above certainly makes sense - you have CCNA, you get working into security with CCSP and eventually with lots of hard work you go CCIE!

good luck
dissolvedAuthor Commented:
thanks everyone
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