Self-studying the CCNA is remarkable accomplishment so you must be a disciplined learner. The CCNP is equally if...
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not more difficult to study solo since the exams are increasingly more difficult and also contain those nasty simulations which will require you to be familiar with a wider range of equipment types and configurations. The Boson simulation software (I assume you are referring to their Netsim product) luckily covers a portion of the equipment and configurations, but will not ultimately guarantee certification success by itself since the exams grill you above and beyond.
As far as a salary, the average salary in 2004 for a Cisco Certified Network Professional was around $72.000. However, value of the certification goes beyond the salary, especially if you are in the market for a new job.
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