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Which cert should I go for next: MCSE or CCNP?

Which networking certification is the best to take after completing the CCNA? Find out whether an MCSE or CCNP is the best next step from our Cisco certifications expert.

I am a CCNA working as technical support engineer. I want to go deep in networking. At this stage I am little bit confused about which certification should I take next, MCSE or CCNP?

I can say without any bias… CCNP of course! In all actuality, the decision revolves around the responsibilities that your current job entails. If your organization utilizes enterprise-level routing (including using routing protocols such as EIGRP, OSPF, ISIS and/or BGP), complex switching architectures and designs (such as Layer 3 switching, multicast and voice/video QoS), and remote access technologies (including ISDN, analog POTS and VPN), which require detailed troubleshooting, then your next certification should be the CCNP.

Inversely, if you're constantly dealing with active directory including user accounts permissions, DNS configurations, group policies, in addition to Windows 2003/XP operating system security, troubleshooting, administration and design, then your next certification track should be the MCSE.

This was last published in January 2006

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