Although the Cisco Certified Network Professional track no longer has prerequisite exams, most CCNP exams still require an understanding of the networking topics found in the reworked Cisco Certified Network Associate, or CCNA, exam.
For the CCNP and Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) ENCOR 350-401 exam, a significant portion of the material includes information from the new CCNA exam. Authors Ramiro Garza Rios, David Hucaby, Brad Edgeworth and Jason Gooley cover both the old and new material in their guidebook CCNP and CCIE ENCOR 350-401 Official Cert Guide, which is available now.
The ENCOR 350-401 exam -- which stands for Enterprise Core -- particularly emphasizes Cisco's move from uncommon, advanced capabilities to the networking requirements for current job roles.
Below is an excerpt from the guide: Chapter 6, "IP Routing Essentials." This chapter covers fundamental routing protocols -- many of which have remained from when the authors themselves began to study for Cisco certification exams.
When Edgeworth first studied for the Cisco certification exams, he said understanding how routers think and operate was the most challenging part. As an author, he has tried to write chapters in a way that provides in-depth perspective, yet also shows how technologies and protocols work within configurations. Edgeworth suggested CCNP and CCIE ENCOR 350-401 hopefuls participate in labs to put the concepts they learn from books into practice.
Gooley, on the other hand, found unstructured, solo studying the most challenging, saying he felt alone when he first started studying for his Cisco certifications. He suggested that hopefuls should lean on the community, whether that's in person or through social media. People can hold each other accountable for studying and readers can reach out to the authors themselves if they have questions.
In addition to potentially challenging new topics in the CCNP and CCIE ENCOR 350-401 exam -- such as programmability and software-defined WAN -- Edgeworth and Gooley said they are pleased with how relevant the ENCOR 350-401 exam is to current job roles. CCNP and CCIE hopefuls can expect to learn and solidify skills they use daily at their jobs, including the IP routing fundamentals.
Edgeworth said this chapter covers many routing essentials, such as Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) and Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) -- topics the new CCNA exam also includes. The chapter delves into fundamental knowledge network engineers need for jobs and explores routing essentials in a vendor-agnostic way, as OSPF is OSPF and BGP is BGP regardless of which vendor platform an engineer uses, according to Edgeworth.
Explore CCNP and CCIE ENCOR 350-101 Official Cert Guide
Click here to read Chapter 6, "IP Routing Essentials."