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With slower wireless certification uptake, Cisco formally announces CCNP

Cisco formally announced the final piece of its wireless certification track -- the CCNP Wireless -- as it seeks ways to boost adoption.

Admitting that Cisco's wireless certifications had not yet seen the success of its security and voice counterparts, Cisco formally announced the CCNP Wireless certification, which will sit between Cisco's existing CCNA and CCNE level certifications and complete the wireless track launched last year.

With the test launching in September, Fred Weiller, Learning@Cisco's director of marketing, said more details would be forthcoming at Cisco Live! in June.

"Usually we announce new programs when they are closer to being available, but today we are announcing it a bit earlier because we want people on both the hiring side and the individual side that we are putting a full career track on the wireless side," he said.

Weiller said Learning@Cisco had heard anecdotally from customers that there were some questions surrounding CC - Wireless because the full career path, from CCNA to CCNP to CCNE, had not been completely announced.

"When we looked at the three certifications we launched last year, wireless has been lagging a little bit [behind voice and security]," he said. "The other two have been very successful ... but wireless has been to a lesser degree, and that is because there is less of a clear path."

Or else wireless is simply not something entry-level networking professionals are concerned about.

"I don't want to diss them on this, but my thinking is that wireless is just another type of transport, it's just another wire -- it just happens to be a wireless wire," said Cushing Anderson, a program vice president with IDC. "That would imply the CCNA is pretty much redundant: if I can manage wires, I can manage wireless."

Anderson said he doubted the addition of the CCNP certification would drive much lower level adoption, as most applicants generally do not look at a certification's progression when deciding on whether or not to take it.

Weiller, however, said that now people could take the CCNA wireless certification with the knowledge that the CCNP certification would not be far behind.

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