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Career progress has never been a walk in the park — you have to work for it. With a new decade finally here, this statement makes absolute sense in IT. Now, this industry is faced with a dilemma, a tricky situation of driving innovative solutions while at the same time having to limit the impact it may have on the general population including security issues and changes in the job market.

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Towards this end, it’s easy to see why the demand for certain skills has only increased over time. Many companies are now on the lookout for competent workers who can manage the new variables to maximize the industry benefits in the long run.

The easiest and fastest way to gain all this needed modern knowledge and become relevant in your field is to earn a certification. Today, one of the most recognized vendors is Cisco. It revamped the badges in early 2020, and to give you a glimpse of what this company has for you, we put together a comprehensive guide to their new accreditation program. Also, you’ll know how to use practice tests in preparation on the example of 350-401 exam needed to obtain the CCNP Enterprise credential.

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Attainable Cisco Certifications by Career Level (2020)

Cisco has badges for IT specialists of different levels of expertise. At the entry level, it provides CCT certification to enhance your resume and put you on the track leading to bigger and better positions. An enhanced portfolio translates to new job opportunities and this is what Cisco offers with its associate badges. The last 3 stages include professional, expert, and architect that assess advanced knowledge which will be key to ultimate growth. As long as the professional level is on our focus today, let’s delve in its details.

Cisco CCNP Certifications for Professional Development

Let’s start by mentioning that the new professional Cisco career track is all-embracing, and the path you choose will depend on your interests, experience, and long-term ambitions. Cisco boasts an updated program that covers modern technologies, includes comprehensive exams, and gives you an opportunity to choose a specialization.

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Cisco CCNP credentials are not just meant to validate your skills but also qualify you for many jobs. Taking this aspect into account, out of the many options currently offered (like CCNP Data Center, CCNP Security, CCNP Collaboration among many), we highly recommend you consider pursuing CCNP Enterprise, which is a replacement for many retired Cisco certifications. Keep reading to find out how you can use the new CCNP Enterprise to enhance your professional value.

What Is CCNP Enterprise?

With software technologies and networking concepts becoming interconnected, CCNP Enterprise badge is a unique training path that helps professionals fast track their career growth without straining their budget or compromising on quality.

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As it comes from its name, CCNP Enterprise confirms if you can manage and implement enterprise solutions. It emphasizes the knowledge of core networking technologies (through the Cisco 350-401 exam) and a supplemental area that’s dedicated to a chosen niche (through the one concentration test that aligns with your career objectives). Speaking of concentration assessments available, there are 6 options that cover designing and implementing wireless networks, SD-WAN, automation, advanced routing and services, and others.

350-401 Exam — How to Prepare Adequately?

Remember that preparation for the tests is the main part of your certification journey. And regarding CCNP Enterprise it’s even more true since all its assessments have some additional benefits. For instance, the core exam 350-401 will also qualify you for CCIE Enterprise and bring you a Specialist credential.

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So, how to prepare for this exam and make your first step by all rights? First, you can enroll in training course, read a study guide and watch some tutorial videos to understand the concepts better. Then, don’t forget to revise what you already know through practice tests. These materials still raise doubts among candidates but you shouldn’t worry: below, you’ll find three main clues to get benefits of utilizing them.

  • Find reliable source of practice tests. Reliability is the main feature of these materials, try to find the most updated ones. If you want to follow the easiest way, just take the official sample test.
  • Don’t memorize questions and answers. These materials are created to help you know where you are strong and what you should learn more. The questions on the actual test may not be literally the same so focus on understanding the concepts better.
  • Correct your mistakes. If you see the weak area, learn this topic one more time so as not to make the similar mistakes in the real assessment.

Career Options and Salary Considerations

Well, the certification process can be hard. But, attaining this credential makes you suitable for different IT positions, which are almost certainly associated with improved wages. Let’s observe a few roles available.

  • Enterprise Engineers

In the modern IT world, these professionals are tasked with examining different aspects of a network ranging from organizational structure to business processes and information flows. Besides, enterprise engineering may include enterprise design and integration of key business aspects depending on the nature of your organization. Glassdoor.comestimates the average salary for a typical specialist at this position to be $72k annually.

  • Network Engineers

Network engineers are the unsung heroes in modern companies who are responsible for managing computer networksand providing technical assistance to end-users where appropriate. Also, these individuals can install and maintain different activities on networking components such as cables, switches, and routers. According to Payscale.com, these professionals earn an average salary of $74k yearly.

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  • Network Administrators

Finally, network administrators’ main duty is to ensure the organization’s network has updated information for the intended purpose. These specialists coordinate and manage computer networks and may work with other pros to assess the seamless running of a company’s everyday operations. A recent survey made by Glassdoor.com has revealed that a typical network administrator makes about $63k per year.

Conclusion

Information technology has taken a new step in 2020, so should you. As many businesses grapple with modern technologies and their applications, this is your time to shine. But only if you get the right training.

CCNP badges are widely respected for their role in enhancing professional value. The scheme we’ve provided for 350-401 preparation can be used for each professional-level Cisco exam. Don’t avoid using practice tests and keep in mind the career and financial perks of getting certified — this will motivate you to achievements!