Both the CCNA and CCNP are part of Cisco Systems IT certification program.
There are five levels of certifications in Cisco's certification program. They start with the entry-level CCENT and progress through to the associate-level CCNA, professional-level CCNP, expert-level CCIE and finish with the Cisco Certified Architect. The Cisco Certified Architect it is the highest level of accreditation achievable within the Cisco certification program.
There are also more specialized certifications such as the CCNA Voice, CCNP Voice, CCNA Wireless, CCDP, CCIE Security. The diagram above only shows the most common Cisco certifications at each level.
In order to begin studying for a professional-level certification such as the CCNP you need to pass the CCNA exam first, however you don't need to get the CCENT certification to take the CCNA exam. Read more about the CCENT and CCNA.
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