When you earn the CCNP security certification, you demonstrate your ability to work in the ever-evolving cybersecurity environment and your ability to protect networks.
We’ll discuss the growing demand for CCNP security jobs, the responsibilities they are expected to have according to their respective roles, and how to navigate the CCNP security job market.
Getting Started with CCNP Security
Knowing what requirements you need to fulfill before taking the CCNP Security exam can help you get on the right track and prepare for the certification easily.
a. Prerequisites for CCNP Security Certification
There aren’t any formal prerequisites required to take the CCNP Security examination. However, it is recommended for candidates to have 3 to 5 years of experience in implementing security solutions.
b. Choosing the Right CCNP Security Track
For the CCNP Security exam, it is recommended to take the Cisco Security Core Training (SCOR) course to help you prepare for the Cisco CCNP Security exam and implement core security solutions for advanced protection against cyber-attacks and threats.
c. Registering for CCNP Security Exams
To register for a CCNP security exam, you need to create a Cisco profile first. Next, you’ll have to create your Cisco Certification candidate profile on the Certification Tracker portal.
For registration, you'll have to gather and submit personal information such as your name, Cisco Certification ID, Company name, email address, and method of payment.
d. Preparing for CCNP Security Certification
For the CCNP examination, Cisco recommends having an experience of 1-3 years. This will give you hands-on experience with the CCNP’s Security devices.
Moreover, the concepts of CCNP Security should be understood profoundly, and that can only be done through plenty of practice in the lab to boost your learning and confidence.
Job Roles and Responsibilities
Let’s look at some of the prominent job roles and responsibilities that CCNP professionals have.
Navigating the Job Market
CCNP security professionals have an in-depth understanding of Cisco’s Identity Services Engine and 802.1X secure network access. Let’s see what the job market looks like for them.
a. Identifying Job Opportunities
After the CCNP Security certification, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge of technologies such as routers, Cisco ASA firewalls, VPN, switches, etc.
You can connect with people possessing the same skills through networking and identifying seminars to secure interviews at large-scale enterprises or when switching jobs into a broader technology space.
b. Online Job Portals and Resources
Upwork | Freelancing Platform
Upwork connects you with clients from different corporations. You can demonstrate your skills as a CCNP professional through a portfolio.
SimplyHired | Job Portal
SimplyHired is a job portal where you connect with several large enterprises and look for CCNP security job roles. You can find listings for entry-level jobs as well.
c. Networking and Professional Associations
Cisco | Cisco Networking Academy
Find like-minded people and land a great CCNP security job with Cisco’s networking academy. You’ll be able to stay atop with your skills, connect with people, and enroll in different security courses.
IEEE | Computer Society
The IEEE Computer Society is a great platform for networking. You can find people with the same Cisco CCNP Security certification and see how they achieved success after the certification.
d. Recruiters and Headhunters
LinkedIn | Employment Social Media Platform
Upgrade your LinkedIn profile or make one to list all your achievements and highlight CCNP certifications.
The platform lets you connect with recruiters and headhunters and gain insights into a company you’re applying to.
e. Company Websites and Career Pages
Search for different company websites and career pages that showcase how CCNP security professionals can apply for jobs. See what job requirements and skill sets match to yours and apply to roles that seem a great fit for you.
Crafting a Winning Resume
A resume makes you stand out from the crowd since it’s like a personal marketing document that you design to sell your skillset to a potential company. Let’s see how to create a winning resume for a CCNP professional.
a. Resume Essentials
Here are some of the resume essentials you will need:
b. Tailoring Your Resume for CCNP Security Roles
Once you receive your CCNP security certification, ensure it stands out in your resume:
c. Showcasing Relevant Skills and Certifications
For your resume, it’s important to showcase the relevant skills and certifications. Here’s how you can do that:
d. Highlighting Professional Experience
Highlight any professional experience you’ve had in your resume clearly. Let’s see how to do that.
e. Including Education and Training
Here are some ways to include education and training on your resume:
Salary Expectations and Negotiations
The average base salary for Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Security is $106k/year. However, this is subject to change depending on skills, expertise, experience, and similar factors.
a. Understanding Salary Ranges
b. Negotiation Strategies
Negotiating salary is an important aspect, so let's see how to negotiate for one.
c. Benefits and Perks
Advancing Your Career
Advancing in your career from entry-level jobs to more senior positions is rewarding and satisfactory. Let’s look at some tips to advance in the CCNP Security field.
a. Continuous Learning and Certification
Every Cisco certification is active for three years. That means you have to keep on progressing and updating your skills as you advance in your career.
The only way is to enroll in courses, recertify through the Continuing Education program, and attain the different Cisco Certification levels ranging from Associate to CCDE.
b. Networking and Professional Development
Networking helps to connect with people from the same field. You can connect with people on employment social media platforms, through Cisco’s networking academy, or other networking platforms and enhance your professional journey.
c. Moving Up the Career Ladder
To advance in your career, it’s important that you stay true to your goals and work smart. Connect with CCNP professionals in senior positions and see how they carved their way to top positions.
d. Becoming a Subject Matter Expert
Choose any one topic from CCNP Security and gain in-depth knowledge of the topic. Make a firm grasp on the concepts since SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) must be knowledgeable, learn new things, and develop skills. To do this, you can take online courses or further certifications.
A CCNP Security certification is extremely rewarding. From the job offerings to the variety of roles and promising salaries, this field is an endless realm.
Consider investing time in a security domain for some time and see whether the field interests you. If it does, the CCNP Security Certification is the best route to take for aspiring security professionals looking for amazing opportunities.
Mainly focusing on Cisco technologies, the CCNP security certification validates one’s skills in network security solutions.
You can find official study materials from Cisco’s website, enroll in different courses, practice with online labs, and use other practice tests.
CCNP Security professionals can pursue roles like Security Engineer, Consultant, Analyst, Architect, Manager, etc.
Research the industry trends and leverage your skills and experience to negotiate for a higher salary.
Keep your learning process ongoing by taking courses. Ensure to keep up with new technologies and network with professionals from your field to have hands-on experience in the field.
Learn how to set boundaries, prioritize tasks, and delegate wherever possible to take the load off from you and evenly distribute it.