Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP)

What is the Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP) Exam?

Candidates for Cisco certification who wish to have official validation of their ability to handle service provider infrastructures would do well to obtain the Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP) certification. This validates advanced skills and knowledge associated with Internet Protocol information infrastructure solutions. Network professionals with a CCIP certification under their belts have an advantage over their competitors. The curriculum for the CCIP includes Internet Protocol quality of service, Internet Protocol routing, Multiprotocol Label Switching and Border Gateway Protocol.

Job Growth Outlook for CCIP-Certified Professionals

Network professionals such as network administrators would also do well to achieve the CCIP. They may reasonably expect a growing job market for the foreseeable future. This expectation can be verified by turning to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published biannually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The Handbook organizes all jobs in the United States into categories. The category that network administrators and other network professionals fall into is projected to grow by 20 percent over the 2008-2018 decade. This works out to over 280,000 jobs created for that period of time. With such plentiful job growth, demand for network professionals will be strong, creating excellent prospects for them.

The compensation data market research firm PayScale compiles and makes public the salary data for a wide variety of jobs and certifications. An individual with the CCIP certification can earn anywhere from $62,000 to $82,000 per year on average. The job titles themselves vary, from Telecommunications Network Engineer to Senior Network Engineer.

What’s on the Test — CCIP Exam Details

This is a professional level certification that specializes in the infrastructure of Internet Protocol network solutions. Cisco mandates that a candidate for the CCIP must have one of two prerequisite certifications. Candidates must have either a valid Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or a valid Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification in any track to obtain the CCIP.

To re-certify, the candidate must fulfill one of several options before the CCIP expires. All professional certifications offered by Cisco are valid for three years. To re-certify, candidates must either pass any professional level exam, the most recent CCIE written exam, the Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) practical or written exam or complete the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) board review and interview. Completing the board review and interview for the CCAr certification automatically extends all lower certifications up to the limit of the CCAr’s expiration date.

The examination and training requirements for the CCIP are complicated. Cisco offers a four-exam path or a three-exam path. Both paths lead to obtaining the CCIP certification, but they have different routes for getting there.

The four-exam path focuses on four key subjects: IP routing, quality of service, Border Gateway Protocol and Multiprotocol Label Switching. These subjects are dealt with in four exams: 642-902 Route, 642-661 BGP, 642-611 MPLS and 642-642 QOS. The difference between the four-exam path and the three exam path is that in the three-exam path, the BGP and MPLS exams are combined into a single test, 642-691 BGP+MPLS. The recommended training courses for both exam paths are

  • Implementing Cisco Quality of Service
  • Implementing Cisco MPLS
  • Implementing Cisco IP Routing
  • Configuring BGP on Cisco Routers