From the press release Cisco states:
Cisco has updated its Cisco CCNP® certification for network engineers through a comprehensive process involving customers and partners from around the globe. The revision focuses on the competencies that are needed to plan, implement, and troubleshoot routed and switched networks and is designed to be more predictive of job readiness.
The new certification process still involves a Routing and a Switching test. However the new certification introduces a troubleshooting exam where candidates are given real world scenarios and must logically deduce the issues to prove a practical application of routing and switching.
This seems like a good move on Cisco’s part as the bulk of the common CCNP duties do involve generic day to day troubleshooting of LAN/WAN systems. More good news is that the current (read old) system involves taking 4 tests – Routing, Switching, Optimizing Routed Networks (QoS), and ISCW (which included a lot DSL and cable modem information most people simply memorized to get through the exam). With the exam process this is reduce to only three test that are more applicable to being a CCNP.
Beta exams begin in February:
The new CCNP TSHOOT certification exam will first be available as a beta; candidates can register and take the beta (#643-832) from February 16 through March 26, 2010. To encourage beta testers, Cisco will provide the TSHOOT beta exam free of charge to the first 150 candidates who complete it. (Use the promo code TSBETA when registering.) After that, beta exams will be available a discounted price of $50 USD. Passing scores on beta exams count towards certification just like final release exams, however scores will not be available until April 30, 2010. The TSHOOT exam is a good choice for recertification because it validates the troubleshooting skills commonly used by professional evel network engineers on the job. Act quickly to obtain a free beta exam; CCNP is Cisco’s second most popular certification worldwide. Beta exams are available at any Pearson VUE testing facility.
Looking over the Cisco training area of CCO, anyone who wants to get their CCNP under the current testing plan has until July 31st 2010 before those exams are put to rest.
The new Routing Exam (642-902 ROUTE – Implementing Cisco IP Routing) and the new Switching Exam (642-813 SWITCH – Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks) will both be available March 10th, 2010. The newest exam for the CCNP (642-832 TSHOOT – Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks) will be available April 30th, 2010