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CCNP Security vs. CCSP

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The Cisco Certified Security Professional, or CCSP, is a well-recognized credential that’s being replaced by the CCNP Security cert. Aspiring or active IT professionals seeking CCSP or CCNP Security certification can benefit from an improved understanding of the similarities and differences between these two credentials, along with an understanding of how CCSP credential holders can migrate to the new CCNP Security credential.
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The Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP) certification is a well-known, well-established credential in the IT field. It’s popular with employers and IT professionals alike. In late 2010, Learning@Cisco announced major changes impacting CCSP credential holders and those currently seeking this certification. Effective 2011, Learning@Cisco will phase out the CCSP, to replace it with the Cisco Certified Network Professional Security (CCNP Security) cert.

Billed by Cisco as an “evolution of the CCSP certification,” the CCNP Security credential is specifically designed to meet educational needs for Cisco Network Security Engineers and ensure minimum quality standards for skills in areas such as ongoing support, maintenance and service, and deployment. The CCNP credential also ensures that credential holders have the skills necessary to effectively manage compliance mandates, cybersecurity performance, and more.

As the migration from CCSP to CCNP Security goes forward, CCSP credential holders and seekers as well as those trying to decide which certification path (CCSP or CCNP Security) to pursue should be aware of migration dates, prerequisite credentials, exams, migration details, and recertification requirements. Here they come!

Noteworthy Migration Dates

Most critically, credential seekers should track the deadlines associated with their targeted certifications. Cisco established a firm “cut-off” date, after which new CCSP certifications will no longer be issued. Many of the CCSP examinations will sunset in 2011 as well. If you’re currently seeking a CCSP, you’ll want to make a note of the following dates that will impact your credentialing time frame:

  • CCSP credential seekers: Examinations for the CCSP certification will be available to credential seekers until May 2011. Learning@Cisco will no longer issue new CCSP certifications after October 2011.
  • Current CCSP credential holders: Current CCSP certifications will continue to remain active for the three-year period (providing all requirements are met) following their certification date. Thus, new certifications issued in 2011 will remain valid until 2014.
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