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Juniper Networks Certification Guide: Overview And Career Paths

Juniper Networks Certification Guide: Overview And Career Paths
By , Mary Kyle

If you're looking for a new networking career opportunity or if you work for a company that utilizes Juniper Network products and services, participating in the Juniper Networks Certification Program is a definite career-enhancing move.

Juniper Networks, founded in 1996 by Pradeep Sindhu, helps companies build the best networks possible by providing a combination of networking equipment, services and its own network operating system. With about 9,000 employees worldwide, Juniper Networks provides networking services to the world's top 100 service providers, as well as banks, stock exchanges, government agencies, healthcare organizations and many other industries.

To support the wide array of networking technologies and customers who use them, the Juniper Networks Certification Program offers several credentials at the Associate, Specialist, Professional and Expert levels. Candidates can take training courses, bootcamps and skills camps through Authorized Education Partners worldwide to get hands-on experience with Juniper equipment, which is needed to succeed on certification exams.

A Juniper Networks certification can distinguish you from non-certified peers, provide career growth opportunities, give you greater insight into Juniper Networks products and services and benefit your customers. Let's take a look at the certifications that make up the program and what's required to achieve them.

Juniper Networks Certification Program Overview

The Juniper Networks Certification Program (JNCP) has several tracks, categorized by career path, that are based on Juniper Networks technologies, products and services. JNCP tracks include:

  • Service Provider Routing and Switching
  • Enterprise Routing and Switching
  • Junos Security
  • Junos Support
  • Product and Technology
  • Design

These certifications are collectively referred to as "Network Engineer" certifications because they're all geared toward network engineering professionals. Each track is covered in more detail in the following sections, and you can find more details at the Juniper Networks Certification Tracks website.

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JNCIA-Junos Certification

Juniper Networks Certified Associate - Junos (JNCIA-Junos) is the entry-level certification for all of the company's network engineer certifications.

This credential is geared toward individuals who have basic experience with the Juniper Networks Junos OS, and understand the fundamentals of networking, routing and switching. You must obtain this certification to advance to the Specialist, Professional and Expert certs in the Service Provider Routing and Switching, Enterprise Routing and Switching, and Junos Security tracks.

The JN0-102 exam costs $100, has 70 multiple-choice questions and takes up to 90 minutes to complete.

JNCP Enterprise Routing And Switching Track

The JNCP Enterprise Routing and Switching track is part of the Network Engineer certification track. It's geared towards individuals who are proficient in networking technologies in general and Juniper Networks enterprise routing and switching platforms specifically. The four certifications in this track form a certification ladder, with each one acting as a prerequisite to the next cert in the sequence:

  • Juniper Networks Certified Associate - Junos (JNCIA-Junos)
  • Juniper Networks Certified Specialist Enterprise Routing and Switching (JNCIS-ENT)
  • Juniper Networks Certified Professional Enterprise Routing and Switching (JNCIP-ENT)
  • Juniper Networks Certified Expert Enterprise Routing and Switching (JNCIE-ENT)

The JNCIA-Junos certification is a prerequisite to the JNCIS-ENT certification.

The JNCIS-ENT recognizes networking professionals with fundamental to intermediate knowledge of routing and switching, platform configuration and troubleshooting in Junos. Candidates must pass a single written exam to earn the credential. The JN0-343 exam costs $200, contains 70 multiple-choice questions and takes up to 90 minutes to complete.

JNCIS-ENT is a prerequisite to the professional-level JNCIP-ENT certification, which is geared toward networking professionals who have extensive knowledge of enterprise routing and switching technologies, platform configuration and Junos OS troubleshooting skills. The JN0-643 exam costs $300, has 70 multiple-choice questions and takes up to 120 minutes to complete.

The JNCIP-ENT is a prerequisite to the JNCIE-ENT certification, which is the highest certification in the Enterprise Routing and Switching track. This cert requires a practical exam that tests the networking professional's ability to deploy, configure, manage and troubleshoot Junos-based enterprise routing and switching platforms using a variety of devices, protocols and features. Candidates can enroll in a JNCIE Enterprise Bootcamp (typical cost is $3,995; price may vary depending on provider and location) to help prepare for the JN0-943 practical exam, which lasts up to eight hours, costs $1,400 and is offered at select Juniper Network testing centers. (Some bootcamps include a complementary exam voucher.)

Junos Security Track

The Junos Security certifications include Associate, Specialist, Professional and Expert levels. The first step is the associate-level JNCIA-Junos certification. It's a prerequisite to the next certification, the Juniper Networks Certified Specialist Security (JNCIS-SEC). This intermediate-level certification is geared toward candidates who configure and troubleshoot Juniper Networks Junos software for SRX Series devices, and understand security technologies. The JN0-332 written exam costs $200, takes 90 minutes, consists of 65 questions and is offered through Pearson VUE.

JNCIS-SEC is a prerequisite to Juniper Networks Certified Professional Security (JNCIP-SEC). This certification recognizes networking professionals who are highly familiar with security, platform configuration and troubleshooting of the Juniper Networks Junos software for SRX Series devices. The JN0-633 written exam costs $300, has 65 multiple-choice questions and takes up to 120 minutes. Candidates can take the exam through Pearson VUE.

JNCIP-SEC is a prerequisite to Juniper Networks Certified Expert Security (JNCIE-SEC), the most advanced certification in the Security track. The JNCIE-SEC identifies professionals who implement, configure, manage and troubleshoot JUNOS-based security platforms. The JPR-932 practical exam lasts for up to eight hours, costs $1,400 and is delivered at select Juniper Network testing centers.

Junos Service Provider Routing And Switching Track

Similar to the Enterprise Routing and Switching and Junos Security tracks, the Service Provider Routing and Switching track also has Associate, Specialist, Professional and Expert certifications. JNCIA-Junos is the foundational cert from which a candidate can achieve the Juniper Networks Certified Internet Specialist (JNCIS-SP), then Juniper Networks Certified Internet Professional (JNCIP-SP) and Juniper Networks Certified Internet Expert (JNCIE-SP) credentials.

JNCIS-SP identifies individuals with beginner to intermediate knowledge of routing and switching implementations in Junos. The JN0-360 written exam costs $200, takes up to 90 minutes to complete and has 70 questions. It is offered through Pearson VUE.

JNCIP-SP is geared toward experienced networking professionals with advanced knowledge of the routing technologies and platform configuration, and can troubleshoot the Juniper Networks Junos OS. The JN0-660 written exam costs $300, takes up to 120 minutes, has 70 questions and is offered through Pearson VUE.

JNCIE-SP is the pinnacle certification in this track. It's an eight-hour practical exam for networkers who implement, troubleshoot and maintain Juniper Networks service provider networks. The JPR-960 practical exam costs $1,400 and is offered at select Juniper Network testing centers.

Junos Enterprise Routing And Switching Support Track

The Enterprise Routing and Switching Support track offers one certification: Juniper Networks Certified Support Professional, or JNCSP-ENT. The cert recognizes experienced networking professionals who support advanced enterprise routing and switching technologies with Junos devices and the Junos OS.

To achieve this certification, you must have the JNCIP-ENT cert and pass two exams: Junos Troubleshooting (JN0-691, 90 minutes, 65 questions, $200) and the JNCSP-ENT Support Professional (JN0-694, 60 minutes, 36 questions, $100).

Junos Security Support Track

The Juniper Networks Certified Support Professional (JNCSP-SEC) certification is the lone credential in the Security Support track. The intermediate-level cert recognizes individuals who troubleshoot security issues on Junos devices.

To achieve this certification, you must have the JNCIP-SEC certification and pass two exams: Junos Troubleshooting (JN0-691, 90 minutes, 65 questions, $200) and JNCSP-SEC Support Professional (JN0-696, 60 minutes, 36 questions, $100).

Service Provider Routing And Switching Support Track

The Service Provider Routing and Switching Support track identifies networking support professionals who troubleshoot service provider routing and switching issues involving Junos devices. The single certification in this track is the Juniper Networks Certified Support Professional (JNCSP-SP).

You must first achieve the JNCIP-SP as a prerequisite then pass two exams: Junos Troubleshooting (JN0-691, 90 minutes, 65 questions, $200) and JNCSP-SP Support Professional (JN0-692, 60 minutes, 36 questions, $100).

Junos Product And Technology Certifications

The Product and Technology track aims at professionals who use Juniper firewall and virtual private network products, as well as QFabric, regularly.

The Firewall/VPN track has a single certification -- Juniper Networks Certified Specialist FWV (JNCIS-FWV) -- which recognizes professionals with intermediate-level knowledge of and experience with Juniper Firewall/VPN Series products and ScreenOS software. The exam (JN0-533) costs $200, has 65 questions, takes up to 90 minutes to complete, and is administered by Pearson VUE.

The QFabric track also has one specialist certification -- the Juniper Networks Certified Specialist QFabric (JNCIS-QF) -- which aims at networking professionals with intermediate knowledge of deploying, configuring and troubleshooting Juniper Networks QFabric systems. The JNCIS-ENT certification is a prerequisite. Only one exam (JN0-370) is required, which costs $200, has 70 questions, lasts up to 90 minutes and is administered at Pearson VUE.

Note: The Product and Technology track also includes the JNCIA-WX, JNCIS-WLAN, JNCIA-IDP and E Series track certifications. However, the exams for those certifications will no longer be available after May 2016 so we didn't include them in this article.

Juniper Design Certifications

Juniper's Design Certification Track is the newest addition to Juniper's certification portfolio. The Design track contains two certifications: the Juniper Networks Design Associate (JNCDA) and the Juniper Networks Certified Designed Specialist (JNCDS). The JNCDS is available in two concentrations: Data Center (JNCDS-DC) or WAN (JNCDS-WAN).

The JNCDA is an entry-level certification focused on verifying candidate's knowledge of the fundamentals of network design. It's a prerequisite for both the JNCDS-DC and JNCDS-WAN credentials. A single exam (JN0-1100) is required, which has 65 questions and takes up to 90 minutes to complete. The JNCDA exam costs $100 and is administered by Pearson VUE.

The JNCDS-DC and JNCDS-WAN credentials are intermediate certifications that build on the skills validated by the JNCDA. The specialist credential focuses on best practices, theory and network design principles within data center or WAN environments. Exams (JNCDS-DC, JN0-1300 and JNCDS-WAN, JN0-1360) are 65 questions each and take up to 90 minutes to complete. Both cost $200 each and are administered by Pearson VUE.

Juniper Networks Training And Resources

The Juniper Training website provides a list of recommended training, bootcamps (where applicable and available) and any supporting documentation for each certification exam. You can find learning bytes, course materials, books, practice exams and more. Learning bytes are short tidbits of information that help you learn about various Juniper hardware and software technologies.

Bootcamps are five-day, intensive lab-based exam certification training courses. To participate in a bootcamp, you must have already earned the prerequisite certifications for whatever exam(s) you're preparing for.

You can find certification prep and technology books at www.juniper.net/us/en/training/jnbooks/, and links to Authorized Education Partners at www.juniper.net.

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