Right now I am at a cross roads. In developing into a master network architect I think that it is important to understand all aspects of networking: Routing, Switching, Security, Communications, and Mobility. So the question is do I do some CCNA concentration certifications or go for the CCNP R&S?
I did some research and here is my findings and conclusions:
In the Cisco certification landscape, the CCNA R&S was recently revised to version 2. Some topics from the CCNA ICND2 exam were moved to the ICND1 exam. This means that one no longer needs a CCNA as a prerequisite to the concentrations. Another fun wrinkle is that Cisco recommends that one some have CCNP level switching knowledge for the CCDA. Also your ROUTE and SWITCH exams for CCNP R&S are also two exams needed for the CCDP exam.
The other piece of this puzzle is the broad encompassing knowledge you need for the associate level DESGN exam. From those that have the cert, knowledge in the specialty areas are key but having the cert is not mandatory.
So here is a doc I made where I mapped knowledge from the DESGN blueprint to a CCNA concentration:
Here are the CCNA level concentrations are color coded for visual effect:
From this little analysis, seems to me that having the knowledge from the CCNP R&S would be best to pursue next. Two full exam sections test R&S topics. However my hesitation is that there may be an exam blueprint revision. Considering that there are three exams to pass to obtain this certification, I will just choose one version 1 test and upgrade for the rest mid way thru my certification process. So I am weighing my options. CCNP SWITCH or ROUTE! Which way to go first????