Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE certification) is a set of technical certifications for senior network professionals who design, build, implement, maintain, and troubleshoot complex corporate network infrastructures.
The CCIE certification program is divided into six separate series or tracks and includes: collaboration, data center, routing and switching, security, service provider, and wireless.
Cisco continually updates the CCIE certification program, first published in 1993. Less than 3% of Cisco engineers achieve CCIE certification, which is less than 1% of all networking professionals worldwide.
While there are no formal requirements, a typical candidate preparing to meet the CCIE requirements for qualification will spend thousands of dollars and 18 months of study. A first attempt at the lab exam is required within 18 months of passing the CCIE written certification exam. If a candidate does not pass the lab exam, she must retake the test and pass it within three months.
CCIE certification lanes
Expert level certifications
CCIE Collaboration is aimed at architects and engineers who specialize in voice, video, and unified communications. Candidates must pass a two-hour Cisco Enterprise Collaboration written exam and an eight-hour lab exam. Topics include configuration, troubleshooting, and integration.
CCIE data center
The CCIE data center is intended for professionals who work with the design, planning and implementation of the data center infrastructure. Candidates must pass a two-hour data center infrastructure written exam prior to taking a two-part, eight-hour timed lab exam that assesses their ability to diagnose and troubleshoot complex data center topologies.
Network concepts are covered in a written exam. Candidates are then required to spend an eight hour lab setting up the routing and switching devices. It is aimed at engineers.
The CCIE security certification prepares engineers to design, develop, and debug Cisco security technologies. To pass the lab exam, engineers must fully configure a secure network in eight hours.
CCIE service provider
Candidates appointed to be service provider network technicians must complete an eight-hour lab to set up service provider equipment.
Candidates who earn this certification are required to complete an eight-hour wireless configuration lab to measure knowledge of the wireless local area network (WLAN) and the theoretical foundations of wireless networks.
CCIE training options
Depending on the individual, CCIE certification candidates can study on their own, take independent group courses, or enroll in Cisco 360 Tutorial, the only Cisco-authorized expert-level credential training program.
Benefits of a CCIE
The Cisco CCIE is widely recognized as one of the most respected qualifications in the networking industry, and earning a certification is considered a career advantage for engineers looking to enhance their career opportunities. The CCIE certification has practical applications and CCIE holders can often position themselves as thought leaders in the industry. The CCIE certification is a personal challenge for some and provides engineers the opportunity to demonstrate industry recognized competence in their networking skills.
The CCIE lab and skill test cost $ 1,600 for each attempt. Travel and accommodation expenses are not included. Cisco has facilities in nine locations around the world where candidates can take lab exams, including two locations in the United States: in San Jose, California and near Raleigh, North Carolina. Mobile labs are also offered for certain certifications.