Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Certifications

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General review of Cisco CCIE certifications: CCIE Collaboration, CCIE Data Center, CCIE Routing & Switching, CCIE Security, CCIE Service Provider, CCIE Service Provider Operations, CCIE Wireless: common info, importance, benefits, candidates requirements, exams, etc.

Certification overview

One of the most prestigious accreditation programs in the Information Technology industry is the Cisco certification program. There are several levels of Cisco network certification. These are: Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert and Architect. The fourth level which is the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE Cisco) certification is acknowledged as an esteemed accreditation in the IT field.

As Cisco provides IP-based networking products and services to business of various industries and public institutions, being well-trained in its system is very useful for any practicing IT professional. This prestigious certification sets a candidate apart from other networking administrators and recognizes his/her critical significance in project design, implementation and operation.

Superb network engineering skills and good command of Cisco products and services are warranted by a Cisco CCIE certification. For an IT professional to get a CCIE certification, one must have broad technical networking know-hows and be able to handle complicated and demanding network assignments. To make sure that the level of CCIE Cisco certification is maintained and that the skills and knowledge of certified professionals are conserved, the program constantly contemporizes and updates the test through a CCIE written exam and lab CCIE exam that is based on performance.

The Cisco CCIE cert was introduced in 1993 has been a standard-setting accreditation for internetworking proficiency ever since. Less than 3 in every 100 Cisco accredited IT practitioners are Cisco CCIE certification holders. Cisco CCIE certifications are offered to IT professionals with various specializations. These paths are:

  • CCIE Collaboration
  • CCIE Data Center
  • CCIE Routing & Switching
  • CCIE Security
  • CCIE Service Provider
  • CCIE Service Provider Operations
  • CCIE Wireless

It must be noted that the CCIE Service Provider Operations is to be retired starting the 1st of February 2015.

Required exams

Two exams are required for a candidate to get a Cisco CCIE certification. To achieve this expert-level certifications (CCIE Collaboration, CCIE Data Center, CCIE Routing & Switching, Cisco CCIE Security, CCIE Service Provider, CCIE Service Provider Operations, CCIE Wireless), one must pass a written test about technologies and applications about a Cisco Enterprise solutions. This exam would be two hours in total. A candidate must have a passing grade on the written exam before being allowed to schedule the Cisco CCIE lab test. The Cisco CCIE lab exam tests the candidate's capability to get a secure network under time pressure. Eight hours would be alotted for the Cisco CCIE lab exam. This exam must be passed within three years after the written test in order to achieve the accreditation.

Candidates aiming to attain CCIE Service Provider must be informed that the last day for taking the written and lab exams v3.0 will be on May 21, 2015. After this date, written and lab tests v4.0 will be implemented.

Required courses

There are no required CCIE training for this certification. However, a candidate could avail of CCIE bootcamp or Cisco-approved training courses to best prepare for Cisco CCIE written exams and Cisco CCIE lab exams of various paths. These courses are:

  • Cisco Expert-Level Training for Collaboration
  • Cisco Expert-Level Training for Routing and Switching

There are no Cisco-approved trainings for CCIE Data Center, CCIE Cisco Security, CCIE Service Provider and CCIE Wireless certifications. To prepare for CCIE Data Center, a candidate could attend trainings about planning, operating, monitoring, and troubleshooting complex data center networks.

A candidate who is planning to take the Cisco CCIE Security certification exams must be well-informed in best practices and updated technologies related to Cisco Network Security Solutions. SP network engineers preparing for Cisco CCIE Service Provider certification must review and enhance their skills in building an expandable Service Provider infrastructure to provide rich managed services. IT professionals aspiring to achieve the CCIE Wireless certification exams should prepare to demonstrate a wide theoretical knowledge of wireless networking as well as a firm grasp of Cisco wireless local area networking technologies. INE is one of the most popular training institutions that offer courses for CCIE candidates. INE CCIE trainings are available in their website.

Study materials

Numerous review and study materials and a recommended study list could be accesed through Cisco's website. These materials include training videos, tech seminars and other readings. The website also provides syllabi for guided learning.

There is a study group for every path and level where candidates could ask questions and share ideas as well as tips with other students who are also aspiring to attain their certifications. There are also several study materials from independent sources. For those seeking an organized and instructor-led courses, links to Cisco Authorized Learning partners could also be accessed in the website.


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