What is CCIE
Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert or CCIE as it is proudly called holds the prestige of being called the top of the line certification in the networking ecosystem. An individual obtaining the CCIE number and holding these credentials are both highly paid and respected in the technology sector.
CCNA (Associate) – > CCNP (Professional) – > CCIE (Expert) – > CCAr (Architect)
CCIE certification shows that the individual has an understanding of infrastructure components and expertise over configuring, troubleshooting and validation of an enterprise network infrastructure.
Unlike CCNA or CCNP, CCIE written exam is to be proctored and taken at the certified test center under supervision. CCNP or CCNA written exam are allowed to be taken in a self-administered environment.
CCIE Lab exams are taken at one of the nine lab facilities over the globe or at the mobile lab facilities.
Exam Resources and Preparation
The written exam for CCIE cost around $315, subjective to change over time and dependent on the track you choose to pursue. The Lab exams cost around $1400 and need to be scheduled at the certified Cisco test center. Pearson Vue proctors most of the Cisco exams.
Individuals preparing for CCIE are expected to have a thorough understanding and experience of the networking devices and equipment; hence, it is advisable to have sufficient hands-on practical experience.
1) Self-Study Materials are available by Cisco, the material includes study kit and Lab builders that help an individual to understand and have equipment knowledge.
2) Attend Cisco collaborated training institutes programs that provide equipment and training over hands-on devices.
No formal prerequisites are required for professionals who wish to undertake the CCIE certification exam. However, it is expected for the individual to have a clear and in-depth understanding of the technologies along with four to five years of on device job experience.
CCIE certification exam comprises of two levels:
a) Written Exam
b) Practical Lab Exam
CCIE written exam comprised of a 120 minute proctored exam to answer 90 – 110 questions, by a Cisco collaborated test center example Pearson Vue. The exam is closed book and no other reference material is allowed to be used.
The written exam also includes an evolving technology section that enables one to build expertise on evolving technologies that can be adopted in the current commercial infrastructure like Cloud, Network Programmability, SDN’s and IOT.
Practical Lab Exam
It is an eight-hour exam, and it aims at configuring and troubleshooting the network in the stipulated timed situations. The candidate is expected to attempt the lab exam within 18-month duration post to clear the written exam.
In case, a candidate fails to clear the lab exam, he/she is expected to reattempt the exam within 12 months since their last attempt if they expect to keep the written exam valid. Moreover, if a candidate fails to clear the lab exam within a period of three years from clearing the written exam, then he/she needs to retake the written exam before he/she attempts the lab exam.
The validity of any CCIE level certification is two years from the date of certification. For someone looking to re-certify, one needs to qualify the following:
a) Pass any CCIE written or lab exam.
b) Pass the current CCDE written or lab exam.
c) Pass the CCAr board review and interview before the certification expires.
An active CCDE, CCIE or CCAr extends all certificates to the point of expiration of the latest certification. In addition, one can apply to a CCIE Emeritus status, if he/she can retain the CCIE designation for more than 10 years. The individual holding this status does not need to appear for the exam but need to pay an annual fee of $85.
As a fresher who has undergone CCIE certification, the professional can demand a salary of 4.5 – 6 LPA. An experienced professional with the same certification can command a salary of 6 – 30 LPA, depending on his/her years of experience and the certification path.
Experience along with certification improves the earning capabilities of the professional undertaking CCIE and other certifications.