The Cisco Certified Internet work Expert (CCIE) certification is the world recognized best in class standard for networking professionals. It validates the skills that are required by network engineers for them to plan, design solutions, operate and troubleshoot sophisticated network infrastructures that operate on a wide range of Cisco equipment. CCIE certification has a leading reputation within the networking industry as the golden standard for achieving technical networking expertise and for getting better paying jobs.
Network Engineers who possess an active CCIE certification are identified for their competence and problem solving in networking tasks. They are superior in their knowledge of Cisco products and are known for their expert network engineering abilities. A certified CCIE professional can anticipate being hired in many types of jobs within the network industry including being a Network Engineer, Data Centre Consultant, Cisco Voice Engineer, Wireless Architect and Network Security Analyst.
Cisco introduced the CCIE certification to aid internetworking specialists worldwide in identifying the top IT professionals so being a certified CCIE employee holds a lot of value. It is also an exclusive qualification because according to Cisco, only 1% of network professionals worldwide today hold CCIE certification and less than 3% of all licensed Cisco professionals do.
Since the establishment in 1993, there have only been a total of 38,005 CCIE certified professional in the whole world. Of those certified professionals, only 3, 547 have managed to get certified in multiple tracks and only 1 person, Neil Moore, has managed to pass all 7 CCIE tracks. That is how exclusive CCIE certification is.
The CCIE certification is one of the best paying IT certifications available to professionals today. It is also one of the most difficult certifications to obtain due to its rigorous and extensive demands for expertise. Statistics report an average of 9 to 24 months taken by certification candidates to study for and pass their CCIE exams.In all it takes the average candidate about 3 attempts and between $3,000 and $10,000 in training and examination costs until they finally achieve certification.
Once CCIE certification is achieved however, the certification more than pays for itself in job opportunities across all the major US cities. On average, the earnings for entry level CCIE professionals ranges from $60,000 to $85,0000 while those who have 5 – 10 years of experience have salaries that range from $110,000 to $195,000 per year depending on the type of CCIE track that they have and their job location.
CCIE Expert Tracks
The CCIE program is divided into different expert levels or “tracks” in which IT professionals can show expertise. Depending on the CCIE track that a network professional chooses to become certified in, they are therefore recognized as an expert in or are qualified to work with only the specific types of networking technology that are covered by that track.
A network professional can develop expertise and earn certification in several different CCIE tracks so as to be recognized as being proficient with multiple types of Cisco technologies such as Routing & Switching, Data Centre, Security and Wireless The program revises and frequently switches methods and its assessment resources to keep it relevant, and current to advance in the networking technologies. Below are the CCIE tracks below.
CCIE: Routing & Switching
The Routing and Switching track is the most demanded all CCIE tracks by employers and network professionals alike. According to a survey of recruiters who actively hire network professionals, 73% of the jobs they recruit for in the networking industry are for professionals that hold the CCIE: Routing and Switching certification. It is no wonder therefore that many network professionals seek to get certified in this track.Cisco reports that about 85% of its certified professionals also hold a CCIE Routing and Switching certification.
The CCIE Routing and Switching course certifies expert level understanding in a selection of routers and switches along with Cisco networking across WAN and LAN interfaces. A network professional who has a CCIE in routing and switching specializes in various LAN/WAN network technologies and practices associated with global network operations including, advanced switching concepts, IOS IP multicast, IGPs, IPv6, system protection, BGP, QoS and MPLS services.
In order to receive the CCIE: Routing and Switching certification, network professionals have to validate their expert understanding of networking over LAN and WAN interfaces as well as on a wide range of routers and switches. They must also demonstrate advanced abilities in solving challenging connectivity problems as a way of increasing bandwidth, maximizing performance and improving network response times.
The CCIE Security track focuses particularly on network stability, and certifies people who have expert level knowledge of distinct security methods and protocols such as VPN, IPS and IOS security features. Individuals licensed as CCIE Security network professionals are tested in their knowledge of establishing complex, all-encompassing secure networks, troubleshooting integrated environments, and identifying common security threats and their counter measures.
Certified CICE: Security professionals have proven their expert knowledge of VPN solutions and security within the enterprise environment. In order to get certified in CCIE: Security, professionals need a solid grasp of UNIX, Windows, Linux and HTTP, FTP, SMTP and DNS. Professionals must also demonstrate thorough knowledge of Layer 2 and 3 network infrastructure even though core IP routing is not a required area of expertise. The perfect CCIE: Security candidate is one that is able to configure sophisticated, end-to-end networks and can display the skills within the context of the CCIE exam.
CCIE: Service Provider
The CCIE Service Provider course centres on the skills necessary for experience within the market of service provider networking. Individuals who are certified as CCIE Service professionals have expertise in IP essentials and systems along with the ability to build robust service provider network infrastructures. In order to be licensed as CCIE Service Providers, professionals need advanced skills relating to package technologies and structure including MPLS, service provisioning, VPNs, service-level agreements and security.
CCIE: Service Provider Operations
The CCIE Service Provider Operations track focuses on expert level knowledge of maintaining and troubleshooting sophisticated service provider networks. A CCIE Service Provider Operations professional has advanced understanding of PE -CE and PE- PE network infrastructures in Cisco IOS as well as in Cisco IOS XR operating environments. They also possess a varied and in-depth theoretical knowledge of operations system management methods and network operations. The CCIE Service Provider Operations track will be retired on February 1, 2015.
The CCIE Wireless validates network professionals as possessing expert knowledge of important facets of WLAN technology and prepares them for careers in handling and managing of Cisco wireless systems. The ideal network professional that gets certified for a CCIE Wireless must have a wide theoretical understanding of wireless systems in addition to a strong comprehension of WLAN systems as well as be an expert on the WLAN products and technologies that are produced by Cisco. According to Cisco, the CCIE: Wireless certification gives network professionals greater opportunities for pay increases as well as job advancement within the wireless networking industry as compared to other CCIE tracks.
CCIE: Data Centre
The CCIE Data Centre certification validates network professionals in their abilities to plan, organize, operate, supervise, and troubleshoot advanced data centre networks. The CCIE Data Centre is the highest paying of all the CCIE tracks and as such network professionals who manage to successfully get certified in it not only receive the accreditation but are recognized to have mastered and proven their technical abilities at the most challenging of levels.
Network professionals that achieve CCIE Data Centre certification are experts at troubleshooting data centre technologies and implementing of effective solutions win the enterprise environment. Core skills that are tested by the CCIE Data Centre track include operating systems, cloud enablement network services, virtualization and security. Knowledge of core IP routing is not required for the CCIE Data Centre however; network professionals have to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of network infrastructure on the 2 and 3 layers.
The CCIE Collaboration track is designed to validate that network professionals understand about integrating collaboration solutions as well as their configuration and interoperation. Network professionals demonstrate their troubleshooting capabilities in the context of multifaceted networks as well as in managing the challenges that come from mobility, video, and presence.
CCIE Collaboration expertise necessitates that network professionals prove that they are able to design, execute, troubleshoot and come up with solutions for collaboration in networks including video, IM, call centres, voice and presence. Additionally, CCIE Collaboration experts are excellent at improving the productivity of users by deploying collaboration network systems and services that increase usability.