What Is A CCIE Certification? A Comprehensive Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 18 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Professionals who want to pursue careers in networking or computing often require licences or certifications before they can apply for jobs. They are typically required to choose a specialisation track to earn these credentials and pass a set of written tests and lab exams. You may be able to develop your skills and learn more about the networking industry by earning the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification. In this article, we examine what CCIE certifications are and what benefits they provide, and provide tips to help you prepare for the certification exams.

What Is A CCIE Certification?

The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert or CCIE certification is a technical certification that Cisco Systems offers competent professionals in the domain of networking. You can become a CCIE by passing separate written and practical tests on internetworking on Cisco-based platforms. There are between 90 and 110 simulation and multiple-choice problems in the written tests. The lab examinations are day long and involve troubleshooting, diagnostics and setup sections that experts with a CCIE certificate oversee. Depending on the specialised track you select, the number of questions on the written test can vary.

CCIE is the highest-level certification by Cisco Systems. To achieve CCIE certificates, it is necessary to pass two levels of Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) tests. CCIEs typically lead the networking industry using profound technical networking knowledge and work on some of the most technically exigent networking assignments. It makes professionals eligible for administrative designations, higher salary figures and many other benefits.

Related: 7 Frequently Asked CCNA Interview Questions (With Answers)

CCIE Certificate Tracks

Cisco assigns the program to different areas of expertise or tracks. Depending on your education and employment, you might be able to obtain one or more of these certifications. You can advance your career or become eligible for a wider range of job options with several CCIE certificates. Each exam focuses on a particular set of competencies. The following are the tracks in CCIE exams:

  • Enterprise infrastructure: Professionals that manage intricate network infrastructure can earn certification through this programme. The exam evaluates their ability to plan, run and troubleshoot network systems.

  • Collaboration: People working as collaboration architects or voice and video network managers may pursue this qualification. It tests knowledge in developing, implementing, running and optimising collaborative solutions.

  • Data centre: You might find this qualification helpful if you work in a data centre. It assesses your proficiency in the design and implementation of data centre infrastructure and other relevant areas.

  • Security: With the aid of industry best practices, this certification demonstrates your capacity to comprehend, mitigate and prevent a variety of contemporary security threats and vulnerabilities.

  • Service provider: The goal of this certification is to increase the range of services available to expert network engineers working for internet service providers.

  • Enterprise wireless: By earning this certification, you can prove that you have a wide range of knowledge in wireless local area networking.

  • Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE): Network design engineers and architects at the expert level are the main targets of this certification track. Integrating numerous networking components verifies that you can translate a company's needs into a scalable and sustainable design.

Related: Popular Jobs In Networking (With Duties And Requirements)

Benefits Of Earning A CCIE Certificate

The CCIE certificate is a prestigious qualification in the networking industry and obtaining a certification provides a professional advantage for engineers who want to improve their career prospects. It is a professional milestone for some and offers engineers a chance to demonstrate industry-recognised levels of proficiency in the domain of networking. Obtaining this certificate significantly improves earning potential and employability. CCIEs are in demand and many employers look for this credential, especially while considering candidates for administrative positions.

Recruiters may acknowledge that you can understand the most complex networking problems and that you are capable of generating effective solutions, if they see this credential on your resume. This helps in skipping what could be a potentially lengthy interview process where recruiters try to assess what level of expertise you possess. As an individual progresses in their career, rapid promotion is one of the core benefits that this credential offers. This is because of the technical CCIE training and the prestige that the certification entails. Your chances of promotion remain higher with this credential, than with purely academic credentials.

Related: How To Become A Network Engineer: A Complete Guide

Tips For Passing The CCIE Exam

Reading tips and tactics can help you pass the CCIE exam if you are preparing for it. To earn a CCIE certificate, you can employ some popular test-taking strategies, such as:

Practising on the job

The certification exam covers numerous areas relating to routine network administration duties. Developing your skills on the job can make it simpler to provide accurate answers to questions and complete lab tests successfully. Before appearing for the test, consider devoting more time to areas that may require improvement and seek assistance from colleagues.

Related: On-the-Job Training For Efficient Staff Development

Reading about new IT concepts

By reading about the most recent technological advancements in your field, you can understand Cisco's product line and its uses. You can also comprehend general IT trends by reading print or online technology periodicals. It's important to stay updated on crucial developments if you have job duties that relate to networking and IT services.

Related: 20 Jobs In IT To Explore (With Salary Information)

Pacing yourself

You might be able to recall relevant information if you study consistently for a few months before the exam. In the weeks before the exam, consider covering small portions each day. As the exam date approaches near, you may also find that consistent effort over a long duration of time can effectively familiarise you with core concepts and important topics.

Related: How To Get Motivated To Study: A Complete Guide With Tips

Understanding technical language

Similar to other technical domains, inter-networking makes use of specific technical jargon. Your ability to pass tests could depend on your ability to comprehend purely technical language. Consider discussing the exam's usage of specific terms with a friend or colleague who has already written the test. A CCIE dictionary or study manual can also be useful for learning more about technical terminology.

Emphasising on troubleshooting

Many internetworking topics have troubleshooting as a key component. Your exam experience can become easier if you concentrate on developing your problem-solving abilities. For instance, you can take on extra troubleshooting tasks at your current job to improve your skills in identifying and resolving problems with security systems and wireless networks.

Related: Network Administrator Skills (With Definitions And Examples)

Using multiple study guides

You can prepare for the exam with the help of CCIE study guides. These materials offer relevant and comprehensive information. To target your study sessions, perform basic research to identify the materials that directly correspond to your selected study path.

Taking a practice test

To prepare for the official exam, it may be beneficial for you to identify and take a mock CCIE examination online. To imitate the testing process, these practice tests employ actual questions from previous exams. For a nominal fee, you can take these practice exams to get an idea of your probable exam score.

Improving your typing speed

Before the test, try to improve your typing speed. Although the test does not grade your typing speed, you may be more comfortable during the test if you feel you can complete it in a timely fashion. For instance, having faster and more accurate typing abilities may help you finish data entry for your lab exam more quickly.

Related: How To Type Faster: A Guide To Improving Typing Speed

CCIE Recertification

All the certifications that Cisco issues expire with time, usually in two or three years. Cisco adds new modules in current exams and removes outdated topics periodically. You can renew an entry-level certificate by either taking the same exam or going for a higher certification level. For example, if you have a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification that expires in one year, you can either retake the same exam or go for any CCIE level certification to extend the validity of your credentials.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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