The Value of Being a CCIE

I was very pleasantly surprised by the supportive comments to my CCIE-related post; I didn’t realize there are so many CCIEs out there that feel the same way I do. Will we change anything? We can only hope; the CCIE program is orders of magnitude smaller than the Cisco’s equipment sales.

A few of the comments also asked for my opinion on the value of CCIE certification and whether it’s worth pursuing. Obviously, the short answer is yes.

CCIE certification has “commercial” as well as “academic” value. Undoubtedly, being a CCIE will (on average) increase your chances of getting a better-paid job. If you’re looking for jobs where the CCIE certification could help, you absolutely have to maintain the active status. For example, if you want to work for a Cisco’s partner, your CCIE status brings value only if you’re an active CCIE (suspended or inactive CCIEs don’t count toward the CCIE quota Cisco partners have to maintain). This requirement makes sense: partner CCIEs are usually faced with critical production problems in customer networks and thus have to hone their skills continuously.

Conclusion: if you’ve just got your CCIE certification, make sure you re-certify a few times; losing the active status would destroy the value you’ve been working so hard to create.

The “academic” value of the CCIE certification is also worth mentioning: it’s one of the few certifications that is hard to fake with the help of brain dumps. If you want to prove to yourself (and others) that you can reach the expert level in networking, go for CCIE or JNCIE (anyone aware of any other certifications that involve a day in an actual lab?).

Of course, once you’ve become CCIE, it is worthless discussing whether you’re still a CCIE if you haven’t recertified (only certification zealots have problems with this concept). If you’ve got a PhD in physics, nobody will question whether you should still have the degree if you don’t work with particle accelerators; it’s the same with the CCIE certification (although Cisco is mysteriously vague on this topic).


  1. Looks like good information, another good place to gor for information would be the Cisco website. I recently got my CCNA from there and i'd recommend it for anyone who's looking for information on CCA certs or anything else in IT.
  2. A CCIE is valuable when job-hunting (particularly since some jobs require it). Beyond that, its a continuing cost and annoyance that occurs every other year, until you finally get fed up and chuck it. I know a few people who've had it over 10 years, and the feeling is always the same - we re-certify because it was so hard to get in the first place, but its a bitter pill. The CCIE holds a high status, but there's no growth in it.
  3. Anyone looking at the URL "ecrunner" posted could figure out that it's part of a marketing campain where someone is paid to insert blog comments pointing to Cisco's new learning site.

    Nice move, Cisco. Congratulations. This will definitely help improve your image in blogging audiences.
  4. There are professional certifications that are associated with academic degrees that do have recertification requirements.

    Here in the US at least, you get a 4-year degree in medicine (MD), but you can't practice medicine without meeting renewable licensing requirements.

    I'm not sure this is directly comparable to the CCIE, but neither to I think that the academic degree is directly comparable.
  5. > (anyone aware of any other certifications that involve a day in an actual lab?)

    At least one : Check Point Master Architect (kind of CCIE Security by Check Point).
    Sadly, there is a lack of 8-hour hands-on exams for Juniper security appliances (no JNCIE Security).
  6. There's also the RHCE...
  7. What is the market value of CCIE course in India or World wide and how much cost it would be?
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