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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Status of the CCIE, CCDE, and CCAr in 2016 by Darby Weaver

The Status of the CCIE in 2016 by Darby Weaver

1. I've just taken another look and am happy to announce that it looks like the CCIE Written Exams for All CCIE Tracks that have been recently re-written to include Evolving Technologies is working even better than Cisco may have had initially in mind for the project.

- That is a cursory scan reveals that most people are doing one of the following:

  1. Choose to wait a few more months to risk the exams.

  2. Brute force the exams every 15 days - this technique has resulted in one or MORE decertified CCIE's of even the lowest and most respected CCIE's in the industry.

 3. Eventually Pass - haven't heard much of this one as of the latest re-write across all tracks.

 4. Some CCIE's (about 10% of those I have personally verified of about 200 or so) have chosen the CCIE Emeritus Status - since I recently started the verification process I don't know how many did it over this last month or since the inception of the offering of the CCIE Emeritus Program.

- CCIE's are becoming DE-CERTIFIED. 

 - New CCIE' Candidates are now not claiming any of the CCIE Written Exams are trivial - either because they have not taken them yet, or because they have failed them, and maybe that those who passed skimmed by like at least one score report which showed a very honorable 804/804 which was required for the passing score. 

 - No one is claiming these exams are "THEORY" exams now....  No one.

2. The CCDE Program seems to be progressing at about the same pace.  Some 200+ or maybe even close to 300 or so CCDE's since 2008 - or about 35-40 per year or so.  That's about 10 per quarter or per testing event.   I don't have stats on how many times a person had to take this very challenging Practical - I've taken it once so far. 

3. The CCAr (Cisco Certified Architect Program) - I've been told that the current CCAr's have not had the time to commit to the certification of the CCAr Candidates who would like to become CCAr's by a Board Review of existing CCAr's. 

 - So I'm not sure how much traction is option is getting at this time.



Where does that leave us?

1. The CCIE Program can now be obtained be subscribing to long time vendors like www.ine.com who covers a bulk of the tracks and mostly every skillset a soon to be EXPERT will need at the CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE level with some emphasis on the CCDE as well.  Brian McGahan is a CCDE himself and has offered the CCDE successfully with happy CCDE's to show for his services.

  - Typically for under a payment plan and less than $2000.00 one can typically have access to one or more years of the www.ine.com ALL ACCESS PASS - which comes with rack rentals and labs and more videos than anyone else under one umbrella. 

 - EXCELLENT  - I'm not advertising for them either - I'm speaking generally. I have built my career with www.ine.com and the instruction of the Brians and even compared their CCIE RS workbooks with the Cisco Configuration Guides and found topic for topic complete coverage. 

 - VERY SATISFIED - I have never regretted recommending the Brian's.  Back in the day I reported my concerns when I had them and the Brian's always worked things out resolve the issue presented.  Not that many issues either - just little one-offs - I'm saying they listen and their staff is very professional  - I've never once had anything less than PERFECT EXPERIENCE with the www.ine.com staff.

2. The CCIE training is easily available on YouTube nearly topic for topic and if not - then Cisco offers a free program over at Cisco's sites, the Cisco Learning Network, and Cisco.com  if all else fails...  Never mind a ton of other offerings.

3. www.udemy.com is available for whole classes or even a la carte topics - some free and some for a price.  Sam Fitgerald (a CCIE) offers excellent courses there, Chris Bryant offers his CCNA and CCNP courses there, etc. 

4. More vendors are out there too numerous to name - I wanted to point out the material that's there.

5. Cisco Press has a library and video library by one of my all time favorites Kevin Wallace for the CCNA, CCNP and even the CCIE for Voice/Collaboration.  Anyone on a budget can save a ton by starting right here - 1st Class Trainers and materials for a relatively very low price and sometimes with very nice discounts from 20% to 50% usually at different times of the year.


Hope this helps...


And if all this fails... check the job boards and you'll find that CCNA's and CCNP's are in a very high demand at the $100k rate - some are lower and some are better - all things considered but many are excellent just the same.

Why?

Well - Here's my findings:

1. A lot of the oldest CCIE's (about 80% of the 200 or so I've looked are INACTIVE/DECERTIFIED or else 10% are EMERITUS) and that only left about 10% who are actually CURRENTLY CERTIFIED. 

2. The newest CCIE's are well.... new... and CCIE Recruiters are not as interested in a 6 month to 3 year or even 5 year CCIE - or so it seems...  well actually many new CCIE's did what they had to do got certified the best way they could and found out the reality of being certified to such a high level - right along with the high expectations associated with the CCIE itself.

3. The other CCIE's - those tried and true, experienced and working - well most of these well-qualified people are picked up by Cisco or a Cisco Partner and that's about 10% of the whole as far as I can tell.  Cisco only had 70,000 employees and is in the midst this week of laying off some 5500 and I'm not sure whether that's everyone or if it did not include the rest of the so-called "VOLUNTARY RETIREMENTS" that would account for the remaining to make a total of 14,000 as originally announced by Reuters and CNN that I heard earlier this week.

4. Cisco is laying off and they were undoubtedly the largest employer of CCIE's worldwide in my opinion - I have not validated this but it is highly likely.

5. Cisco Partners are in a pinch for qualified CCIE's who are skilled but Partners in the U.S.A. are mostly having this problem as the majority of skilled CCIE's are no longer ACTIVE or else are EMERITUS and there are not enough to go around - so this may cause POACHING.

6. Cisco Partners are allowed to use Contractors as "FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES" - so many Cisco Partners Contract 100% of the time with Cisco Certified Professionals on what amounts to a retainer basis and then pays hourly rates for projects - this counts for 100% of the time since the agreement is made between the Cisco Partner and the Cisco Certified Professional - CCNA, CCNP, or CCIE (CCDA/CCDP/CCDE equally as well).    This means less and less prospects for new CCIE's because Cisco Partners already have enough qualified staff. 


Bottom line:

1. Cisco competitors are STARVING for CCNA and better talent and that's where the bulk of those $100k-$150k offers are for well-experienced or trained CCNA/CCNP's are located.

2. Cisco Partners are willing to Partner with Cisco Certified Professionals for a WIN-WIN scenario.

3. Corporate Employers are paying $35k - $95k for Cisco Certified Professionals who have the drive and energy to become the best of the best in the local company and while doing so theses Cisco Certified Professionals are finding their own niche and dream jobs either with or without continued Certification Requirements. 


That it.

Darby Weaver   



A Cisco Certified CCNA Candidate has built all this Home Office Command Center and also the 3 Racks with 3 more 12U Racks (not pictured) from the ground up, step by step. 

Documentation to follow.  These racks support all CCNA and CCNP tracks plus the CCIE Collaboration and Routing and Switching completely. 

There are 7 more loaded Cisco 3825's in some of the other racks...