Expert level Cisco networking skills and expertise
Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Routing & Switching certifies the expert-level skills required of network engineers to plan, prepare, operate, monitor and troubleshoot a complex, converged network infrastructure. Professionals who achieve Cisco CCIE certification have demonstrated expert network engineering skills and mastery of Cisco products and solutions.
The CCIE is described by Cisco as “the most prestigious networking certification in the industry.” The CCIE certifies a very specific set of skills in the field of networking. According to Cisco, less than 3% of Cisco Certified engineers obtain CCIE certification and less than 1% of the networking professionals worldwide, and the average candidate will spend thousands of their own dollars and spend at least 18 months studying while pursuing it. Passing all the requirements of the program earns the individual a unique CCIE number assigned by Cisco.
The program is currently divided into seven different areas of expertise or “tracks”. The CCIE track in which one becomes certified determines the different aspects of networking technology that individual is recognized as being an expert in. One may also choose to pursue multiple CCIE tracks to be recognized as an expert in several different categories of Cisco technology: Routing & Switching, Service Provider, Security, Service Provider Operations, Voice/Collaboration, Data Center, and Wireless.
Step One: CCIE Routing and Switching Written Exam
You must pass the two-hour, written qualification exam that covers networking topics such as IP, IP routing, bridging and switch-related technologies as well as some equipment commands before you are eligible to schedule the lab exam.
Step Two: CCIE Routing and Switching Lab Exam
The eight-hour, hands-on lab exam tests your ability to configure actual equipment and troubleshoot the network in a timed test situation. You must pass the lab exam within three years of passing the written exam to achieve certification, and your first lab attempt must be made within 18 months.