The question of whether or not the CCIE is worthwhile has been a recurring theme for many years. There is no clear answer. CCIE commands a high salary, but so do many certs. Nothing compares to CCIE when it comes to prestige.
Whether CCIE is worth the effort or not depends on whether you feel it is. This is a personal decision that you will have to make before you spend time and money on certification.
Here are some reasons why it might be worth it.
It might not be worth it
The most obvious reason why the CCIE might not make sense is the fact that you will no longer be able to receive a bomber jacket after completing the CCIE.
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Fun fact: Cisco Top Gun was the name they chose to give the CCIE program when it was first launched in 1993. Although the name was dropped, new CCIEs were still rewarded with a bomber jacket. It is not clear when they stopped this giveaway.
It’s a costly exam. Seriously, though. The exam is expensive, and this is not just due to the testing fees. The CCIEs can be divided into two parts: the lab and written. The written portion can be proctored at any testing centre, but the lab exam takes 8 hours and is only available at nine Cisco locations worldwide or their mobile lab facilities. The exam price is doubled because test takers must pay for their own airfare and lodging. There’s also the cost of the practice lab equipment, study materials, and the time required to study for the exam. All things considered, the CCIE certification exam cost between $12,000 to $19,050.
It is a challenging exam. The CCIE is a challenging exam due to the amount of knowledge required to understand, comprehend, and then test. Cisco doesn’t offer objectives for the exam like the CCNA or CCNP certifications, adding to its fame. You are expected to know everything. Preparing for the CCIE can be a life-consuming task.
Many people plan for six months and use any free time to study. Do you have hobbies? Do you enjoy reading books? Friends? Family? You have a new hobby. Cisco documentation is your only source of information. Cisco routers and switches will be your best friends and family. Your next 26 weekends are booked solid.
You’re overqualified. You are overqualified for all job roles, except the most difficult. Cisco describes the CCIE as “expert-level engineers who must plan, operate, and troubleshoot complex, converged networks infrastructures.”
A CCIE will allow you to become a senior network engineer, or network architect, responsible for complex networks. You can choose from any lower-level job, but how much did you sacrifice to get there?
Finally, the cloud. Cloud engineering skills and knowledge are in high demand. This means that some cloud jobs are more lucrative than CCIE-level positions. It’s a sad reality, but it’s also true. Even cloud certifications at entry-level to mid-level can lead to higher salaries than a CCIE.
CCIE should be a part of your career goals and not a goal in isolation.
It’s worth it
Any certification is a sign of dedication and skill to an employer. Because it is the pinnacle in your certification path, the CCIE adds immense value to your resume. The CCIE is often referred to as the PhD-level certification. It’s highly respected by peers and employers.
It’s a costly exam. The labs and written portions of the exam cost more than $2,000 each. Although the cost is high, the potential earning potential of a CCIE certificate is far greater than the actual cost. There are 2,049 hours of work in a year. If you earn $1 more an hour, you can pay the entire cost of the exam within a year.
You’ll find them. Our trainers have told us that you get a lot attention from recruiters (like a lot).