CCIE Pursuit Blog

July 25, 2007…A New(?) CCIE Training Company

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification,Training Materials — cciepursuit @ 5:49 pm

I ran across today.  I’ve never heard of this CCIE training company before.  It turns out that CertScience is run by Paul Borghese.  Paul is the creator of

It appears that the CCIE course is an end-to-end 6 week training course that combines online training with a couple of classroom sessions.  The total cost is $8,995.  They do have an interesting guarantee.  CertScience guarantees that you will pass the CCIE exam the first time or they will pay for your second attempt.

From their FAQ:

Is this a new program? How can you make the guarantee?
This program is a modified version of a CCIE training program we developed that ran for over three years at a major Cisco Certification training partner. We have used careful statistical analysis of the passing rates of the hundreds of students that attended the program. We know what it takes to pass the CCIE, and what students need in a training program. The primary instructor and course designer, Paul Borghese, has over nine years experience in teaching CCIE training. Besides his live classroom training experience, Mr. Borghese has also built the oldest and largest Cisco Certification community on the internet,, which has helped literally thousands of people pass the CCIE.

How is your program different from others in the marketplace?
Thanks for asking! If you study a typical competitor’s training product the bulk of the training experience is spent having the students perform mock labs. While it makes the instructor’s life easier, performing mock labs is not a very effective use of time. The student learns how to pass an individual lab, but does not learn the detail of knowledge truly required to understand and pass the CCIE. One major CCIE training provider only spends two days teaching and the remaining three days has the students perform mock labs. How can you possibly learn everything required to pass the CCIE in only two days?

Our program differs by the amount of time we use covering each individual protocol. We focus on one protocol at a time and make sure the students fully understand the protocol to a level required to pass the CCIE before moving to the next subject. Take for example, multicast. Our multicast training materials contain 17 permutations of unique multicast scenarios. We spend a significant amount of time describing to the student the different scenarios, how they differ, and how you can recognize the scenario in the lab. You simply can not cover the same material with the same retention rate if the student simply learns via mock labs.

We do use mock labs to simulate a real CCIE environment, but only at the end of the course when all of the subject materials are fully understood.

Another difference is the availability of the instructor. Because of our guarantee, we are financially invested in our students’ success. A portion of that incentive is passed on to the instructor, thus guaranteeing the instructor’s availability to the student long after the program ends.

Finally, our classes are not open enrollment. Students are admitted only if they show a willingness to learn and work hard. While this may reduce the profitability of the course it provides for a more homogenous class with a single goal … to pass the CCIE. When you have a small group of people working on a common goal, amazing things can happen.


1 Comment »

  1. All,

    While I’ve heard mixed reviews and I previously would have doubted a “scientific approach” would be able to guarantee a pass for the CCIE Lab.

    After attending Narbik’s class where he does a lot of what Certscience proposes to do for a student, I’m inclined to think a CCIE could be “processed” it done correctly.

    Now it would take some time and it would take some careful TLC. I’m not sure about the 6 weeks part, I’m not even sure about 13 weeks for that matter. Not to truly improve the troubleshooting skills in of any given network engineer in the traditional CCIE path of training.


    There is a way to improve one’s troubleshooting skills if done properly and if it was refined and organized it could be done quicker and more efficiently.

    I’m a student of many vendors by now and I’m glad I took this approach, many do not or cannot. I did and it is paying dividends for me now.

    There are ways certain things that are critical foundation topics can be learned and if stressed in a classroom environment and somehow reinforced on the job… it could improve a given student’s ability to permantly improve one’s own innate troubleshooting skills.

    More on this later.

    Comment by Darby Weaver — June 13, 2008 @ 7:39 pm | Reply

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