CCIE Pursuit Blog

October 19, 2007

CCIE #3 On List Of Worthwhile Tech Certifications

Global Knowledge spammed emailed me a list of “10 tech certifications that actually mean something”.  I took a look at the list and the CCIE is at #3:

#3: CCIE
The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) is widely recognized as one of the most difficult to obtain (and expensive) IT certifications. Like the MCSE/MCA, it’s a vendor-sponsored certification, focusing on Cisco’s products.

The CCIE requires that you pass both a written exam and a hands-on lab. To sit for the written exam, you must pay $300 and choose from one of several tracks: Routing and Switching, Security, Storage Networking, Voice, and Service Provider.

You must pass the written exam before you’re eligible to take the lab exam. This is an eight-hour hands-on test of your ability to configure and troubleshoot Cisco networking equipment and software. The lab exams cost $1,250 each. This does not, of course, include travel expenses that may be necessary since the labs are conducted only in certain locations.

As if all that weren’t enough, you don’t get to rest on your laurels after obtaining the certification. CCIEs must recertify every two years or the certification is suspended.

Other than the exam costs being out of date, this seems like an accurate description.  Harmless enough, until you see what the #1 certification is:

#1: MCSE
The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification suffered a bad reputation several years back when numerous people were memorizing the answers to exam questions from “brain dumps” posted by test-takers on the Internet and obtaining the certification without any real understanding of the technology.

Microsoft responded by replacing the knowledge-based multiple-choice questions with a variety of performance-related scenario questions that make it much more difficult to cheat. The difficulty level of the questions was escalated, and the number of exams required to obtain the certification was increased to seven.

The MCSE has consequently regained respect in many corners of the IT community and is a useful certification for demonstrating your expertise in Microsoft server products.

Not to bash Microsoft or Microsoft Certification holders (I’m actually an MCSE….on NT4!), but there’s no chance that the MCSE is more “worthwhile” than the CCIE.  Even though the article really doesn’t define “worthwhile” outside of:

But which certifications really provide a measure of your knowledge and skills in a particular area? And which will really help you get a job or promotion?

I can’t comment on the difficulty or “dump proof” nature of the MCSE, but I highly doubt that the MCSE has the same cachet as the CCIE. 

Anyhoo…here’s the entire list (for what it’s worth):

#1: MCSE

#2: MCA

#3: CCIE

#4: CCSP

#5: CISSP

#6: SSCP

#7: GSE

#8: RHCE/RHCA

#9: ITIL

#10: Certifications for special situations

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2 Comments »

  1. If you get some free time, take a look at my blog. There is a problem I cant figure out, so maybe you can tell me what am I doing wrong
    Thankyou

    Comment by barooq — October 19, 2007 @ 11:58 am | Reply


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