Networkworld has an article that states that the CCIE (Routing and Switching is the only track mentioned in the article) is no longer the certification with the highest paid salary associated with it. [This article only addresses US salaries, not worldwide.]
In a provocatively headlined blog, TechRepublic Executive Editor Jason Hiner writes that “Cisco’s CCIE is no longer the biggest cash cow of IT certification.” According to the Web site’s 2008 IT Skills and Salary Report conducted in association with training firm Global Knowledge, Cisco’s highest accolade for network engineers is the fifth highest-earning certification for IT professionals, following PMI Project Management Professional (PMP), PMI Certified Associate in Project Management, ITIL v. 2 – Foundation, and (ISC)2’s Certified Information Systems Security Professional.
It’s difficult to say how much of a slip this is for the Cisco Certified Internet Expert certification as the survey, which you can download here (registration required), doesn’t provide comparisons to previous years.But the results appear to gel with what we’ve been reporting in recent pasts – that employers are seeking IT pros with business-oriented certifications in such areas as project management and Six Sigma. According to the survey, PMPs command an average salary of $101,695, compared to $93,500 for a CCIE Routing & Switching expert.The Cisco Certified Voice Professional followed in sixth place, with an average salary of $88,600, while the highest paying Microsoft certification is the Microsoft Certified Solution Developer ($84,522), according to the survey.
I am not surprised at the emergence of the Project Management certifications. The Project Managers (certified or not) at my current and previous job are well compensated (overpaid in a lot of cases, but that’s a rant for another day). If you read the article carefully you will note that there is no mention of whether the $93,500 is a decrease over previous years. It could even be an increase.
The NetworkWorld article references this article on TechRepublic. This article does not mention an increase/decrease in CCIE salary, nor does it show CCIE salaries for past years.
This might be the reason for the perception of lower value for the CCIE:
The word on the streets at the time was that as soon as you passed your exams you would be bombarded with phone calls from recruiters and Fortune 500 companies tripping over themselves to offer a job with a six-figure salary. That was the perception. The reality was a little more sober, but still very attractive. Many CCIEs were hired directly by Cisco, and others got lucrative gigs as high value consultants.
From what I’ve read, those days are gone – if they ever existed. BUT the perception that once you get your digits your phone rings off the hook with six-figure job offers still persists in the IT world (at least in my little corner of it). This has a slightly negative effect as many co-workers and managers assume that anyone actively pursuing the CCIE is only looking to cash in on a position somewhere else. This means that managers are a little reluctant to fund CCIE training as they might be training an employee for a position in another company or (maybe worse) that this employee will demand a much higher salary immediately after passing.
My quest for the CCIE has never been about money. I am well paid and I highly doubt that getting my CCIE will amount to much or a pay increase (or any for that matter). That’s not to say that I wouldn’t leave if I was offered obnoxious money, but I really don’t see that happening. If I was doing this just for the pay increase, then I would be better served getting into management than trying to get my CCIE.
Anyhoo…the sky is most likely not falling on CCIE salaries. $93,500 is not a bad average salary and I’m sure that the current Project Manager fad will fade long before the demand for CCIEs does. 🙂