If you’re accessing this post after April 1st: The following was an April Fools Day post and is NOT true. Cisco is not discontinuing the CCIE program and the world (probably) will not end in 2012. Good luck with your studies.
I got this in my inbox this morning and I’m still reeling. I’m confused and angered that Cisco would end the CCIE program, but a little relieved that I’ll be getting my life back:
Cisco Systems (CSCO) announced today that they are planning to end their expert level certification program, the CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert). The CCIE has been the brass ring of networking certification since its inception over a decade ago. The CCIE has the reputation of being one of the most difficult IT certifications to achieve, as well as one of the most highly coveted. There are nearly 25,000 network professionals worldwide who currently hold the certification. In recent years the CCIE has broadened from its roots as a routing exam to include various “tracks” in technologies such as voice, security, and storage networking. With the lab portion of the certification priced at $1,400 (US) per attempt and the average number of attempt before passing at 4, the CCIE has been a cash cow for Cisco over the years. So why is Cisco putting the brakes on this successful program?
“We have become concerned about the exclusivity of the certification.” states Avril Erste, Director of Cisco Learning in San Jose, CA. “The current number of CCIEs has increased to the point that the progam is no longer considered the Mount Everest of networking certifications. There are nearly 25,000 CCIEs in the world today. That number is too high. We’ve tried to slow the growth of that number with recent additions to the test like the opened-ended questions, but the passing rate is still too high.”
Cisco has decided that they will phase out the CCIE in favor of the new CCDE (Cisco Certified Design Expert). This certification rolled out last year and currently there are only three CCDEs in the world. “The CCDE progam has the exclusivity that the CCIE program once had. Many people wondered why we did not simply make the CCDE a separate CCIE track. Well, the answer is that the CCDE was always meant to replace the CCIE, not to add to it.”
Starting in January of 2010, current CCIE certification holders will have two years to pass the CCDE exam. “Current CCIEs will not need to pass the written qualifying exam for the CCDE. They will be able to register for the CCDE Practical Exam by simply submitting their CCIE number. That’s a savings of over $300 which is nothing to sneeze at in our current economy.” As for those aspiring to become a CCIE? According to Lomme Faux, “We will stop offering the CCIE written exam in July of this year. The last day that the CCIE lab will be offered will be 23 December of this year.”
While Cisco understands that this will alienate a number of CCIEs – as well as CCIE candidates – the company believes that this is a move that must be made. “It’s gotten to the point that any chucklehead with a few thousand hours to spare and the ability to cram insane amounts of networking knowledge into their skull can pass the CCIE.” states David Codsworth, Cisco’s newly appointed Certification Evangelist. “We had to move quickly to ensure the value of the program. We quickly determined that the best way to do this was to kill it off. Sure this will piss off those CCIEs who tattooed their CCIE digits on their bodies, but we at Cisco have never stated that this gravy train would be running forever. Plus with the Mayan calender predicting the end of the world in 2012, we’re doing most candidates a favor. Why spend the last two years of your miserable existence chasing some fucking IT certification? You nerds should use that time to get laid before the world ends.”
For more information on Cisco’s decision to end the CCIE program: Cisco CCIE Reformation Project.