One of the new certifications announced at Networkers this month is the Cisco Certified Architect. With the requirement to be a CCIE* as well as a CCDE(of which there are only a handful) and a FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLAR price tag, this certification is so far above my means that I can’t see myself going that route anytime in the near future. The impact that adding another high level certification has on the CCIE is something that does concern me.
Until last year, the CCIE was the pinnacle of the Cisco certification mountain. Then came the CCDE. Although it is supposed to be a peer of the CCIE (basically the Design track of the CCIE program) the difference in naming, testing, and – more importantly – the unique(and still rare) numbering convention gives the impression – whether true or not – that this certification is positioned a step above the CCIE. Now Cisco has added yet another certification above the CCIE and the CCDE, so in the span of a little more than a year, the CCIE has now become Cisco’s THIRD highest certification.
I don’t have a lot to say about the new program, but I strongly suggest that you read Jememy Filliben’s take on the Cisco Certified Architect. Jeremy is one of the rare currently qualified candidates for that certification. His post is very well written and thorough. He even discusses the affect of the new program on the CCIE.
*The Cisco Certified Architect page only specifies that a CCDE is required, but I’ve heard from multiple sources that both a CCIE and a CCDE are required.
UPDATE: I need to learn to read better. The initial reports from Networkers indicated that you needed BOTH a CCIE and a CCDE to become a CCA candidate. Cisco’s site as well as Jeremy’s article state that you need an active CCDE, and 10 years of experience. My bad. 😦