As you most likely will have seen, Cisco is “rebooting” their certifications to better align with what is expected of the future work force. As I’ve been busy with Cisco Live, I’m only now starting to write these posts. I’m expecting to write a couple of them rather than writing one LONG one.

As a member of the CCIE Advisory Council, I’ve been in the loop for a while and I truly believe these changes are for the better. We’ve tried to do what is best for people that are certified or looking to get certified. There will certainly be corner cases or questions that need answers, but we have done our best to leave noone behind.

This first post will look at what is changing at a high level and then we can dive deeper into the different certifications in the coming posts.

DevNet certifications – There has been some training on automation and even some exams, but no real certifications. This is all changing now. There will be corresponding DevNet certifications for CCNA, CCNP and in the future, CCIE. This offers more career paths within the Cisco world. I will cover the DevNet certifications in a future post.

Automation in all certifications – All the “traditional” certifications will to some degree have automation included in them. Automation is no longer a side topic. Everyone needs to know the basics of automation within their architecture.

Unified CCNA – No longer will there be a CCNA RS, CCNA Security, CCNA Collaboration etc. There will be a broader CCNA to cover the basics in RS, wireless, security, datacenter etc and the separate tracks go away. The reasoning here is that you don’t need to specialize too early in your career. I will write more about this in a coming post.

Updated CCNP – One of the problems with the CCNP was that you needed to take 3 exams before having something to show. For most of us this took 1-2 years to complete. In the new format, you will take the Enterprise Core exam, and 1 specialization exam, and you will be certified. You can also keep adding specializations, such as SD-WAN, to show that you have learned new technologies within your domain.

CCIE written is dead – The CCIE written will be gone. Hopefully that means we don’t see people writing CCIE (wrt) or similar in their profiles. The gatekeeper for the CCIE lab is now instead the Core exam as part of CCNP. This does NOT mean that it will be significantly easier to pass the Core exam as compared to the CCIE written. This also means that the CCIE written can’t be used to recertify, unless you take the CCDE written.

Updated track names – Some tracks are being retired but mainly it’s a name change. The CCIE RS will now be CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure while the CCIE Wireless becomes CCIE Enterprise Wireless.

CCIE valid for 3 years – The CCIE is now being aligned to the other certification levels so that the CCIE is also valid for 3 years. This means that there will be no suspended status. This also means your recertification date will change. I will cover more on this in a future post.

CCIE Emeritus Lifetime – If you’ve kept your CCIE or CCIE Emeritus for 20 years, you can now get a lifetime tenure, without any annual fees. This is a pretty cool update for the long time CCIEs. Note that it does not count towards partner requirements though.

Continuous learning for everyone – The CE program can now be used at all levels! Including CCNA and CCNP. It is also possible to “mix and match”, meaning that you can both take exams and training to get CE credits. The cap for Cisco Live credits has been removed. I will cover more on recertification in a future post.

I’ll surely have missed some things considering this is a major update. But at a high level, this is what is changing. I will write more posts that look into the changes into more detail. I hope you are also excited about these changes.

Major Updates to Cisco Certifications
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7 thoughts on “Major Updates to Cisco Certifications

  • June 18, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Hi Daniel,

    I read your article on how you prepared for your CCIE written and the books you read for your preparation, my questions are, 1. did you only read each book once or how many times? and 2. how did you read the books? 3. did you take notes and memorized until the concepts stuck in your head? the reason I am asking this is 4. how does one read all the books you mentioned and still retain and master everything?, my last question is, 5. why is reading important in becoming a good network engineer and passing the lab exam?
    your response will be highly valued.

    Walter Nakatana, from the Nation of Namibia

    • June 18, 2019 at 9:50 am

      Hi Walter,

      Generally speaking I read it once but some things may require rereading. Memory retention is always a problem for expert level certifications. I did take notes and also used flash cards to improve retention. Reading is important because that’s how you build the foundation of knowledge. IT is a domain where you need to stay updated and that you do by reading blogs, books, RFCs etc.

  • June 19, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    Hey Daniel,

    I currently have a CCNP R/S. Can i take the new CCIE lab exam without taking the new Enterprise Core exam?

    • June 20, 2019 at 8:26 am

      Hi Randall. That is my understanding, yes. During the migration period, people that are CCNP certified, will get credit for ENCOR, and will be able to sit the lab. This is going to be updated in the FAQ.

  • June 26, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Hi Daniel, as always a great Blog entry to highlight the major changes and give a short overview what will change. Good stuff.

    • June 27, 2019 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks, Daniel!

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