IT Employment

Are CCIEs and other Cisco certifications as valuable as they used to be?

CCIE recruiter Eman Conde considers a recent Linkedin discussion that explored the concerns of job seekers who have earned their Cisco certifications. Here are some of the issues being raised and Eman's advice.

"Are CCIE Certifications and Cisco certs, in general, losing their value?" Recently this question was asked by one of my LinkedIn and professional contacts in the CCIE Jobs group I created. This question came from a network engineer with CCNP and CCVP certifications, who is pursuing his CCIE. He is Nigerian and his professional outlook is of concern. He went on to ask the forum, "Why does there seem to be so many CCIEs and mid-level techs looking for jobs and so few jobs available?"

Nedu is asking a question here that is valid. It appears that often times the CCIE or network engineer is being short-changed in some countries. That the supply of network engineers outpaces the need -- sort of like a buyers' market for talent in some areas -- is the exception, not the rule. Demand from a perspective of a recruiter who is sought out for this talent, is quite different than the view the talent sees. Below is an excerpt from the most recent discussion:

Michael Atkinson - I work in the US, and there is no shortage of jobs available for CCIEs right now. It's hard to find good people.

Brandon Carroll - Yeah I agree, there is no shortage of jobs for good CCIE's. Problem is that so many people are not willing to relocate so they settle.

Shailesh Patel - I agree with Brandon, Michael & Eman, CCIE is the world leading certification provided by CISCO. All you need is a good experience in the field of Networking. So you will get better Opportunities.

Sachin Sharma - Hello Gentlemen. There should be some easy way to shift the CCIE expertise from here (where there is plenty) to there (where there is requirement). Hey Eman, why do not you start a immigration firm also :) -- just my 2 cents. Cheers.

This topic began to build but the basic point of view seemed to shift from region to region. The fact is that CCIEs are in bigger demand where we have fewer of them or where there are more Channel Partners. Yet where many new CCIEs have earned their wings, the demand is lower and the pay is lower as well. CCIEs from several countries would relocate to the USA or Europe for the pay and the chance to ride the leading edge, but the work visa requirements prevent them from doing so.

This is quite a dilemma. Politics in the countries that need the skilled talent are also blocking this talent from coming in for the sake of trying to force employers to hire from the natives. If the natives could somehow be rebooted and earn certifications swiftly, we would have a recipe for success. Instead we find that the skills required to be a CCIE are not institutionally transferable to just anyone. We have a stalemate.

The first successful engineers who invented/developed the software, firmware, and hardware came from a technical background which included learning at the wheel. Keyboard hackers who figured the new technologies out while immersed in it, then taking certification exams as they developed and became a part of our enterprises. Today, however, we are seeing the result of a technological society that has developed geeks in utero. No LOL-ing please; I believe it is true.

The discussion continued...

Darby Weaver - Umm... Go to twitter.com and search for CCIE - There is absolutely no shortage of jobs. Take a look around on LinkedIn...again no shortage of jobs....That's just for CCIE's. Now if you follow ccnpjobs on twitter you will be amazed at how many ccnp and ccxp level jobs are on the market.

Muhammad Rameez Khan -There are lot of jobs available for CCIE particularly in the USA as observed from linked in Group Posts, but the problem is in Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia where very few of the CCIE jobs get posted on Linkedin or any other website and most of the time those are settled by referenced CCIEs.  These days in Saudi Arabia, there are lot of CCIEs but less jobs for them and lower pay scale. Also, it takes a lot of time to get a stable CCIE job as most of companies cannot afford that salary budget.

Arvind Kumar Yadav - Certification is to just to prove that person has required knowledge about the subject but experience really allowsto make use of the knowledge. I see the certification trend is changing now. Earlier people used to gain knowledge/experience first and, to prove that they have gained enough knowledge and experience, were going for certification. But now I see people go for certification first thinking that they will get better job/work experience after they are certified. That's why you feel the difference in quality.

I feel people who are CCIE's in early days are real experienced people and now some of them have certification but no experience. That's the reason CCIE value is also coming down because when you interview a CCIE the expectation is that you are the master in that technology but you will be disappointed when you came to know that he was not able to answer a simple question.

I met one college-fresh graduate who passed the CCIE lab exam after 6-7 months of hard work but he hasn't deployed a single router in real production environment yet. So the people with good experience and certifications are always in demand but there will be less demand for people who have certification without any relevant experience.

Eman's advice

After 52 posts on this topic, it was knocked about thoroughly. Remember the original questions? "Are CCIE Certifications and Cisco Certs in general losing their value?"

There is a certain amount of expectation when a person works so hard for a certification that has reached legendary status. Today I was listening to the news in my car and heard that Cisco stock was leading the technology sector. So many young people pin their hopes on a CCIE or other Cisco certification as a differentiator from the rest of the thundering herds looking for jobs. In answer to this question, I would offer my humble opinion that they are not losing their worth.  In fact many areas are returning to the pre-economic downturn days, and hiring for Cisco solutions geeks is strong.

The demand is there; finding the right person in the right place at the right time is the challenge, but that's what networking is for. Getting the CCIE certification and maintaining a technical edge is a full time job. Marketing yourself as a Cisco Certified resource is key. Turn to your mentor, reach out to a professional that knows the market. Look closer to home. Many newly minted CCIEs I have spoken with seem to think the certification trumps a working visa. No certification I know of will compel an immigration official to treat you any differently.

In India and China where there seems to be a glut of CCIEs, there are jobs, and in the Middle East and Africa as well, but the salary differences are often huge. I think (and this is my opinion) that too many people are in need of better paying jobs. The glimmer of hope, even if slight, makes many geeks look towards the west to improve their lot. I have been to many countries spreading the word for CCIEs and we are all aware that cost of living should be a barometer for salaries. Don't let salaries be your sole motivation and if you are looking to relocate, do the research and legwork. Treat all your goals like a job and you will get results.

I am working with a CCIE in the USA that is from Iran. He is on H-1, legally eligible to work here. His certification is new and he has no experience to speak of. He treats his job search as a full-time job and rolls up his sleeves everyday tackling the obstructions he is faced with. If he could get a certification that is not open to his country and succeed in making it through the myriad of challenges to become a US resident, anyone can!

Stay passionate and determined!

About

Emmanuel Conde has the distinction of being the only CCIE recruiter promoted by World Wide Channels of Cisco Systems.

72 comments
nocountryforoldmen
nocountryforoldmen

The certification is going down in value because there are plenty of foreigners willing to take less money here in the US.  Also with Obama's regime approving doubling the amount of H1B visas to be let in next year the companies are going to take full advantage. My advise is to specialize in something or you will be tossed to the curb.  As far as CIsco voice.  It was a good track but that is also loosing value as there are plenty of VOIP providers that are in the market or taking over the market that cost substantially less.  Where to go?  Specialize!   Good Luck out there and remember you are replaceable at any time so be aware.  


mdw03
mdw03

The only way the CCIE will lose value is if there is no need for them...it will be base on supply and demand. I find it demoralizing in one post in the article someone speaks about a fresh college student who pass the CCIE but has no experience as if was bad. Further down one speak of an Iran who gain their CCIE with no work experience but talk about him with so much passion. I just dont get it ... It made me wonder how will i be view once I graduate from my university with a CCNP. Will i be look at as a cert chaser ? Well I been enroll in the Cisco Academy since my first days in college, CCNA and CCNP have always been part of my degree curriculum. Will it be my fault i was able to gain my CCNP so easily since Cisco only recommends 1 year of real networking experience before you take the test ( the same as comptia Net+)? Did you guys know that Cisco recommends only 5 years or real networking experience for the CCIE or CCDE ? So what is the problem here ? These newbie CCIE's ( anyone with less than 5 years experience) is look down on among their peers. They are look down because they went out and achieve and refuse to stay still at a certain level. I know quite a few establish season admin who do not even take a crack at more advance certification because they are not require to have them. As a matter of fact most of them feel as if their employer will not sponsor them in their training and cert they will not waste any time on it. That is not the way to go in today's highly competitive market. In today's job market a master degree is look as the the status-quo. I see it all the time.. kids graduating then taking up a masters degree to increase their chances to get into med or law school, or to land a job within their field of study. So over achieving in school or training with no experience is the norm now... you can thank the economy for that. Honestly i look at you elder IT professionals as very lucky individuals. Only during your era of time a company would allow someone with no experience and no degree to break into the IT field as a walk on. In today's world a bachelors in computer science or related discipline is mandatory.... add in at least 2-4 years experience and you have a shot unless you graduated from a high profile school.

ccietraininglab
ccietraininglab

In my opinion, certificates are material proof of one's abilities and level of knowledge. The CCIE is without doubt still widely respected in the industry. Despite the attempts to degrade the exam, I can assure you companies still take this into account. Yes, it may only come in second to experience but I think people should give credit to newbies (CCIE passers with less than 5 years experience). Give them a chance to earn both certifications and experience. Sure the experts are the kings of their craft but they don't have the same drive they used to.

bigcappa
bigcappa

I have always thought of the CCIE as the top cert in this industry. The CCIE shows that as well as the ability to pass an exam, it shows that you have the experience gained over years and that you have the knowledge gained over the years. I read the article with interest and then you totally devalued it with this statement "His certification is new and he has no experience to speak of. ". How the hell did this guy get his cert if he has no experience to speak of. It is becoming clear that some people are sitting boot camp after boot camp until they pass and then when they get in to the real world they are stuffed. Boot camps are great but only as a tool to prepare you for the exam. If this guy has no experience suggest he stops putting himself forward as a CCIE and try to get a role that will give him the experience. No experience to speak of CCIE, I ask you........Cisco sort this out before the CCIE ends up being a paper exercise!

CompGuy99
CompGuy99

For kids coming out of college, to have such certifications was required, even if they had no real-world experience. I worked with many. But the business world discovered that there were many talented and experienced people who could actually program routers and run MPLS systems, VOIPs, etc., even without the pedigree, which is why you always see "or 5 years experience" as part of a job description. You sound too judgmental to understand. Having a well-rounded education and experience is far more valuable to a company. It makes you more marketable and able to withstand changing market conditions. Remember the dot com crash of 2000? (Maybe not). You're right...it is a choice. I chose to take a smaller, less stressful job after working through the corporate BS. And during this recession I not only kept my job but negotiated a 10% increase. But you can choose to work for a company where you're just another number instead of a valued person with a name.

darbyweaver
darbyweaver

Prime example of why we need to some help with the certification: [quote name='waqas CCIE#27815' timestamp='1295807605' post='901742'] in troubleshooting section your real life experience could be helpful but i will not say the person having no experience cannot clear it when i attempted lab i was not touch with regular field work means no experience but in configuration section no experience could help you that is only your knowledge which helps you to understand deeply ipv4/ipv6/qos/security/ip services etc these are topics not we usally configure in live environment [/quote] Read the quote again, it's bears repeating: [quote name='waqas CCIE#27815' timestamp='1295807605' post='901742'] in troubleshooting section your real life experience could be helpful but i will not say the person having no experience cannot clear it when i attempted lab i was not touch with regular field work means no experience but in configuration section no experience could help you that is only your knowledge which helps you to understand deeply ipv4/ipv6/qos/security/ip services etc these are topics not we usally configure in live environment [/quote] So... what do we configure in a live environment these days anyway?

CCIE#27285
CCIE#27285

CCIE has still its value at least in the US.But you need to have enough experience along with your certifications .Some companies need CCIEs to increase their credit in front of their clients and some need CCIEs to get cisco partnerships .So there are still jobs which ccie is a must for them and consequently the role has a higher salary.

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

As a young engineer, passing the CCIE exam gave me instant credibility and allowed me to more than double my salary within six months. Maintaining my certification over the last twelve years has reinforced my standing in the industry. Passing this exam immediately opens up doors in the partner community, while consistently recertifying shows the commitment to life-long learning that all employers desire of their employees.

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

Make you a more marketable network engineer? Yes Increase your salary level? Yes Increase your salary expectations? Yes In five lines or less; Is the CCIE certification losing its value? No, companies I deal with still hold the cert in high regard

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

Absolutely it made me more marketable. When I got my first CCIE, there was a salary jump. For the others, not really. But it was increased marketing and bonus potential more than direct salary. I suppose. But I'd probably expect something similar based on quantity and quality of experience as well. Not really sure how to answer that as it is obviously not applying since I've been a CCIE for almost 12 years now. :) Is the certification losing its value? I suppose it depends on your perspective. I think that it's becoming a piece of information that possessing the CCIE ALONE will not magically get you anything. Personally, I don't think it ever SHOULD have, but did. So the CCIE is still as important as ever, it's just that the market seems to be correcting it's blind follow/worship of those with the certification and looking for more realistic and tangible things to go with it. So for qualified CCIE's, no, there's absolutely no degradation. If you just got your CCIE "certification" and nothing else to go with it, the perceived value of "magical wand" for employment has gone away. It's a correction, not a loss of value. Side note: In the late 1990's, everyone had this inane idea that it was awesome to invest in technology companies who made absolutely no profit, and in some cases, actually no product either! When reality set in, and people realized what a ridiculous situation they had gotten themselves into, the market corrected. Some called it a "dot-com crash", others just said the "bubble burst". I suppose ones feelings on that situation would depend on whether they lost lots of money or knew when to pull out! :) Same logic...

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

I just asked 28 CCIEs from many different countries in my network the following questions. Did the CCIE certification... Make you a more marketable network engineer? Increase your salary level? Increase your salary expectations? In five lines or less; Is the CCIE certification losing its value? I am waiting for the responses which I will share with you. Some of these have just earned their CCIE and others have been CCIEs for over 15 years.

CG IT
CG IT

for all those people thinking that Cisco certs specially the CCIE certifications will guarantee them a 6 figure paycheck. http://www.infoworld.com/d/adventures-in-it/the-straight-talk-its-new-directions-514?page=0,0 His second to the last paragraph on page 4 pretty much spells out what's in store for the IT engineers looking for jobs. To quote: " Don't get me wrong, the engine room is critical. But it needs fewer engineers to keep it running -- or should -- than in the early days. If the engine room is your passion, become a Scotty. But don't stay an ensign, because not many will be needed in the years to come". The key point Mr. Gruman is saying is that that many large businesses are getting rid of their large staffs of engineers because they don't need them anymore. Large businesses are no longer willing to spend enormous sums of money on IT, on a continual basis and outsourcing their IT services to Cloud providers to reduce costs associated with IT. IT hardware and software manufacturers are embracing the Cloud because if they don't, the Telecoms like AT&T, Verizon will merge IT [computers] into phone service with "use for 6 months and toss" smart phones along with businesses embracing the BYO smart phones, laptops, and the days of laptops, desktops and servers that businesses buy will dry up to nothing. So the IT industry will no longer be what it was and is today. Businesses hiring IT workers. Businesses will buy IT services from " Internet based" IT providers and shed their IT departments. While CCIEs will be in demand there will be a small number of Internet Based IT provier companies that hire them to run the infrastructure. The app developers will also see a reduction as the small number of Internet Based IT providers that create them don't need fleets of developers. An app is simply a small foot print, Web based, front end to remote database. Even field service techs won't be in demand as the smart phones take over computing from laptops and desktops. Smart phones are, use and toss because the O/S is firmware and apps are stored in SD or flash memory. So while my view of IT is pretty bleak, the evolution of smart phones by Telecoms is what's driving the IT industry today. IT industry has to move to make smart devices or the Telecoms will take over what traditionally was IT.

CompGuy99
CompGuy99

In my experience, real world hands-on experience has always trumped degrees and certifications...especially after so many companies have been burned through the "diploma mill" type fiascoes a few years ago. There is no recession for me because I can handle ALL of the IT needs of my small company. Cisco, Novell (when it was popular), Windows, Linux, Mac, HTML, PHP, etc., etc. You learn what is needed and become proficient at it. The real difference for most companies is the employees' ability to handle customers and staff with equal grace. Talking to them as people (having good relational skills). Being able to handle computer illiterates one minute then being able to meet with management about budgets and needs. Unfortunately, this is a dying skill for ubergeeks who've spent their lives in their parents basements playing video games, hacking, etc.

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

Kenny is a great example of the next generation of CCIEs. If you have not seen this LinkedIn discussion (group Tech Certifications) or the CCIE Flyer articles she has provided (www.ccieflyer.com) then you should go check it out. The CCIE certification remains a terrific way to lift one?s career to new heights. I do predict a turnaround in the old trend of hiring only senior resources in Networking in favor of cost saving neophytes. Some of you in this forum have seen and felt the hesitancy of employers who are selecting only experts in the field and they do not give a proven smart youngster a start. But one of my predictions for 2011 is an end to that trend (which really has only been happening for about 10 years). I mentioned an Iranian CCIE here in this discussion yesterday, his update includes several interviews my team has been able to land him so his life may make a significant change. His struggle is a human struggle not a tale of race or religion, but human. Perseverance is a strong drink but it will be as refreshing as cool water when the journey leaves that milestone behind. Hang in there all of you, please. Our industry needs young blood more than you may know.

darbyweaver
darbyweaver

My employer calls for a CCIE as the first selection criteria for employment. I am the first employee in my position in over a decade to not have a CCIE coming in the door that I'm aware of. So... some employers do require a CCIE but due to supply/demand/interviews (by a proven CCIE, etc.)... every once in a while a CCNP - like me might actually get a break and make the cut. They make me work for it: Today: 1. CSS Load Balancers 2. Firewall/NAT TS. 3. IPSec VPN 4. Misc. Switching 5. Wireless 6. Layer 1 TS for Cabling. 7. Wireless Design and Provisioning 8. Nexus/Switching BoM Review 9. Cisco WCS Planning Tools 10. Mentoring Co-worker on CSS, FW, and Switching + TS with Debugging and Visio 11. Writeup for Trunking/Etherchannel/Spanning-Tree BPDUFilter/Guard/PortFast etc. 12. Writeup for Debugging Spanning-Tree 13. Visio Diagram for the Load Balancers 14. Meet with vendor for Fluke Optiview 15. Certificate Validation 16. Step by Step Write-up for Load Balancer Config with Validation. That was all today... alone and I'm sure I left some stuff out. On the private side: Review of broadcast traffic effecting network performance and design, backup and procedures, review of a network analysis I performed with Sniffer Pro and my findings... The list goes on and on... Not bad for a Thursday - I was almost burnt out from Wednesday - didn't give up till I gave out after midnight Wednesday night. We are on Friday morning... This is Sparta baby and every day is a CCIE Lab or maybe more... Darby I don't sleep as much as some. I study when I'm not working. I consult sometimes when I want to since I get regular offers as my luck would have it. I work hard to stay in the field. I regularly answer questions of just about anything in the Cisco spectrum on mostly a day to day basis (hit google and see if your question has been addressed yet)... The list goes on and on... And I'm the guy who failed the CCIE.... There are lots of guys who passed and they make me look like a rank amateur. My co-worker is a CCIE and he does as much or more every single day and keeps the CCIE standard upheld in the North. I've got the South and I have to work hard to hold down my side of the fort. This is what it is to be a CCIE - I am a resource for my entire team and other teams and so is my partner. That's how life rolls. Don't step up if you can't keep up. No rest for the truly wicked! I'm writing this at 2:33am and my day starts fresh in a few short hours with a Design Meeting for a brand new hospital... and it don't stop or slow down from there... it just doesn't work that way. Wanna earn the salary and privilege of a CCIE... gotta wear the stripes of the tiger and learn to roar... BTW - We are hiring for one more to work with me... as you might can tell... I got a little bit on my plate. :)

pharless
pharless

So much for CCIE's, i am a new CCNA and the issue is as usual - Getting experience!! So far the cert has not influenced my opportunities at all. Companies need to get a grip and realize that network prodigies are rare and usually myopic.

glen.a.jackson
glen.a.jackson

Training for a Cisco certificate heavily depends on who is doing the training. I just finished 2 years in college, and it seemed to me that the only thing that the instructor wanted was for it to end. He never set foot one time in the router room to assist students. We (the students) were actually teaching each other all of the hands on part of the class.

ccottingham
ccottingham

Background checks are huge now given the data us IE's have access to. Experience, soft skill, and networking is what gets you an IE position, not random thumb twittling on dimwitter, facecrack, or linkedin. You have to LOOK for that silver platter and not HOPE someone finds you to give it to you. A true IE is extremely valuable. And, it is a small community where the more skilled, the smaller the circle and within that circle opportunities abound.

dwdino
dwdino

Cisco has become too... expensive, difficult, behind the times, etc. I can now acquire equipment for 20-30% less with more power, flexibility, and availability. There is a backlash against Cisco for treating client like Sun has. Companies like Juniper, Brocade, and Force networks are quickly replacing shops that were once Cisco. So, the CCIE is not less valuable, but Cisco as a whole is beginning to slide.

kenyonej
kenyonej

I just think that if a person can even earn the ccie, they should be put in a job. when you say job experience the question in my head is, "how can you get experience if no one ever hires you?" if a person can get a ccie straight out of college i commend them. that means they do know a pretty good level of knowledge about routing and switching. even if they haven't worked with the equipment yet. if they have passed the ccie, they HAVE worked with the equipment, and have the ability to become a great engineer. people don't want to hire newbies anymore. there are only so many experienced techs out there and it's time to make new tech's. does anyone out there understand what i am saying?

gsoucy
gsoucy

I agree with what most of you are saying. The 'paper' cert is losing its value. The question now is, what is it being used for? Once upon a time, it was the result of an IT professional spending years in their field and then obtaining the cert. However, that is no longer the case. Now, you take the boot camp and get the cert. In fact, today, that is the only way to get the entry level job. Does any else here remember that if you had a college degree, any college degree, you were guaranteed a job right out of college. No longer the case. In today's environment, the most successful engineer has both the cert and the experience. Getting the cert first, despite how one acheives it, shows that they have at least been exposed to most aspects of what they will face when they get out there. People are complaining that it is only experience that counts, but how do you get that experience today? You have to have the cert. The heady days of the 90's, the Wild West of IT is over. We are maturing as an industry and cutting our teeth in the most difficult economic time that any of us can remember, and we are succeeding and in some cases flourishing (depending, of course on geography and political situations). Get your certs, get your experience. You need both.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

Right now people and businesses in the U.S. are rather xenophobic, and rightly so. Take your Iranian in the U.S. on an H-1 visa. No experience, has the cert, but is from a country hostile to the U.S., "may" be of a religion hostile to the western way of life, and is looking for a job that has the capacity to cripple communications in this country. Guess what? Those are the exact same things that could be said about the 9/11 terrorists. You want to hire a foreigner for router deployments, you'd better damn well examine their entire lives with a fine-tooth comb before you let them anywhere near an electronics closet.

jh270
jh270

No way. That radio announcer is sorely mistaken. Cisco's stock has tanked recently, but most likely that is due to a market correction based on earnings. I have recently obtained my CCNA and have been beside myself with the lack of opportunity, and I believe ( for the most part anyway) that this is due to the economy. Right now, companies are sitting on mounds of cash, and want to hire, but they are afraid of what the Obama administration is going to do next that will eventually cost them loads of cash and hurt their profits. Once Obama either gets replaced, or the companies see that he isn't going to continue to make poor economic decisions, they will break loose. But that could take several more years (although I dont think it will). Companies need to be free to make thier own decisions, and either sink or swim based on those decisions. When government gets involved in business, we see job markets like the current one in the US. It amazes me that their are so many intelligent people in the IT industry who cannot see this concept. Anyway, job outlook based on Bureau of Labor, along with other reputable sources, liken the networking industry to that of health care with regards to demand, so hopefully it will pick up before the we go broke waiting for it.

Pablo C
Pablo C

This is the same problem that cropped up years ago with the MCSE. That used to be a "respected" CERT. Then, the "bootcamps" came into vogue, promising 6-figure jobs after 5 day bootcamp (and paying the trainer thousands of dollars). We ended up with a ton of "paper MCSEs" who didn't know the difference between a port and a hole in the ground. With the Dot Com bust, jobs and salaries lagged. Now, the CISCO bootcamps are lauded as the new "end all, be all". Same scenerio as above, a bunch of "paper Certified" folks with zero experience. The bootcamps are successful (for them) because they "teach the test", and game the system. The only one who win are the trainers: they get paid regardless. Whether you get the job or not. People, you HAVE to have the experience to do the job. You have to pay your dues. I am embarassed to admit this, but I do not have a BS degree or any Certs. But I do have 15 years in IT, and have close to a 6 figure job. Started as a "break/fix" desktop tech, paid my dues at many low wage jobs, and worked my way up from there. There are many jobs that I will not get called for an interview because I don't have the "paper". When I do get called, I can answer pointed questions on real world situations. That is what employers really want. HR is who wants the paper. I am currently working towards a few select CERTs, hopefully to insulate me in this uncertain economy. CERTs do have their place. As an addendum to your experience and knowledge, not in place of. Unless you have experience, stay away from the bootcamps. With no experience, stick with self-training, or Jr. College. Cheaper, and with JUCO, you could end up with an AS degree. Also, the longer you take to learn the material, the more you will retain.

Nirjharsharma07
Nirjharsharma07

@mdw03

Cisco certifications are not loosing value. There is lot of scope in India, Dubai, Nigeria and almost every country. There are many many new System Integrators, IT Solutions, Network Consulting and IT support companies emerging these days. Skilled and experienced people are getting into IT business and trying to increase their partnership levels with Cisco and other IT giants. They need CCIE's to become silver, gold partners and get more discounts on devices. 

There's a problem for highly experienced people who were already getting huge salaries because of CCIE certs. Inexperienced people has started doing CCIE's and companies has started preferring them to maintain their partnership with Cisco because they are way cheaper. Their purpose is resolved. As in India, pays of CCIE certified candidates starts from 4 to6 lacs and goes upto 30 lacs after experience, which is really a good amount for Indians. And for companies it's peanuts.

CCIE pays are bit down now, but jobs are actually more than industry scenario 5 years back. Industry is growing. Value is increasing.

swm
swm

How many times are you going to post that quote? I think I've seen it way too many places now to have any effect. Face it. There are idiots in the world. They're everywhere.... but we don't need to memorialize them!

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

Make you a more marketable network engineer? Without a doubt - yes. Increase your salary level? Yes - it was part of a structured training programme and career progression. Increase your salary expectations? Not at first, but after I'd got used to the salary, I did realise I could ask for more without being too shy. In five lines or less; Is the CCIE certification losing its value? I beleive not. There are more tracks for the CCIE now, but there are also more technologoes that Cisco provide and they need to show engineer ability within each and the CCIE is a prime example of how to do that. I do also beleive that there are tiers of ability within the CCIE and the best talent always rises to the top.

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

No I dont think CCIE certifications are losing value but are increasing their importance every single day. I passed CCIE in 2007 and straight forward I got a very nice salary. All Network related requirements now a days ask for a CCIE certifications and I guess people now understand what is the value of CCIE and what they can do. However certain tracks of CCIE people say are saturated eg. R&S but mainly they are in very high demand than other CCIE tracks. So the final verdict according to me is - CCIE gains importance every single day.

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

It has certainly helped me. But there can only be a few low numbered CCIEs, so my case isn't the general case. I think that CCIE status still has value. If not in higher salary, it should help in longevity. When reducing staff, do you keep the CCIE or non-CCIE, all other factors being equal?

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

Make you a more marketable network engineer? It did give me more confidence when interviewing which carried forth in my efforts to find employment. I believe that it was a dual edged sword in some cases. For some positions I was flat out told that I was overqualified and would get bored and leave so they didn't hire me. On the other hand, it did get me in the door where I didn't get any call backs before. Increase your salary level? This is a definite yes. Increase your salary expectations? Yes. In five lines or less; Is the CCIE certification losing its value? I believe that the CCIE cert is still a valuable certification to have on the resume. Over time, with "tools" out there for CCIE preparation, a case could be made that passing is easier than 8-10 years ago which some feel devalues the certification overall. I feel that the value of the cert rests on the individual that represents it. In my role a a supervisor and hiring authority, I value the CCIE certification and feel that it still shows the individuals desire and drive to learn and prove their skills.

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

It certainly made me a more marketable engineer. I have been getting emails from recruiters on a near daily basis since adding those 4 letters and 5 numbers to my resume. Just like the supply and demand curves are supposed to work, having skills in high demand combined with a relatively low supply of engineers with those skills drives up the price you can expect to receive for your services. Although my current employer did not give me a raise for acquiring the certification, they are cognizant of the differential between my current and expected salary. I would say that it has definitely raised my expectations for the future. As far as I'm concerned, great engineers are great because of the combination of knowledge with experience. Without one to back the other, it is impossible to be on top of your game. While I can see that there could be some watering down of the cert due to the number of study materials available making it "easier" than in previous years, I strongly believe that the value of the CCIE as a certification is still there. I am sure the "Paper CCIEs" are out there, but in my experience, every CCIE I have met has been a very strong engineer with a wide body of knowledge.

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

Did your CCIE make you a more marketable network engineer? For me, the CCIE certification's primary value has been that when I'm looking for a job, the CCIE opens up more opportunities for interviews for high level positions. It's also opened up opportunities for interviews with companies who benefit from employee certifications, primarily Cisco resellers and consulting companies. However, once you're in an interview it's no longer about the CCIE ? actually landing the job is about experience, technical skills, communications skills, and social skills. Did your CCIE increase your salary level? I don't think the CCIE has affected my salary level, but it has helped land interviews for high-level positions. Did your CCIE increase your salary expectations? I don't think the CCIE affected my salary expectations, either ? I had pretty high expectations to start with. In five lines or less; Is the CCIE certification losing its value? Sometime in the last decade the CCIE certification reached a kind of critical mass. There are enough CCIEs in the job market now that companies can expect to be able to hire one when they're looking for good people. That has increased demand for CCIEs because most network engineering positions now specifically list the CCIE as at least desired, if not a job requirement. However, supply and demand is also at work. With over 20,000 CCIEs and former CCIEs supply is up, putting downward pressure on salaries. A better question might be: has keeping your CCIE certification become more hassle than it's worth?

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

More marketable: yes. Increase salary level: not really. Increase your salary expectations: not really. Losing its value? I don?t know. I know that it?s losing some reputation. A CCIE is no longer the best of the best; he/she is just really good. Others (CCDE, CCA, VCDX) are more like to be ?the best?. To me personally, CCIE was a painful certification to obtain that?s painful to maintain, with limited recognized benefit to employers unless they are Cisco partners. The only reason I recertified this round was because of how hard it was to pass the lab to begin with. If I had let the certification lapse, it would have had no bearing on my current or future compensation with my current employer. At the same time, I recognize that certain opportunities I?ve heard about I never would have if I was not a CCIE.

swm
swm

If one works in a small business forever, I would expect that there would be a need for diversity like that. Although I'd say that the depth of certain areas would be significantly different than what's being talked about here. While BGP is still BGP, there's a "little" difference from running a single peer shop (or static default route?) versus a world-wide service provider. But what do I know? ;) And don't go overinflating yourself or underestimating those out there... Just because a CCIE concentrates a lot in particular technologies does not mean that's all they are capable of. If you can handle talking to an Uber-Geek (who does NOT live with his parents for the record), I'd be more than happy to compare skillsets and capabilities with you. From your list, you may have me on PHP, but I'm not so sure about the others that you cherish... :) If you don't want one, don't play. It's a very simple personal decision... but in the meantime, there will be particular limitations on the scope of your career versus others. It's always a personal choice. Do what makes you happy! But let others do what makes them happy as well!

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

You live in an area that is not really a hotbed of technology. Have you tried looking anywhere outside of Kansas?

kenyonej
kenyonej

please view my post thanks.

darbyweaver
darbyweaver

1. Background Checks are the norm - Credit, job history, references (from HR and Re-Hire/Do Not Re-Hire), etc. 2. Security Clearances are pretty normal - I've had one for each job so far. 3. Personality Profiles - Yep - They want to know what you think and how you think and then they might filter you on this one - despite that CCIE or other certification. 4. Medical Testing - Yes, I've been tested for various things over the past few years and "it's in the blood". This means your own blood can be used to discriminate against you... not your fault, but nevertheless, the job might not be yours in this case... even with a CCIE. 5. Criminal History or anything to do with children... Got news for you - it's mostly Zero-Tolerance at a lot of places that might be fully capable of hiring network engineers. Discriminators... 6. Nationality - Some nations only hire "nationals" and in the USA, an it might be easier to buy a lotto ticket before one gets an H1-B Visa or the like... Good luck! Most companies just don't/won't even bother or simply cannot deal with the process. 7. Some H1-B's working for a some companies (one in particular in the CCIE world) are well known for what might be at best called "indentured servitude" or at worst... damned near "comparative slavery"... Must be nice to be a talented CCIE working in the USA (fresh off the boat = FOB) and be earning $30-50k USA... Ouch! Just saying...! It has happened... I hate to even hear of multi-CCIE's earning rates like that... (HINT: I know of some who have and may still be in that range... sad but true). So some CCIE's who are unscrupulous will take advantage of you - either in your country or the USA, for example.

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

There is still no certification that pays better and none as high in demand for the skill it represents. Many recruiters are lazy and ask for a CCIE when they don?t need one because let?s face it only Cisco Channel Partners have a true need for the IE numbers. Because of the tendency for recruiters to think network engineers are some voodoo science practitioners they will send out the call for a cert to short cut the technical requirements of a position. I do still believe and I stake my career on it every single day, CCIEs are worth their weight in gold.

DJMorais
DJMorais

I think you have a good point there. Over the years Cisco has slipped. I don't think their products are as good as they used to be in terms of design, ease of use, stability, build quality or quality of support. The competition has caught up and in some cases have surpassed Cisco now, so a Cisco cert is not really the defacto standard any longer in my view. Also, the quality of the training available today is over-priced and over-rated almost across the board. They don't prepare you for the real world. The prospect of having to spend that kind of money is a huge gamble now with so much uncertainty and companies hoarding their cash. Plunking down 10 grand (or more)for a cert and then having no prospects to show for it is a hit I know I can't afford to take. It's a double-edged sword isn't it? The training and certification game has become just that, a game. 15 plus years experience should be more valuable, but if no certs show up on the robotic scans companies do on you now you don't even get looked at. Bring that sword over here so I can jump on it!!

jasbo81
jasbo81

I tend to concur here. Where are the days of trusting one's abilities to obtain education. No one no matter who they are starts out seasoned. Seasoning takes getting hands on experience.I think that staying the course and finishing the certification should speak to dedication and ability to finish.

gsoucy
gsoucy

Additional, if you work for a VAR or partner, your organization will be required to have members of your staff with specific levels of certification. That is a huge benefit to the employee who is tapped for such a task. Even if they do not get the raise within their curren org they suddenly have increased their value. This can be used for negotiation within their current situation or for the next company they work for. Most of us have not held the same job for more than 4-5 years.

ciscogod
ciscogod

Iranian talents are precious and my experience says that the foreign workers who pass the steps to reach the US are enough trustworthy and there is no reason to be worried. Don`t leave such stupid comments here .It is not a political discussion. Meanwhile cheating in CCIE lab is impossible. It seems you guy are talking about what you dont know about.

Diws
Diws

And besides the security implications, I'd really wonder about the validity of a certification obtained in many areas overseas, where oversight of the exams has bneen lax in the past in some published incidents, and cheating rampant.

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

We have seen several political and financial policies thru the past decade that lead to the economic tumult I for one don't blame any administration for the mess. Instead I see it as a problem we share globally. The cause can be bickered over and probably will remain a heated debate by forces both well-meaning and those with agendas. As a network engineer in a community that had no borders the impact on you is not equal to that of another. The economy has hurt other recruiters that are generalists but my business has seen a steady and growing demand for Network engineers who know their stuff and CCIEs. Has the Value of the certification suffered in this environment? Yes for those with lighter or lesser skills but no for those who are the kings of their craft.

darbyweaver
darbyweaver

1. I got into the MCSE rat race in or about 1996-7 or so and started in 1998 as I recall finishing up after 2 years just in time for the millenium - I recall $65-68k salaries being "advertised" but only say lesser salaries being "advertised by employers". 2. Today the average salary for a CCIE is at about $120-125k and then a stack of benefits normally reserved for mangagers or better. 3. As a CCNP, I enjoy offers of $95-150k depending on travel, relocation etc. 4. I've actually taken 3 of the last 5-6 jobs/contracts of the past 6 or 7 offered at that rate within the last 2-3 years - again I am a CCNP. 5. Questions?

jmarkovic32
jmarkovic32

They rake in exam fees and they churn out a bunch of drones who think everything at the end of a patch cable is "a Cisco" and who wonder why their CLI commands on a Procurve switch keep returning syntax errors... I'm working on my CCNA just to get me past the HR filters and will rely on my years of ACTUAL WORK EXPERIENCE to land me the job. Edit: By the way, your story sounds much like mine. I've payed my dues working a dead-end break/fix tech job for years. Even though I had a B.S. in CS, the job was all that I could get in the post Y2K economy. And it irks me to no end when a bunch of snot-nosed hacks off the street think that they can attend some bootcamp for a week and call themselves and Engineer. I'd like to interview one of those people...

darbyweaver
darbyweaver

I can accomodate the facts as present themselves, as few others can. I find it strange that nearly every CCIE I know or have met in person is a very high level superior quality network engineer, and yet on-line I meet so many who simply want to just beat the entire process entirely. There are more of the second types unfortunately. However, I have heard someone quote that it is only 1% of the available candidates... Someone suffers delusions. I am one of the few non-CCIE types who is as vocal as I am - true. Your attempts to dissuade the reality of the situation are defeated by the actual reality that when the tests changed - even a little people simple failed to pass the CCIE RS Lab ~en masse - no matter who they used for trainers, how long they trained, etc. Something in that lab beat one and all comers. That's all history now. I know it doesn't sell classes and lab seats. However, it does seem to take a while to actually burn a CCIE in and make a quality engineer. One of the guys I met recently was telling me of a pretty sharp network engineer going over the dreaded 12 attempts for CCIE RS. The ISP AM (who used to work for the area's largest Cisco Gold) was telling me about one his best engineer going over like 14 trips and still didn't pass the CCIE RS. I love it when online it sounds like I am the only guy taking the slow boat to China when, in fact, most of the quality engineers in my area, whom I happen to know are also taking several attempts, getting lots of training classes, and generally taking a few years or more (emphasis on MORE) to earn the CCIE digits. Note: All of these guys are in the CCIE Salary Range typically and run networks. The Cisco Manager here who finally threw in the towel on the CCIE RS and handed me about 6-8 Bootcamps worth of materials... one of them yours, by the way. The list goes on and on... I think we can agree it takes a while to bake a CCIE. What about the CCIE SP who was an instructor for a notable CCIE Training company you previously worked for... - 10+ years experience - CCIE SP - literally wrote the books (updates to yours) - taught or attended classes (references available) - at least 3 attempts to pass the CCIE RS The list goes on and on... It just takes a while to bake a CCIE. Lots of effort, attention to detail, etc. No silver bullets are out there... well except for guy like our friend here. He promises other people a 10-Day pass.

darbyweaver
darbyweaver

Prime example of why we need to some help with the certification: [quote name='waqas CCIE#27815' timestamp='1295807605' post='901742'] in troubleshooting section your real life experience could be helpful but i will not say the person having no experience cannot clear it when i attempted lab i was not touch with regular field work means no experience but in configuration section no experience could help you that is only your knowledge which helps you to understand deeply ipv4/ipv6/qos/security/ip services etc these are topics not we usally configure in live environment [/quote] Read the quote again, it's bears repeating: [quote name='waqas CCIE#27815' timestamp='1295807605' post='901742'] in troubleshooting section your real life experience could be helpful but i will not say the person having no experience cannot clear it when i attempted lab i was not touch with regular field work means no experience but in configuration section no experience could help you that is only your knowledge which helps you to understand deeply ipv4/ipv6/qos/security/ip services etc these are topics not we usally configure in live environment [/quote] So... what do we configure in a live environment these days anyway?

CompGuy99
CompGuy99

For kids coming out of college, to have such certifications was required, even if they had no real-world experience. I worked with many. But the business world discovered that there were many talented and experienced people who could actually program routers and run MPLS systems, VOIPs, etc., even without the pedigree, which is why you always see "or 5 years experience" as part of a job description. You sound too judgmental to understand. Having a well-rounded education and experience is far more valuable to a company. It makes you more marketable and able to withstand changing market conditions. Remember the dot com crash of 2000? (Maybe not). You're right...it is a choice. I chose to take a smaller, less stressful job after working through the corporate BS. And during this recession I not only kept my job but negotiated a 10% increase. But you can choose to work for a company where you're just another number instead of a valued person with a name.

darbyweaver
darbyweaver

My employer calls for a CCIE as the first selection criteria for employment. I am the first employee in my position in over a decade to not have a CCIE coming in the door that I'm aware of. So... some employers do require a CCIE but due to supply/demand/interviews (by a proven CCIE, etc.)... every once in a while a CCNP - like me might actually get a break and make the cut. They make me work for it: Today: 1. CSS Load Balancers 2. Firewall/NAT TS. 3. IPSec VPN 4. Misc. Switching 5. Wireless 6. Layer 1 TS for Cabling. 7. Wireless Design and Provisioning 8. Nexus/Switching BoM Review 9. Cisco WCS Planning Tools 10. Mentoring Co-worker on CSS, FW, and Switching + TS with Debugging and Visio 11. Writeup for Trunking/Etherchannel/Spanning-Tree BPDUFilter/Guard/PortFast etc. 12. Writeup for Debugging Spanning-Tree 13. Visio Diagram for the Load Balancers 14. Meet with vendor for Fluke Optiview 15. Certificate Validation 16. Step by Step Write-up for Load Balancer Config with Validation. That was all today... alone and I'm sure I left some stuff out. On the private side: Review of broadcast traffic effecting network performance and design, backup and procedures, review of a network analysis I performed with Sniffer Pro and my findings... The list goes on and on... Not bad for a Thursday - I was almost burnt out from Wednesday - didn't give up till I gave out after midnight Wednesday night. We are on Friday morning... This is Sparta baby and every day is a CCIE Lab or maybe more... Darby

kenyonej
kenyonej

jasbo81, that, i think is the main point. the guys whom are the gurus of now, were once just guys whom were highly interested in working with technology. companies allowed them to learn because no one else knew this stuff in the dinosaur days. now that these guys have a hang on things, there are newbies coming along wishing for opportunities but getting shot in the foot. this is a problem.

darbyweaver
darbyweaver

1. Cisco does care... 2. HP... um... most Cisco certified guys at the CCNP or above level can handle an HP device as well or better (due to education with Cisco) as mostly any HP certified professional. Umm... wanna try me - you got my email. 3. Wait... I see you'd like to interview one of these people. I'm game if you are. 4. However, I'd like to flip the deck and return the favor and interview you. Can we use Eman or a public forum to "interview" each other? Fair is fair. You can decide the number of questions and technologies and we can let our audience decide... I've never heard of a tech duel but it sounds like fun.

CCIE Agent
CCIE Agent

I was once a young and inexperienced IT neophyte back in 1974 when I laid hands on my first machines. So I did not get to experience the frustration the current market brings down on the greenhorns of today who are the stars of tomorrow. But I predict this is changing and more of you will get a chance because the original crop of CCIEs are hobbling around on walkers already. So hang in there and maybe reading the obituaries will become a job lead. Recently I was made privy to a scenario where a channel was using two dead CCIEs numbers to try and pass an audit.