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Cisco CCIE Certification – Your Ultimate Guide in 2024

Cisco CCIE Certification - Your Ultimate Guide

CCIE, or Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert, is the leading certification provided by Cisco for network specialists. CCIE certification shows that CCIE experts have a deep understanding of and technical skills for working with complex network systems. This means they can solve complex issues in designing, implementing, operating, and optimizing businesses’ extensive enterprise networks.

The CCIE is a highly respected networking certification in the technology industry. It often leads to high-paying positions. Businesses look for individuals with a CCIE because it shows they are top-notch professionals who can handle challenging network problems.

This guide walks through every step of getting the CCIE certification. It is for anyone interested in networks, whether candidates are just starting or have been in the field for a while. We will cover everything related to the certification, including the prerequisites and criteria for certification, how to prepare for the exams, the benefits of CCIE certification, and more.

We are here to help the candidates understand how to improve their network skills and advance in their careers. So, let’s get started.

What Is CCIE Certification?

The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert certification is recognized globally as an exceptional achievement in the networking career. It validates an individual’s expertise in complex network solutions, covering the design, implementation, operation, and optimization of extensive networking infrastructures.

To achieve CCIE certification, Candidates must pass an exam that assesses both their theoretical knowledge and practical skills in networking at an expert level. This certification demonstrates a professional’s commitment to career development and proficiency in managing any networking challenge.

CCIE Expert-level Certifications

CCIE Expert-level Certifications represent the highest level of networking expertise and are designed to prepare professionals for complex network solutions. These important certifications validate the skills required in expert-level engineering roles.

Below, we mentioned all Cisco CCIE certifications, each tailored to specific advanced networking fields. This makes sure that professionals have the latest knowledge and practical skills to lead the industry.

CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure

The CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure certification proves that a candidate manages complex enterprise infrastructure solutions. To achieve this certification, candidates must pass two exams:

  • The Implementing Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies (350-401 ENCOR) qualifying exam focuses on knowledge in enterprise infrastructure topics such as IPv4 and IPv6 architecture, virtualization, network security, and automation.
  • CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0 lab. This 8-hour hands-on lab exam covers the end-to-end lifecycle of the complex enterprise network, including design, deployment, operation, and optimization.
CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Exam Latest Topology

CCIE Enterprise Wireless

Achieving the CCIE Enterprise Wireless certification shows the candidate is skilled in handling complex business wireless solutions. To earn this, candidates must pass two exams:

  • The Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies (ENCOR 350-401) written exam. This qualifying exam focuses on candidates’ understanding of enterprise networking technologies, including dual-stack (IPv4 and IPv6) architecture, virtualization, infrastructure, automation, network assurance, and security.
  • CCIE Enterprise Wireless v1.0 lab. This 8-hour hands-on lab exam covers the end-to-end lifecycle of complex enterprise wireless networks, including design, deployment, operation, and optimization.
CCIE Enterprise Wireless Exam Topology

CCIE Collaboration

Having CCIE Collaboration certification proves the expertise in complex collaboration solutions. To achieve this certification, candidates must pass two exams:

  • The Implementing Cisco Collaboration Core Technologies (CLCOR 350-801) written exam. This qualifying exam focuses on the candidate’s knowledge of collaboration infrastructure. It includes infrastructure and design, Cisco IOS XE gateway and media resources, protocols, codecs and endpoints, Call Control, QoS, and collaboration applications.
  • The CCIE Collaboration v3.1 lab. This 8-hour hands-on lab exam covers the end-to-end lifecycle of complex collaboration infrastructure, from design and deployment to operations and optimization.
CCIE Collaboration Exam Latest Topology

CCIE Data Center

Getting CCIE Data Center certification proves the skill set in complex data center solutions. To achieve this certification, candidates must pass two exams:

  • The Implementing and Operating Cisco Data Center Core Technologies (DCCOR 350-601) written exam. This qualifying exam focuses on the candidate’s knowledge of data center infrastructure. It includes network, storage network, compute, security, and automation.
  • CCIE Data Center v3.1 lab. This hands-on lab exam takes 8 hours and covers complex data center networks’ end-to-end lifecycle, from design and deployment to operation and optimization.
CCIE Data Center Exam topology

CCIE Security

Earning CCIE Security certification proves the expertise in complex security solutions. To achieve this certification, candidates must pass two exams:

  • The Implementing and Operating Cisco Security Core Technologies (SCOR 350-701) written exam. This qualifying exam focuses on the candidate’s understanding of core security solutions. It includes network security, content security, cloud security, visibility and enforcement, secure network access, endpoint protection, and detection.
  • The CCIE Security v6.1 lab. This hands-on lab exam, which takes 8 hours, covers the end-to-end lifecycle of complex security solutions and technologies, including design, deployment, operation, and optimization.
CCIE Security Exam Latest Topology

CCIE Service Provider

Achieving CCIE Service Provider certification proves the candidate’s knowledge of complex service provider solutions. To gain this certification, candidates must pass two exams:

  • The Implementing and Operating Cisco Service Provider Network Core Technologies (SPCOR 350-501) written exam. This qualifying exam focuses on the candidate’s understanding of service provider infrastructure. It includes core architecture, networking, services, quality of service, automation, network assurance, and security.
  • CCIE Service Provider v5.0 lab. This 8-hour hands-on lab exam covers the end-to-end lifecycle of complex service provider networks, including design, deployment, operation, and optimization.
CCIE Service provider Exam Latest Topology

Cisco Certified Design Expert

The CCDE certification program qualifies candidates for expert-level network architecture and design positions. To earn Cisco Certified Design Expert, candidates must pass two exams:

  • The CCDE Written (400-007). Candidates must take this 2-hour qualifying exam, which focuses on the candidate’s skills and understanding of network design, technologies, business strategies, and translation of business and technical requirements into functional specifications. Moreover, Candidates must pass the written exam before applying for the CCDE.
  • CCDE v3.0 Practical lab exam. This exam covers various scenarios, one of which the candidate can select. This allows Candidates to include topics related to their area of expertise while also focusing on core enterprise architecture technologies.

Cisco Certified DevNet Expert

Achieving Cisco Certified DevNet Expert certification proves the candidate’s expertise in network automation, programmability, and secure automation tools. To earn a Cisco Certified DevNet Expert, candidates must pass two exams:

  • The Developing Applications using Cisco Core Platforms and APIs (350-901 DEVCOR) written exam. The core exam focuses on the candidate’s understanding of software development and design. It includes APIs, Cisco platforms, application deployment and security, and infrastructure and automation.
  • DevNet Expert-Level (v1.0) Lab. This 8-hour lab exam requires a candidate to plan, design, develop, test, deploy, and maintain automation solutions within complex software-driven network environments.

How to Become a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)?

Becoming a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) requires a solid understanding of networking fundamentals and skills. The path to CCIE certification involves the following:

  • Thorough preparation
  • A deep understanding of networking technologies
  • A commitment to continuous learning and improvement

Prerequisites and Eligibility Criteria for CCIE Certification

Cisco has no formal prerequisites for CCIE. Candidates should have a good understanding of networking principles and practical experience in the field. Candidates should also have at least five to seven years of hands-on experience working with complex networking solutions.

The CCIE certification process has two main parts:

  • A qualifying written exam
  • A hands-on lab exam

Candidates must pass the lab exam within three years of passing the core exam to become CCIE certified.

Candidates should be prepared for a challenging certification process that demands dedication, extensive study, and practical experience. Becoming a CCIE is a test of technical expertise and a commitment to reaching the highest level of the networking profession.

How to Take CCIE Certification Exam Preparation?

Preparing for the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification requires time and effort, but passing both the written and lab exams is achievable. The following advice can help candidates prepare for the CCIE exam.

  • Learn about networking concepts such as routing protocols, switching topologies, network security, data center design, automation & scripting, and examine the official test objectives in the exam blueprint to know the subjects covered on the lab exam.
  • It’s essential to practice each objective in relevant labs to learn what it takes to respond to challenging questions on the test. This can be done independently or with the help of a mentor or study group that can offer advice as needed.
  • To improve the practical understanding and knowledge of different technologies, candidates should obtain first-hand experience working in virtual networks.
  • Create a plan to prepare for both sections of the exam. Candidates need to be very committed and dedicated to passing the exam. Next, arrange an appointment with Pearson VUE and request authorization from Pearson VUE by completing an online application form one day before the test is planned. Good Luck!

CCIE Training Options

There are several CCIE training options available. They depend on a candidate’s learning style, budget, and schedule. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Cisco Learning Network: Cisco offers a variety of CCIE training resources on their Learning Network, including instructor-led courses, self-paced learning modules, and practice exams. These resources are a good option for individuals who want to learn at their own pace and have access to various learning materials.
  • Bootcamps: Bootcamps are intensive training programs that can help candidates prepare for the CCIE exam in a short period of time. Bootcamps are typically led by experienced instructors and provide a structured learning environment with hands-on labs and practice exams.
  • Self-study: It is possible to prepare for the CCIE exam through self-study, but it requires high discipline and motivation. Candidates will need to gather various resources, such as study guides, practice exams, and lab equipment, and create a study plan that covers all of the exam topics.

Self-Study Guide

A candidate studying about Cisco CCIE certification independently
Self Study

Here’s our guide on passing the CCIE lab exam. After taking the core-concentration written exams, consider getting dumps from, the most dependable source. This will help in understanding essential networking concepts required for a career in networking, like routing protocols, switching structures, network security, data center layout, automation, and scripting. Before diving into self-study for the CCIE lab exam, it’s also essential to review the exam blueprint to understand the lab test topics better.

Next, focus on relevant labs for each objective. Practice all lab scenarios and have a strong understanding of them before attempting the official lab. Candidates can study independently, with a mentor, or in a group. A mentor or group can provide guidance and answer questions when needed. Using the 591LAB rack rental service is very helpful to prepare. Getting hands-on experience in a real lab is ideal, but virtual labs can also be beneficial. Renting labs from 591LAB is a good option for candidates who need data center equipment access.

What to Expect During the CCIE Exam?

Candidates need to understand what is coming. The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert exam is challenging. It tests the candidate’s skills in both design and DOO network tasks.

Here’s a quick guide to getting familiar with the exam setup, working with the proctor, the tasks, and some strategy tips.

Getting Ready for the Lab

Getting ready for the lab exam is crucial to make things go smoothly. Being prepared can improve confidence whether it’s the first time or not. There are 10 CCIE lab locations worldwide.

  1. Bangalore
  2. Beijing
  3. Brussels
  4. Dubai
  5. Hong Kong
  6. RTP (USA)
  7. San Jose
  8. Sau Paulo (Brazil)
  9. Sydney
  10. Tokyo

If a candidate’s lab exam is in a different country, verify visa requirements well before the exam date. Look into the hotels Cisco recommends, figure out how to get to the lab, and arrange a comfortable stay.

Some labs are close to hotels, so plan the travel well, especially since exams can start early at 7:00 a.m. Candidates won’t get extra time for being late. Moreover, candidates arriving more than two hours late will be marked absent.

Candidates can wear comfy clothes on exam day. There is no need to wear a business dress. Exams can last up to 8 hours, so feeling comfortable is essential. For those who have checked out of their accommodations, it’s recommended to leave luggage with the hotel staff. Candidates are not allowed to bring it into the testing area. Knowing these details helps make the actual exam day easier.

During the Lab Exam

The lab exam day will include a briefing on exam expectations, lab materials, and the proctor’s role. The CCIE lab exam has two main modules:

  • Web-based content (Design) – 3 hours
  • Device-based content (DOO) – 5 hours

In the design part, candidates will get scenario-based tasks. Their job is to make a complete network solution to show their planning and make decisions. In the DOO (deploy, operate, and optimize) module, candidates can expect hands-on + web-based tasks.

Lunch will be provided at every exam lab location. Also, candidates can take more breaks whenever needed but remember that the exam timer won’t stop during these breaks.

Technical Complications and Proctor Assistance

For first-time CCIE lab exam takers, it’s essential to understand the proctor’s role. The proctor is there to help with questions about the exam topics and what’s being asked. But, they cannot confirm whether the configurations are right or wrong.

Exams are designed to minimize technical issues, but problems with hardware, software, or the network can occasionally happen. If a candidate faces an issue, immediately inform the proctor instead of getting into time-consuming troubleshooting efforts. It is recommended not to spend more than 10 minutes on troubleshooting. If candidates cannot quickly resolve a troubleshooting issue, inform the proctor. Remember to save the configurations frequently as a precaution.

The proctor will decide the next steps based on the complexity of the technical issue. If a candidate can continue the exam, they will extend the lab session by the amount of time lost due to the problem. They will allow the candidate to reschedule their exam by submitting a support case for severe issues that take more than two hours to fix.

Post-Exam Process

Once candidates finish the lab, the onsite proctor will review and score the exam. Lab scores become available on the candidates’ CCO profiles within 48 hours. It will be displayed as a pass or fail result. Candidates should carefully examine the score report in case of a failing score. It will provide valuable insights into areas that may require additional study.

Strategic Balance: Speed and Accuracy

Candidates should approach the CCIE exam with a strategic plan. Find the right balance of being fast and accurate. It’s helpful to view the first attempt as an opportunity to learn and gain experience. Candidates should be prepared to adjust their strategy based on the task difficulty. Aim to be quicker and more accurate in future attempts.

Handling Stress and Double-Checking the Work

Effective stress management is essential for candidates. Candidates should understand that not passing on the first attempt is part of the learning process. This can help candidates get better for the next try. Due to time limitations, a comprehensive review might not always be possible during the first attempt. However, applying memorization techniques and thoroughly reviewing exam materials can significantly enhance performance in future attempts.

The latest Pass Score Sheet from 591lab

Since launching in 2016, 591lab has set a high standard in certification exam preparation. We focus on primary IT areas such as Cloud, network security, cybersecurity, and Cisco certifications, from CCNA to CCIE. Our goal is to give our customers the knowledge and resources they need to succeed in their certification exams.

Our dedication to quality and accuracy has earned us a strong reputation in China and globally. We constantly update our exam dumps to meet the latest exam criteria. This makes sure that our customers receive the most relevant study materials.

The success of our students speaks volumes about our effectiveness. Our latest pass score sheet highlights exceptional achievements, with many students securing their certifications on their first try. This success shows how our materials can help candidates confidently reach their certification goals.

latest Pass Score Sheet from 591lab
latest Pass Score Sheet from

Benefits of a CCIE Certification

Earning a certification can significantly benefit engineers who want to grow in the networking field. The CCIE certification is especially valued and well-known. It shows an engineer’s deep knowledge of networking that is recognized across the industry. Holding this certification leads to better job opportunities and higher pay. Many companies look for CCIE-certified individuals for leadership roles because of their expertise.

Being CCIE-certified also means better job security. The consistent demand for highly skilled professionals helps maintain employment. It notably improves the status of Cisco partners. Regarding salary, CCIE-certified engineers typically aim for at least $146,250 per year, a goal that is quite reachable with this certification. Salary is a major reason many pursue a career, and achieving such earnings is noteworthy with hard work and certification. For those wanting to stand out in the IT industry, starting dedicated preparation for the CCIE exam is a crucial step towards realizing that ambition.

Why Should You Get the CCIE Certification?

Earning the CCIE certification is more than an academic achievement; it’s a career milestone that opens doors to unparalleled opportunities and respect within the IT community. Here’s why candidates should consider obtaining this valuable certification:

  1. Industry Recognition: CCIE is well-known as one of the most popular networking certifications. It identifies candidates with deep networking experience and marks them as top IT professionals in the IT industry.
  2. Career Advancement: CCIE certification positions certificate holders for higher roles, including senior network engineer, network architect, and IT manager positions. This credential often leads to enhanced job security and career progression.
  3. Higher Earning Potential: CCIE certification is associated with one of the highest salary potentials in the IT field. Certified professionals often see a significant increase in their compensation packages, reflecting the value and expertise they bring to an organization.
  4. Professional Growth: The thorough preparation required for CCIE exams expands candidates’ knowledge and skills far beyond the basics. This ongoing learning journey ensures candidates remain current with the latest technologies and industry best practices.
  5. Networking Opportunities: Being a part of the CCIE community allows candidates to network with other highly skilled professionals. This can lead to knowledge exchange, mentorship opportunities, and even collaborations on complex projects.
  6. Employer Confidence: Employers highly value the CCIE certification as it assures them of the certified professional’s expert-level skills and commitment to their field. This frequently leads to trust in managing critical tasks and leading creative projects.

How Much Does It Cost to Become CCIE?

The CCIE certification improves a candidate’s network engineering skills. But it comes with associated costs. Here’s a breakdown of the major expenses involved:

Study Materials:

  • CCIE study materials can cost from $100 up to $5,000.

Exam Fees:

  • Written Exam: The cost typically falls within the range of $450.
  • Lab Exam: This hands-on exam typically costs around $1,600.

Travel and Accommodation:

  • Travel: This depends on the lab exam location, including flights and local transportation.
  • Accommodation: Costs depend on the location and duration of the candidate’s stay at the exam center.

Retake Fees:

  • If the candidate doesn’t pass the first attempt, they must pay an additional fee for retaking the lab exam and any associated travel/accommodation expenses.

Researching expenses and creating a budget is essential to making well-informed decisions regarding pursuing CCIE certification. It’s important to consider learning preferences, available resources, and any potential travel requirements while planning financially.

Validity and Recertification Policy

The CCIE certification remains active for three years after passing the exams. Certificate holders must fulfill the recertification requirements before their certification expires to keep the certification active.

Here are the different ways to recertify the CCIE:

Pass Exams:

  • Pass the CCDE (Cisco Certified Design Expert) written exam.
  • Pass one expert-level lab/practical exam on any track.
  • Pass three separate professional concentration exams within the chosen CCIE track.
  • Pass one technology core exam and one professional concentration exam (equivalent to earning a CCNP in the same track).
  • Pass two technology core exams in the chosen CCIE track.

Earn Continuing Education (CE) Credits:

  • Earn 120 CE credits.
  • Earn 40 CE credits and pass one technology core exam.
  • Earn 40 CE credits and pass two separate professional concentration exams.
  • Earn 80 CE credits and pass one professional concentration exam.

Maintaining an Active Status:

Certificate holders can recertify their CCIE anytime during its active period by

  • Passing exams as mentioned above.
  • Earning CE credits through approved activities like attending training courses, taking online modules, or participating in conferences.
  • Combining both methods of passing exams and earning CE credits.

Important note: All recertification requirements must be fulfilled by the certification’s expiration date. Missing the deadline means a candidate’s certification expires, and they must go through the entire exam process to recover active status.

Moreover, CE credits are valid for three years from the date of completion. CE credits are awarded from the completion date of each activity or course. This approach encourages continuous learning and skill improvement.

Wrapping Up

The CCIE certification shows a candidate’s commitment and high skill level in networking. It’s a challenging path that improves their technical skills and boosts their career in the IT industry. CCIE is one of the highest ranks a candidate can achieve in the networking domain. It is a symbol of their dedication and top-notch expertise.

For a smooth journey to getting certification, we recommend using resources such as 591lab for the latest exam updates and preparation strategies. Connect with the CCIE community for tips and support. Get hands-on experience through labs and simulations to learn the skills required for the exam. By taking these steps, getting the CCIE can significantly boost a professional’s career, opening up new doors and bringing exciting opportunities.

What is the average pass rate for the CCIE certification exams?

Cisco reports that the average pass rate for the CCIE certification exams over the program’s life is approximately 26%. This shows how hard and challenging the exams are. Candidates need thorough preparation and a deep understanding of the subject matter to succeed.

What is the expected salary for CCIE?

CCIE-certified professionals can expect an average salary of $146,250 annually in the USA. Salaries can range from $125,000 for entry-level positions to $180,000 for experienced professionals. It reflects the high value and demand for CCIE expertise in the industry.

What is the difference between CCIE and CCNA?

CCIE, also known as Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert, has the highest level of achievement in Cisco certification. It is designed for senior networking professionals. However, CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) is an entry-level certification for individuals starting their networking careers. CCIE requires an in-depth understanding of complex networking concepts and hands-on experience, whereas CCNA covers foundational networking knowledge.

Is CCIE worth it?

A CCIE certification is highly valuable for networking professionals seeking to advance their careers. It demonstrates expert-level skills and knowledge and significantly improves career opportunities, which leads to higher salaries and greater professional recognition.


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