Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert is the highest level of professional certification that ccie routing and switching boot camp provides and is considered one of the hardest certifications in the world. There are five active CCIE tracks, as shown below. As of January 6, 2010 there are 20,810 people with active CCIE certifications in the world, and from 2002 to 2005 it was voted as such in CertCities magazine. It has also been voted the most technically advanced IT certification by CertMag, and is generally reported as the highest salaried certification in IT salary surveys.
Cisco began its CCIE program in 1993 originally with a two day lab, later changing it to the one day format used today. Fewer than 3% of Cisco certified individuals attain CCIE certification, and on average will spend thousands of dollars and 18 months studying before passing. Many candidates build training-labs at home using old Cisco equipment, selling it again to other candidates after passing. Alternatively candidates may rent “rack time” online and practice lab scenarios on Cisco equipment hosted on the Internet for that purpose.
The CCIE consists of a written exam and a “lab” exam (each in the specific area of the chosen track). The written exam is required to take the lab exam. The written exam consists of 100 questions that must be completed within 2 hours. Upon passing the written exam, the candidate has eighteen months to take the lab exam. If the first attempt is unsuccessful the candidate has three years from the date the written exam was passed to successfully complete the lab. The lab is an eight hour hands-on exam designed to demonstrate that the candidate not only knows Internet working theory, but also demonstrates advanced hands on mastery. If a candidate does not pass the CCIE lab in that time, they must pass the CCIE written exam again before making additional attempts at the CCIE lab exam. As many attempts can be made to pass the lab exam for up to three years after passing the written, so long as the first attempt is within 18 months.
There is a minimum waiting time between attempts of one month. The CCIE Lab is currently are offered only at ccie service provider lab locations worldwide. The locations may be found on the Cisco certifications website. Some CCIE tracks do not have lab exams available at all locations. For example, the Storage Networking lab is available only at the Research Triangle Park, NC and Brussels locations. In addition, according to a survey by Cisco the average cost to prepare for CCIE certification, spent mostly on practice equipment and self study material.
There are no formal prerequisites for the CCIE exam, but Cisco recommends one has at least 3-5 years experience in networking before attempting to become a CCIE. CCIE was the first Cisco Certified qualification, and as such there were no other certifications that could be taken prior. The development of the associate and professional certifications was due to recognition of the fact that a CCIE is overkill for many networking personnel, and also for the vast majority of businesses who employ such people, and that certifications needed to be offered at lower levels. Despite the development of the lower certifications, Cisco has chosen not to make them formal requirements for the CCIE certification.
It is possible to hold multiple ccie sp bootcamp training. This is done by passing both the written and the lab exam in a particular track. As of September 9, 2008, there are 1,729 individuals who hold multiple CCIE certifications. Of those, 274 hold three or more CCIE certifications.