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Which Direction of CCIE Certification Should I Apply for?


I have passed the CCNP certification exam and want to take the CCIE certification exam in the future. But CCIE includes several directions. It is said that CCIE Routing & Switching is the lowest level. So I’m thinking about which direction should be a good choice. Thank you for your suggestion!

It is recommended that you do more research on Cisco’s certification system, especially the CCIE certification system, before making the decision.

CCIE Routing & Switching is the basis of all CCIE directions, so it is not the lowest level, but the most widely applicable direction. For the novice, CCIE Routing & Switching is the safest and simplest choice. If you are confident, you can also directly switch from CCNP to CCIE Security. Because there are relatively few people taking the CCIE Security exam, it is more difficult and contains more value. It is suggested that novices not consider other directions of CCIE. 

The difficulty of RS, ISP, and SEC VOICE is almost the same. DC is more difficult and expensive. Candidates have to go to the United States and Australia to take the exam. Wireless is the hardest. RS and ISP are first recommended. RS is more basic and exercises the ability of troubleshooting.

Most of the ISP exam content is MPLS. The learning content includes RS and MPLS.

Now DC and Security are more popular, but RS still remains hot to some extent. RS is the foundation. After learning RS, you can engage in DC and Security related work, and the cost of exam is more than 1538 US dollars. DC and Security have just become popular. Compared with RS, the passing rate is greatly reduced. You only have one unique CCIE number no matter how many directions you have applied for.

If you have good learning ability and don’t worry about the exam risk, you can learn DC or Safety, which is difficult and has a relatively high value.

If your learning ability is relatively weak, RS is still a good choice at present.

Which direction of CCIE should you apply for?

Let’s take a look at the directions of CCIE first.

CCIE Routing & Switching

CCIE Collaboration (Voice)

CCIE Data Center

CCIE Security

CCIE Service Provider

CCIE Wireless

How do engineers choose from these six directions? There is no doubt that CCIE Routing & Switching has always been a hot direction. Because of this, some candidates began to worry about whether it has been saturated and whether they should take the current popular direction, such as Security and Wireless? I believe that there are at least a handful of people with such questions.

There is a saying in the network industry that “the first CCIE of any outstanding engineer must be in the direction of Routing & Switching.” This is by no means a joke. “By learning CCIE Routing & Switching, candidates can have the expert skills required for planning, preparation, operation, monitoring and troubleshooting of complex aggregation networks. To obtain CCIE certificate, you need to pass the theoretical written exam and the lab exam.” This statement describes the level and capability of holders of CCIE Routing & Switching certificate.

Security and Wireless seem to be popular directions at present. However, you should know that the basic technologies and basic principles of any simple or complex network architecture cannot escape the domination of routing and switching. Therefore, any engineer who can easily design and establish the project must be proficient in routing and switching. Other directions are determined by the focus of follow-up development. Moreover, routing switching is the most basic and versatile technical direction. To put it bluntly, it guarantees a wide range of employment.

In addition, passing CCIE certification is not the ultimate goal, but a means and way to improve yourself. The core is to improve your technical ability. Some of my friends have no certificate from beginning to end, but they have a good command of technologies. Therefore, the certificate is not the key, but just icing on the cake. The key is to finally have a clear idea of the correct technology, concept, and mindset, and understand how routers, switches, and firewalls work together to complete different data traffic models, such as LAN traffic, WAN traffic, outward network traffic, inward network traffic, IDC traffic, etc.

The emergence of popular directions and new technologies is to solve the difficult and miscellaneous problems that cannot be solved by old technologies. However, at the same time, new problems will emerge one after another. Learn to compare the advantages and disadvantages of both sides and choose the most suitable development direction. New things are a trend, but they also have their immaturity. It is necessary to accept, understand, learn and adapt. However, don’t put the cart before the horse. Practice your basic skills hard. Otherwise, all ideas are hope in vain.

Personally, I feel that routing and switching is equivalent to internal skill, and other directions are more like moves. If you like to study network technology, it is recommended to focus on routing and switching first. You can apply for online CCIE certification training to learn for CCIE certification.

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