Why should I get a CCIE?

aaron0011aaron0011 Member Posts: 330
Besides for the fact it was once a personal goal. I have earned CCNP in three different tracks in the following order: 1. Voice 2. Routing/Switching 3. Design.

The chronological order of my certs follows what I have done with work experience. I do not care about a cert if I can't use and leverage it in my career. I do not plan to leave my current employer, but want always want to be ready for what is on the horizon. I will refresh my Voice to Collab just because it would be lazy not too.

I am at a crossroads....keep going technical with Cisco? Expand to other products that I work with and enjoy? I also really enjoy the business aspect of things and enjoy translating technology to revenue. I have no creds from a major college to advance traditionally on this front. What I do have is almost 20 years of experience doing it back to the pre-dot com era days of html, cgi perl, etc.. I am under 35 years old.


Looking for advice from those that chase the CCIE for the knowledge and experience. I don't care about the $$$.

Comments

  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,078 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I was once in the networking industry and moved on. While my current job doesn't require it, or would even reward it, we need someone with that knowledge and I hate leaving a cert un-passed.

    The CCIE, along with mid-range VMware skills and an Business IT-related Masters degree, fits my overall career goals of having a solid understanding of infrastructure with the eventual goal of a C-suite job in the Fortune 500.

    While I'm a little older than you, our preferences seem to track fairly well. I enjoy being a manager and getting things done so my engineers can do things. I like being the manager I would have wanted to work for.

    All of that said, the CCIE will take a lot of time and someone who won't see a big $ return needs to at least enjoy the tech they're learning.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    aaron0011 wrote: »
    What I do have is almost 20 years of experience doing it back to the pre-dot com era days of html, cgi perl, etc.. I am under 35 years old.

    You must have been an interesting 14 year old icon_wink.gif

    But just going off your post, it does kinda sound like your heart lies elsewhere besides going for the CCIE...
  • koz24koz24 Member Posts: 766 ■■■■□□□□□□
    What about the CCDE? You already have the CCDP and it seems like the CCDE would move you closer to the business side of things which you enjoy.
  • nickelitonickelito Member Posts: 54 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I keep coming back to this question myself, all the time.

    I'm currently stuyding for CCIE RS but its REALLY demotivating to hear how the role of the network engineer is going to be made obsolete, how developers will run the network instead..
    I'm not complaining, if thats how it goes then sure - ill learn python and linux instead of the CCIE, maybe even shift to become a sysadmin.
    But its really really sad because my passion was to become an expert in the protocols and now I have to become a mediocre semi-programmer instead, competing for jobs with guys that has been writing code since they learned to walk and knows about the OSI-model, which will basically be enough when SDN kicks out all of the networking gear.

    Yes, im overreacting a tad, but still - if the industry is moving towards simplyfing networks and kicking out networking experts doing so, what the hell am i doing studying for a cert that proves i have an expert knowledge of yesterdays tech?
  • mbarrettmbarrett Member Posts: 397 ■■■□□□□□□□
    nickelito wrote: »
    competing for jobs with guys that has been writing code since they learned to walk and knows about the OSI-model, which will basically be enough when SDN kicks out all of the networking gear.
    The CCIE will never be confused with a glorified script kiddie who read a book on OSI.
    The physical boxes will probably change over time, but no programmer will be able to replace a CCIE. Who is going to troubleshoot when stuff doesn't work?
  • aaron0011aaron0011 Member Posts: 330
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I am hopeful this thread will produce more replies.

    You must have been an interesting 14 year old


    But just going off your post, it does kinda sound like your heart lies elsewhere besides going for the CCIE...


    People called me weird once upon a time, but interesting is much better. Also, I bet you are good at math. I like you already!

    koz24 wrote: »
    What about the CCDE? You already have the CCDP and it seems like the CCDE would move you closer to the business side of things which you enjoy.


    This has crossed my mind. I do not know if I am strong enough in all areas. I guess the challenge would be fun.

    mbarrett wrote: »
    The CCIE will never be confused with a glorified script kiddie who read a book on OSI.
    The physical boxes will probably change over time, but no programmer will be able to replace a CCIE. Who is going to troubleshoot when stuff doesn't work?


    Agree 100% here. Orchestration is done by teams of people that know everything about it technically. Eventually a human error will surface and someone will have to fix it.
  • DPGDPG Member Posts: 780 ■■■■■□□□□□
    nickelito wrote: »

    the role of the network engineer is going to be made obsolete, how developers will run the network instead..

    A network engineer with some basic SDN skills will win out over any developer.

  • CCIE #50693CCIE #50693 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Your never going to replace a network engineer with a developer. As a network engineer, I may have to learn some scripting/coding. Just understand that automation/orchestration has its place. Not everything can be rolled out that way either.

    As for the other comments, no one has given 1 example as to why the CCIE won't be valuable or continue to hold value. You don't earn a CCIE because you have nothing better to do with your time, 3 years to earn it on average, I could have played lots of video games and gone on several vacations in that time. It was spent becoming really good at Routing and Switching. I'm currently pursuing Service Provider. If you aren't sure about CCIE, don't waste your time. I wanted CCIE since before I earned CCENT 4 years ago. I never let that target out of my sight, when I earned it, my target changed to the next track I would conquer. If your not committed to it, your heart isn't in it. To me, you already know your answer.
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Member Posts: 879
    Your never going to replace a network engineer with a developer. As a network engineer, I may have to learn some scripting/coding. Just understand that automation/orchestration has its place. Not everything can be rolled out that way either.

    As for the other comments, no one has given 1 example as to why the CCIE won't be valuable or continue to hold value.
    [...]

    I find these discussions very difficult because you really need empirical data to get anywhere. People that fall into the "CCIE is not worth it" or "getting good in traditional net eng is not worth it" camp seems to basically make the point that due to increased automation and standardization, less people will do more. Network engineers won't be replaced by developers, but software will help existing network engineers do more. Because less people will do more, that reduces the demand for the network engineer skill set, and there already are people with many years of experience in IP networking. That leads to it not making sense to try to achieve high qualifications in his domain now.

    This sounds plausible to me, but it's just a narrative or story, and you would need to collect relevant data to determine how true it is.

    Another story that you could tell is one about how many people in networking aren't that good. It's common to read about strangely configured networks that fail, and about operators that don't know what they are doing, or about how hard it is to find someone good when interviewing people. If you believe that story, trying to achieve a CCIE seems like a no-brainer because even if overall demand is reduced slightly, you would stand out with your dedication and strong skills.

    A counter to that story would be that it's not even about the technology, it's about what's inside hiring manager's minds. If enough people are convinced that a candidate is on the wrong side of history, and that it's all about software development now, maybe they won't even hire CCIEs, even if that's what they would actually need. Maybe they'll hire someone with a software background that's interested in networking and that will pick up what's needed over time.

    You can tell countless of these stories that are true to one degree or another, but again, it's the degree to which they are true that matters, and I don't think anyone really knows that.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Deleopers aren't going to take network engineers jobs. Network engineers with development (more importantly dev ops) skills are going to be more in demand than those without in my opinion. We're hiring for an architect level position now and we'd much prefer someone with a nice mixture of skills. We want people with the mindset of automating everything. No loggining into the CLI unless it's to troubleshoot.

    The CCIE is certainly still valuable, we have three or four on our support staff. I think engineers trying to move up right now might want to spend their time wisely learning both rather than putting all your eggs in one basket. I'd say in the tech industry we're finally to the point where a CCNP level with scripting/automation skills is more employable than the traditional CCIE level that knows networking only. Probably not the case working straight IT for every industry though.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • ccie14023ccie14023 Member Posts: 183
    Deleopers aren't going to take network engineers jobs. Network engineers with development (more importantly dev ops) skills are going to be more in demand than those without in my opinion. We're hiring for an architect level position now and we'd much prefer someone with a nice mixture of skills. We want people with the mindset of automating everything. No loggining into the CLI unless it's to troubleshoot.

    The CCIE is certainly still valuable, we have three or four on our support staff. I think engineers trying to move up right now might want to spend their time wisely learning both rather than putting all your eggs in one basket. I'd say in the tech industry we're finally to the point where a CCNP level with scripting/automation skills is more employable than the traditional CCIE level that knows networking only. Probably not the case working straight IT for every industry though.

    All very true. At the end of the day, you can't automate something if you don't actually know what it is you are automating. Networks are not going to magically vanish just because we have Ansible or NETCONF. How we configure and manage them will become more efficient, but at the end of the day you cannot operate a network if you don't know in detail how it actually works, even if you are primarily using Python scripts to manage it. While the CCIE is CLI-heavy, it's a myth that it is a CLI test. It's about problem-solving skills and network knowledge in depth. CLI is just one medium we use to evaluate those skills. I think the CCIE is still valuable, as long as people are still using Cisco products. And they aren't going to disappear for a while.
  • aaron0011aaron0011 Member Posts: 330
    icon_cheers.gif on CIPTV2 so now I am an CCNP Collab. Extremely hard test.. passing requires mid 800s on a Pro level exam.

    Also, I met with a friend and confirmed my suspicion. Offer on the table above CCIE rates and I don't need the cert. Multiple CCNPs and SDN is way more valuable. If I wanted to get into presages and travel a little, comp would be well over 200K.

    As I mentioned in my original post, $ doesn't motivate me. I'm going to hang tight right now, but it's nice to know where I stand. Maybe I'll take the CCIE Collab written for fun sometime in 2017.
  • mbarrettmbarrett Member Posts: 397 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I recommend this blog post, that does a very good job of explaining the value of a CCIE.
  • sea_turtlesea_turtle Member Posts: 98 ■■□□□□□□□□
    i remember being in my mid 20's and having my CCNP and a bunch of Juniper/Enterasys certs thinking i was hot ****. the gap from CCNP to CCIE is very wide and very deep.

    it sounds like what you need is a humbling and the CCIE will give that to you. or it could be that you are trying to make excuses for not wanting to put in the time/effort to go get your CCIE.

    for anyone interested on these forums to learn some python for automation/SDN i would highly recommend you check out these free resources:

    1. sign up for this free 10 week python email course for network engineers (https://pynet.twb-tech.com/email-signup.html)
    2. before it starts run through this one time (https://learnpythonthehardway.org/book/?__s=nzoxnviang72eamae65t)

    this should be a great start to get you grounded and maybe even make your life easier at work, freeing up some cycles so you can study more.
  • sea_turtlesea_turtle Member Posts: 98 ■■□□□□□□□□
    ccie14023 wrote: »
    All very true. At the end of the day, you can't automate something if you don't actually know what it is you are automating. Networks are not going to magically vanish just because we have Ansible or NETCONF. How we configure and manage them will become more efficient, but at the end of the day you cannot operate a network if you don't know in detail how it actually works, even if you are primarily using Python scripts to manage it. While the CCIE is CLI-heavy, it's a myth that it is a CLI test. It's about problem-solving skills and network knowledge in depth. CLI is just one medium we use to evaluate those skills. I think the CCIE is still valuable, as long as people are still using Cisco products. And they aren't going to disappear for a while.

    to quote /u/literally_cake from reddit:

    "SDN is like sex in high school. Everybody thinks everybody else is doing it and that it'll be great when they do it. In fact, very few are actually doing it and those who are doing it are not doing it very well."

    if you think multiple CCNP's are better than a CCIE you need to remember this, the person who has passed their CCIE likely has already gone and looked into and is actively learning pyton/ansible/netconf/yang/what ever buzzwords you want to throw at your specific definition of SDN (be it one controller controlling a bunch of dataplanes, your new magical match on "anything routing, or the use of automation). I wont bring up the whole SDN != automation argument that you can find anywhere if you look around. the reality is today SDN is still an un-standardized wild west of ideas that haven't matured yet. learn some python or do what most ccie's do and learn some TCL while they study for the lab, pass the lab.

    oh and if i recall correctly the big argument about 7-8 years ago is that BYOD/IoT was going to change network engineering to allow more sysadmins to move into the arena? how's that working out? oh yeah last week a bunch of really poorly secure and unstandardized ip devices performed a DDoS attack....

    if all else fails man remember out there in the wild there is a customer with a bunch of 6500's running either full CatOS or in hybrid mode with no want to buy new switches, talk about SDN. (now im showing my age lol)
  • aaron0011aaron0011 Member Posts: 330
    Once again, my pursuit of a CCIE would not be fore monetary gain, just a personal goal and challenge.

    I am not willing to work for a company at the CCIE level. The travel required and my time is too valuable. Even 250K/year wouldn't get me to do it. Dead serious.

    The VAR services business will die eventually. If you are in your 40s you can ride it out. The young guys better take notice though. I am not touting SDN is easy. You have to understand both sides and those that do will be the assets. In 10 years traveling around making good money with an IE will be gone. And if people are still doing it, it's because the companies buying those services are in the future yet.

    I've been told by a couple of CCIE Voice guys that I am in the top 2% of engineers they have ever seen with Voice. I was very humbled and I may pursue Collab just to get the number. It's personal at this point.
  • sea_turtlesea_turtle Member Posts: 98 ■■□□□□□□□□
    aaron0011 wrote: »
    Once again, my pursuit of a CCIE would not be fore monetary gain, just a personal goal and challenge.

    when did i say it was about money?
    I am not willing to work for a company at the CCIE level. The travel required and my time is too valuable. Even 250K/year wouldn't get me to do it. Dead serious.

    what?? i dont even understand what this means.

    The VAR services business will die eventually. If you are in your 40s you can ride it out. The young guys better take notice though. I am not touting SDN is easy. You have to understand both sides and those that do will be the assets. In 10 years traveling around making good money with an IE will be gone. And if people are still doing it, it's because the companies buying those services are in the future yet.

    no it wont, they will just sell blackbox style SD-WAN crap along side their normal network offerings, SDN is not a one size fit all glove. infact many networks can't afford it or won't take on the risk. Also i'm not sure you understand what SDN is, thats because NO ONE DOES.
    I've been told by a couple of CCIE Voice guys that I am in the top 2% of engineers they have ever seen with Voice. I was very humbled and I may pursue Collab just to get the number. It's personal at this point.

    ok hotshot, all the CCIE means no matter the track is that you were able to balance work/life/study for 1-2 years while you lab non stop and learn the location of various documentation within the DOC-CD. don't let it go to your head.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    sea_turtle wrote: »
    if you think multiple CCNP's are better than a CCIE you need to remember this, the person who has passed their CCIE likely has already gone and looked into and is actively learning pyton/ansible/netconf/yang/what ever buzzwords you want to throw at your specific definition of SDN (be it one controller controlling a bunch of dataplanes, your new magical match on "anything routing, or the use of automation). I wont bring up the whole SDN != automation argument that you can find anywhere if you look around. the reality is today SDN is still an un-standardized wild west of ideas that haven't matured yet. learn some python or do what most ccie's do and learn some TCL while they study for the lab, pass the lab.


    Well, the conversation isn't about a veteran that already has a CCIE. It's more about the guy that is coming up now and preparing for future employment. Learning TCL isn't going to help you much for the future. Being well rounded in networking and automation/dev is going to make people VERY employable.

    sea_turtle wrote: »
    if all else fails man remember out there in the wild there is a customer with a bunch of 6500's running either full CatOS or in hybrid mode with no want to buy new switches, talk about SDN. (now im showing my age lol)


    I don't think, or at least hope anyway, anyone's career aspiration is to find a job supporting old 6500s running CatOS.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • sea_turtlesea_turtle Member Posts: 98 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well, the conversation isn't about a veteran that already has a CCIE. It's more about the guy that is coming up now and preparing for future employment. Learning TCL isn't going to help you much for the future. Being well rounded in networking and automation/dev is going to make people VERY employable.





    I don't think, or at least hope anyway, anyone's career aspiration is to find a job supporting old 6500s running CatOS.


    i agree, i was drawing a parallel that if you learn TCL(along with CRON/EEM) while you study for your CCIE to help you pass your lab attempt (since its the programmatic interface on most existing IOS/IOS-XE devices) you learn what programming is more about, logic/flow/form not so much the language you use to achieve the goal.

    with the 6500's i was trying to point out that those devices running CatOS/hybrid still live out in many places and will need to be supported for some time, as will more modern devices that live in production networks. today's version of networking isn't going anywhere anytime soon, meaning all of us have time to pivot based on what ever the industry shifts into by adding more tools into our toolbox of knowledge.

    ill attempt to point out another example, ipv6. instead of embracing what could make alot of our lives easier all we have done is found workarounds and hacks to continue to support ipv4 since i first got into networking in the early 2000's (classless routing/VLSM/NAT/NAT64/CGN/various v6 tunnel types/etc).
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    VARs aren't going away. At most, their offerings may change. I can tell you that 95%+ of engineers I've met are nowhere near ready for even IPv6 much less SDN. At it's base, it's still all networking under the covers. Abstracting that doesn't reduce the complexity underneath or the need for highly skilled individuals who can take it above and beyond running a script.

    As far as "never working as hard as a CCIE," I have no idea what this means. Your work/life/job description doesn't change just because you have an IE. I think the majority of "working as hard as a CCIE" is the actual time and study investment that you have to put into getting one. If that's something that will be difficult for you, then the CCIE is not for you.

    For the folks that told you that you're the "top 2% of engineers out there," that's great. I have no idea what your background is or theirs to be coming to that judgment so it's anecdotal. My mom also told me I was the most special girl ever while growing up :)

    It's up to you if you want to get a CCIE and if it's going to help you. It seems like you asked a question in your original post but you're more interested in why not to get a CCIE than to believe why it's beneficial to you to get one. It could be that a CCIE will not benefit you in your career depending on where you're going or you may want justifying not having to go for it. I don't know you but if either of those are true, don't get one. Problem solved. Onto the next life decision :)
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • SimridSimrid Member Posts: 327
    I can't tell you why you should go for a CCIE, but I can tell you why I have decided to which may answer some questions. I have only just over 1 years experience in networking which let's face it - Doesn't really hold up to what is recommend for a CCIE.

    I think the reason why i've decided to go for it is I want to validate my knowledge and also learn knew concepts with what's considered to be one of the hardest certifications (I know this is subjective). I know it seems a bit extreme to go for such a difficult certifications, but so far I am enjoying it. I have only been studying for 1 month now and I can look back and say I have learnt a lot of information already which is pretty exciting!

    The end goal is to become a network architect which I know will require a lot knowledge which i'm hoping the routing and switching pathway will compliment.

    Whatever you decision is, do what you enjoy and have a passion for and good luck.
    Network Engineer | London, UK | Currently working on: CCIE Routing & Switching

    sriddle.co.uk
    uk.linkedin.com/in/simonriddle
  • MitMMitM Member Posts: 617 ■■■■□□□□□□
    There are two reasons to get your CCIE. One is you want to obtain it (personal goal). Second is, you have to obtain it (job requirement). If your plan is to work for a VAR, especially as a network architect, it may very well be required.

    The comment on multiple CCNPs are more valuable than a CCIE, could very well be true. It depends on how deep you dive into the technologies of each track. That's going above and beyond the exam blueprint. Depends on the position you're applying for, as well. If the position is for a Voice engineer, having a CCIE in Data Center won't mean all that much.

    You can be an expert without ever becoming a CCIE, CCNP or even a CCNA. Many have done it.

    The choice is yours
  • FadakartelFadakartel Member Posts: 144
    VARs aren't going away. At most, their offerings may change. I can tell you that 95%+ of engineers I've met are nowhere near ready for even IPv6 much less SDN. At it's base, it's still all networking under the covers. Abstracting that doesn't reduce the complexity underneath or the need for highly skilled individuals who can take it above and beyond running a script.

    As far as "never working as hard as a CCIE," I have no idea what this means. Your work/life/job description doesn't change just because you have an IE. I think the majority of "working as hard as a CCIE" is the actual time and study investment that you have to put into getting one. If that's something that will be difficult for you, then the CCIE is not for you.

    For the folks that told you that you're the "top 2% of engineers out there," that's great. I have no idea what your background is or theirs to be coming to that judgment so it's anecdotal. My mom also told me I was the most special girl ever while growing up :)

    It's up to you if you want to get a CCIE and if it's going to help you. It seems like you asked a question in your original post but you're more interested in why not to get a CCIE than to believe why it's beneficial to you to get one. It could be that a CCIE will not benefit you in your career depending on where you're going or you may want justifying not having to go for it. I don't know you but if either of those are true, don't get one. Problem solved. Onto the next life decision :)

    Agreed I work as an engineer in an ISP and we had outside help from Cisco etc to deploy IPv6 properly, much less SDN ha!
  • rtidrtid Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Because it really ties the room together.
  • aaron0011aaron0011 Member Posts: 330
    MitM wrote: »
    There are two reasons to get your CCIE. One is you want to obtain it (personal goal). Second is, you have to obtain it (job requirement). If your plan is to work for a VAR, especially as a network architect, it may very well be required.

    The comment on multiple CCNPs are more valuable than a CCIE, could very well be true. It depends on how deep you dive into the technologies of each track. That's going above and beyond the exam blueprint. Depends on the position you're applying for, as well. If the position is for a Voice engineer, having a CCIE in Data Center won't mean all that much.

    You can be an expert without ever becoming a CCIE, CCNP or even a CCNA. Many have done it.

    The choice is yours

    This is the type of posts I was hoping this thread would generate.

    Also, great responses from other long term members. I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. The fact is the CCIE is the pinnacle of technical capability from a certification standpoint in the industry we all work in. On the flip side, it's a huge revenue generator for Cisco, VARs who hire them, third party trainers, etc.

    I think I will go for CCIE Collab just for the challenge. I am not motivated by money. I am blessed to have options for employment. Getting a CCIE because an employer requires is absurd for me. I understand for others it is what they signed up for and I respect that.

    I'd rather do R/S but Collab would be the easiest route (pun intended) to earning a number and I am 99% sure I am prepared to do it. Thanks everyone, keep it up!
  • dppagcdppagc Member Posts: 293
  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,078 ■■■■■■■■□□
    dppagc wrote: »
    what is VAR?

    Value Added Reseller.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    dppagc wrote: »
    what is VAR?

    Value Added Reseller - basically someone who resells for a vendor (eg Cisco) and offers additional services, typically pre-sales/post-sales engineering, architecting, design etc. The don't just sell you the box or even just sell you the right box, they can come in and decide what boxes you need, perhaps across vendors, where to put the new boxes, how they will work together, how to keep them running, what training your staff need etc.

    It's really useful for businesses that have the in house skills to keep the network (or whatever) running, but not necessarily the resources to build or migrate new platforms. They hire in very smart people for the hard stuff, and leave the day to day to their in house or MSP people.

    It's relevant to CCIE's because not a lot of companies need a CCIE for day to day work, just for major projects, so typically CCIE will work for companies that do those major projects for medium to large enterprise. It's also important for CCIE's that they actually use their CCIE level skills (so they don't get rusty, and for personal satisfaction).

    But the downsides for working for a VAR is that you don't get the long term exposure to an organisation, you often work from a "sales" perspective with tension between your employers' interests to sell the most profitable solution and the clients' interests to get the best value solution, and often you work over large geographical areas (both because larger area means more potential clients, and larger clients are often national or international businesses) which means lots of travel, and the work can be constant high pressure as one 'critical' project follows another.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Member Posts: 1,195
    Great conversation! Definitely a motivator for me to stick to my CCIE R/S plans.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
Sign In or Register to comment.