Daily life of a CCIE - questions

CrunchyhippoCrunchyhippo Posts: 389Member
As someone wondering whether to pursue a CCIE at some point, I wondered if they are usually required to work 60-80 hours a week and carry a beeper 24/7? I mean, if being a CCIE means having to be away from one's family at all hours, I'm not sure I would want it, since I have a budding family.

Is anyone familiar with the typical daily demands of a CCIE? Thanks.
"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." - Popular Mechanics, 1949

Comments

  • GT-RobGT-Rob Posts: 1,090Member
    CCIE is a certification. You can work at mcdonalds with one if you so please.


    A job that pays a lot, usually demands a lot (kind of why they pay you so much). Our higher engineers at my work are in what you would call a "CCIE" level job (although only a couple have it). It pays a lot, but they are on-call 24/7, and probably put in close to 60-70hrs/week.


    This isn't every job, but if you want to make over 100k, a lot will be expected of you, and usually its to put in more hours than people making 1/3 your pay.
  • CrunchyhippoCrunchyhippo Posts: 389Member
    GT-Rob wrote:
    CCIE is a certification. You can work at mcdonalds with one if you so please.


    A job that pays a lot, usually demands a lot (kind of why they pay you so much). Our higher engineers at my work are in what you would call a "CCIE" level job (although only a couple have it). It pays a lot, but they are on-call 24/7, and probably put in close to 60-70hrs/week.


    This isn't every job, but if you want to make over 100k, a lot will be expected of you, and usually its to put in more hours than people making 1/3 your pay.

    I'm well aware that a CCIE is a certification. Check some of my other posts in this forum.

    And I've been told the opposite from you stated; that CCIEs specifically do not work crazy hours, or they oftentimes work from home doing their assignments. I'm sure this isn't always the case.

    You're not a CCIE, so I assume you're getting your info second-hand, correct? Also, don't be so condescending in your answers. It makes you appear to be a know-it-all.
    "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." - Popular Mechanics, 1949
  • GT-RobGT-Rob Posts: 1,090Member
    sigh


    I was TRYING to tell you that just having a CCIE is not going to dictate anything in your life. For example, many people don't even change jobs right away after passing. You are asking if having a CCIE will force you to work more hours, which it the cert itself won't.


    If you want a CCIE level job, in otherwords, a job that pays 100k+/year, then you are going to be asked a lot from your employer. From my experience, they high level engineers I have come across are spending their weekend performing changes, being called at 3am for issues, etc. Thats why we pay them so much.

    I am sure there are lots of jobs that don't include this, especially in consulting or somewhere you set your own hours. Working in networking in general includes a lot of after hours work.


    And yes I am talking second hand, about my co-workers with CCIE/CCIE level jobs.
  • AlanJamesAlanJames Posts: 230Member
    Yeah I agree with GT, there is a lot expected from our senior network guys (one ccie out of our 3 senior network guys), and they do clock the hours. I guess it comes with the job.
  • CrunchyhippoCrunchyhippo Posts: 389Member
    AlanJames wrote:
    Yeah I agree with GT, there is a lot expected from our senior network guys (one ccie out of our 3 senior network guys), and they do clock the hours. I guess it comes with the job.

    Pity. I would love to get a CCIE, but with all the demands on those guys, it would be like a doctor making six figures, but also working 70 hours a week on average. You get to have that boat you've always wanted, but you never get to see your wife and children - and you never get to use the boat.
    "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." - Popular Mechanics, 1949
  • AhriakinAhriakin SupremeNetworkOverlord Posts: 1,800Member
    The CCIE is just an enabler, what you do with it is up to you. If you became a contractor/consultant, you would have less job security obviously but you would have the option of taking longer breaks between your contracts than std. holiday time (which absolutely sucks in the states) would allow. The CCIE would help greatly in that when you did want to take a contract you would have a better chance of picking one up quickly, also of course it would pay well enough to support you in your smell-the-roses-time. Nothing is free but you can pay-forward and earn your downtime.
    We responded to the Year 2000 issue with "Y2K" solutions...isn't this the kind of thinking that got us into trouble in the first place?
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    I agree. While not (yet) a CCIE I'm at 100K + if that is any help. Im a contractor and find that some of the CCIE level guys work more hours than myself but they are permanent. If as a CCIE you are permanent and close to change control on infrastructure you will be working unsocial hours. In my case I work mostly infrastructure design assignments with availability to provide 4th line cover during major migrations and infrastructure deployments. But the client has to pay me so they don't like to let my hours get out of control. That said, to get their monies worth they work me hard during the window they are prepared to pay me for!

    All in though anyone working as a CCIE will put the hours in. But at that level you are needed and that's ok. But it's not all work and no play. Some CCIE's have very good positions in permanent life that afford them good rates of pay, training and substantial time off. Contractors such as myself can take a break to re-tool and fairly quickly find a new assignment.
  • nelnel Posts: 2,859Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    firstly, i do not have CCIE (obviously) but am i missing something here? seriously ANY JOB regardless of whether it is a CCIE position or being a managing director - which pays high wages carries high demands. It comes with the position. If you dont want that kind of thing (or the wage) then stay away from any decent size wages. I know folk who work where i do on ALOT less that the salary you and others have mentioned and easily do 60-70 hours. you do what you have to do to get the work done for your position. Time management is a must for tht kind of position.

    Im not having a dig at anyone but just being realistic.
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  • dtlokeedtlokee Posts: 2,381Member
    I hardly work more than 40 hours a week, rarely work off hours, and carry a Blackberry. Just because you're a CCIE doesn't equate to long hours, 24x7 support, or not having a life.
    The only easy day was yesterday!
  • empc4000xlempc4000xl Posts: 322Member
    at my job we all work long hours weather your a NA,NP,VP or IE. It really doesn't matter. We all work as a team to get things done. Since I'm at the bottom of the pole I usually work my standard 40 and I do overtime when I need the extra money, but its not required. We have team leads who work 70-80 hours normally. Its just how it goes. We get a big contract they assign a lead to it, he works it hard for a few years, then takes some time off then is back at it again. In this career field expect to put in a lot of time unless you plan on getting in the classroom. Which is my goal by the time I'm 50(only 27 now)
  • ITdudeITdude Posts: 1,183Member
    dtlokee wrote:
    I hardly work more than 40 hours a week, rarely work off hours, and carry a Blackberry. Just because you're a CCIE doesn't equate to long hours, 24x7 support, or not having a life.

    I completely agree. One of my best friends is a double CCIE R&S and Security who is a senior consultant with a major Service Priovider. He barely works 20 hours per week and often calls me on a break from the job to BS or bounce a few ideas off me (non paid unfortunately). Needless to say he gets paid big bucks, in excess of the coveted 100K mentioned here, along with bonuses! :) icon_wink.gif YMMV :)

    Update: His brother is a quad CCIE and works over 60 hours per week and makes less money than he, I believe at a large VAR. Go figure. icon_wink.gif
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
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  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    A lot of factors come into play regarding hours. Those who consult, design, train or hold strategic roles often work less hours than those shoring up infrastructure and the changes required there. Everything is a generalisation and there are always exceptions. The consulting, designing, trainer crowd sometimes work like elephants when preparing for bids or putting course material together or designing technical solutions for projects. Then things can get more sane once things are defined and properly planned out by management.

    Those working hand in glove with support teams on change control can find themselves drawn into lots of changes out of hours and that's when the hours stack up on that side of the fence.

    It really depends on the role assigned to you (if you are permanent) or the role you choose to take (if you are contracting).
  • rossonieri#1rossonieri#1 Posts: 800Member
    nice topic btw,

    if you are a little bit curious about a CCIE daily life - this blog should give you a shed of light :)
    http://brokenpipes.blogspot.com/2007/09/triple-ccie-history-in-making.html
    http://brokenpipes.blogspot.com/2007/08/triple-ccie.html

    cheers :)
    the More I know, that is more and More I dont know.
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    No offense, but do you really think having a certain certification dictates your hours? Its not like as soon as you pass the lab they double your hours and hand you a pager.

    Like GT-Rob stated its more related to your role then your certifications. I know CCIE's that are consultants and work from home all the time and others that serve in senior engineer positions that work all the time from the office. Don't get to caught up in the certification game. Its there to help your career not dictate your life.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • ITdudeITdude Posts: 1,183Member
    Not to get off topic, but I like the new avatar, networker! :) icon_wink.gif
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • gorebrushgorebrush Posts: 2,741Member
    I'm an MCSE CCNA and would happily work 50-60 hours a week if I was called upon to do it.

    I wouldn't care what certifications I had - I love what I do and would relish the chance to work many hours.

    Luckily I have an understanding girlfriend who doesn't mind it, though I do wonder sometimes if she considers herself number 2 to work, but then she knows it's all for the "greater good" as it were.

    Least I hope she does...

    Hopefully going to become a CCIE over the next few years too :)
  • ITdudeITdude Posts: 1,183Member
    gorebrush wrote:
    Hopefully going to become a CCIE over the next few years too :)

    Better run that one past her first! :) icon_wink.gif
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • wedge1988wedge1988 Posts: 434Member
    gorebrush wrote:

    Hopefully going to become a CCIE over the next few years too


    Better run that one past her first!

    lol
    ~ wedge1988 ~ IdioT Certified~
    MCSE:2003 ~ MCITP:EA ~ CCNP:R&S ~ CCNA:R&S ~ CCNA:Voice ~ Office 2000 MASTER ~ A+ ~ N+ ~ C&G:IT Diploma ~ Ofqual Entry Japanese
  • Fiber-OpticsFiber-Optics Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    From what I have seen in my years of experience on the hard core networking side is that the more you make the harder they work you. So if you want to obtain 125k - 175k and higher then be prepared to sacrafice other things in life that you would normally enjoy.

    Just when you get time off from your work with the extra salary you make do the good old fashioned work hard / play hard. Usually it helps balance it out but that is your call of course. Overall just visualize where you want to be in 3 - 5 years and say this is where it should be and if your not happy working the 60 - 70+ hours. Then just take a easier role but with reduce pay and say to your employer been there done that and dont want to do it.

    Just my two cents.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Posts: 2,741Member
    ITdude wrote:
    gorebrush wrote:
    Hopefully going to become a CCIE over the next few years too :)

    Better run that one past her first! :) icon_wink.gif

    If she doesn't like it, then unfortunately it would be her loss...
  • EMcCalebEMcCaleb Posts: 63Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    dtlokee wrote: »
    I hardly work more than 40 hours a week, rarely work off hours, and carry a Blackberry. Just because you're a CCIE doesn't equate to long hours, 24x7 support, or not having a life.

    I'm with you. I would NEVER accept a job that required extended hours or cause sacrifices in vacation or spending time with friends and family. I believe you are paid for what you know.

    To be honest, the hardest job I ever had was as a teenager working at Burger King for less than 5 bucks an hour!

    Ernest
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