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So Cisco announced today that they will now have a “Cisco Certified Architect” certification, which is specifically stated as being higher than the CCIE. You have to have a valid CCIE and a valid CCDE to go for the title. What are your thoughts everybody?

I myself am pretty disheartened by this news. I mean, here I am having worked my entire career to get to the CCIE level. I just got my CCIE and now there is going to be something “better”??? I mean, how much more do we need Cisco?

Maybe it is time to throw in the towel and realize you will never get everything because there is a new cert every day. Look in the last year we have already seen CCIE wireless, CCDE, and now CCA.

Also I will be curious to know what it really tests since you need ANY CCIE track to go for it. What if you have a CCIE r/s and your CNA board is heavily voice involved? Are you just screwed? Why will people go for multiple CCIEs now if they can get 1 CCIE, a CCDE then go for the CCA

I’d like to hear from other people out there what your thoughts are on this announcement.

— Joe


5 Responses to “Thoughts on the new Cisco Certified Architect”

  1. Alexpheno on June 29th, 2009 1:17 pm


    I am currently studying for my CCIE an i was too a bit surprised by this news. I think Cisco is targeting hardened networking veterans with this new certifications, there has been growing discontent in this elite class due to the lack of new challenges certification-wise. 10 years is more than my time spent in the working force so for the moment this goal is beyond my reach. Actually the feeling that i get is that i am climbing a mountain just to find another taller one when i reach the top 🙂

    PS. I don’t see this as a requirement for cisco partnership anytime soon, even the ccde didn’t take off yet, currently there are only 15 people holding the cert.

  2. Mr. Configure on June 29th, 2009 6:27 pm

    While I am not surprised, I do think this is ridiculous. What was the purpose of coming out with the CCDE if only to come out with a redundant certification?(rhetorical) Other than competing with MS, it almost seems like this is a certification designed to get more money out of those that do have 10 or more years but only spend $350 every two years to renew their CCIE. Further, it edges out talented engineers that have less than 10 years of experience. Personally, I would rather get a CCIE and couple it with a MBA than have a single corporate entity tell me whether or not I can, “ensure that business requirements are incorporated into successful designs.” I would have been more impressed if they added a hands on lab for the CCNP, and knocked off ISCW and ONT.

  3. CCIE Journey on June 29th, 2009 6:52 pm

    Word today from a proctor is that it will cost 15K to take it…

  4. Ryan Hicks on June 29th, 2009 7:30 pm

    I don’t think the CCS will be redundant of the CCDE. Quite the opposite. The CCA seems to have been designed to take the route/switch design skills tested in the CCDE and add voice and telepresense and perhaps other products. I am thinking (completely unsubstanciated at this time) that they may involve some hardware knowledge again rather than the vendor neutral approach of the CCDE.

    It should be readily apparent to anyone in a CCIE track that the test is very difficult, but would be extremely painful to accurately test over the broad range of products that Cisco brings to the table in one tesst, hense the need for 6 CCIEs tracts. Design is a VERY different tract and set of functions that what the CCIE tests. Just because someone can implement BGP the way they are told (for example) doesn’t mean they are qualified to tell others how it should be implemented.

    Don’t get me wrong, most of the engineers that I have met that have worked on any of the CCIE tracts have a good deal of competency towards design just by the nature of the study matierial they emmerse themselves in, but learning to design a network correctly is counter productive to someone wanting to implement the bizzare drunken fantasy that is the CCIE lab, I mean no one in thier right mind would run 4 routinig protocols on 6-8 routers, right?

    The CCDE isn’t meant to be “better” than the CCIE. Infact they are looked at as the same level. The CCA was discussed at networkers two years ago as an idea with the CCDE beta candidates to aa relatively warm reception. We have very few true and correct details other than what the marketing folks have put out. I suggest taking a wait and see attitude before worring too much.

    Congratulations to those who have passed or are studying the CCIE exam. I remember those days in my life and I truely sympathize with the sacrifices I know you are making!

    FYI: Alexpheno is correct, there are only 15 CCDEs at this time, however 8 of them are the authors of the test, only leaving 7 of us at the moment. I hope to see many very good engineers that have been studying and making attempts at it join our ranks in the fall!

  5. CCIE Journey on July 8th, 2009 3:56 pm

    As soon as I finish my R&S I am going to take the two tests I need to have my CCDP. Then I will decide if I should go the CCDE route…

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