The Cisco Continuing Education Program is a brilliant initiative from Cisco.
It is not widely known about but Cisco recently announced a new program to help you re-certify your CCIE without taking the written exam.
Continuing Education Program – How does it work?
The concept is very simple, you have to obtain 100 credits by attending instructor led courses, online training or attending Cisco Live. When you have 100 credits you pay Cisco $300 and you are re-certified for another 2 years.
This is so refreshing as nobody likes sitting their written again. After passing the CCIE Lab going back in 2 years to revise spanning tree is painful.
With this new program you can learn new technologies, extend your knowledge and get credit it for it keeping your CCIE valid.
Keeping the CCIE Current
Cisco have added the evolving technology section to the CCIE Written exam which adds Cloud, Network Programmability and SDN topics to the exam. However whilst the topics are broad and very current, my opinion of them in the written exam was very simplistic.
It is always very difficult to assess a candidates skill and at the CCIE level and the range of topics in the written, in my opinion was just to broad.
So how do you keep your CCIE current? Well as a CCIE you are going to be operating at a higher level and working on larger network projects, so you have to be continually learning anyway.
Now that Cisco are going to recognise that learning and use it to count towards your CCIE recertification is to put it bluntly – FANTASTIC!
I would have been doing the training anyway and now I have another excuse to ask to go to Cisco Live!
Cisco Continuing Education Credits – How to get them?
To obtain your credits, you first need to log in to https://ce.cisco.com you should already have a CCO account and when you get to the next screen you will see your credit summary.
This is what mine currently looks like
If this is the first time logging in yours should say 0 Pending 0 Approved 100 Needed
You can then either browse the course catalogue or when you have completed an official instructor led training course submit their details.
I recently completed Implementing and Configuring Cisco Identity Services Engine (SISE) 2.1
Once completed you submit the details on this portal and once the training company have verified to Cisco that you attended Cisco will then update your credits.
It took about 2 weeks for the process to complete.
Getting Credits at Cisco Live
I am hoping to go to Cisco Live next year and you can earn learning credits by attending various sessions, but this is up to a maximum of 70 points I believe.
So all I have to do is attend Cisco Live and sit the required training sessions and my CCIE is re-certified
This is a much better way of continuing education, as for a CCIE re-sitting the written exam every two years is more of an inconvenience taking time out of the working week to revise topics that on the whole you have not touched in a long while and probably never will.
It keeps you current by encouraging you to learn and attend events like Cisco Live.
Whilst the written exams for CCNA / CCNP level exams and your first attempt at the CCIE Written are really valid learning exercises, having to do them every 2 years is painful.
Well done Cisco for this fantastic initiative!