After the long nights of studying and the weekends away from your family and friends, wife and children.
Many network engineers have times where they say
“Is the CCIE still worth it?” “Is CCIE still relevant in 2020?”
This is a sentence I have spoken many times and for everyone the CCIE is a personal journey, one which most people will not understand in particular your friends and family.
They cannot appreciate the amount of time you need to put into this exam and I am constantly being asked, so when are you taking this big exam then?
CCIE Certification is the ultimate achievement of any Cisco Network engineer and the sheer volume of knowledge you will acquire whilst studying for it is immense.
It will certainly make you a better engineer and you will hopefully get a pay rise / better job after it.
For me the Cisco CCIE Certification was 4 things.
- An amazing learning tool – I am learning new stuff every day which I am using in my daily job, and it is making me a better engineer to really understand a technology.
- Job Security – The workplace is a very different place now and a job for life is long gone, so you need to be doing everything you can to make yourself employable and to stand out from the crowd. After completing the CCNP and CCSP – I did not want to stop there. The CCIE was the next logical step.
- It is making me better at my job – I am now troubleshooting in a whole different way, methodically instead of just trying everything I could until it worked.
- Something to be proud of – when I get my digits, for me it will be one of the biggest achievements of my life. I was not a great student and do not have a degree so for me this is the next best thing – at nearly 40 I have maybe left it a bit late in life but it is certainly keeping me sharp and I didn’t realise that I could focus for so long.
There are many plus points to the CCIE Certification but there are also some negatives.
Do you want to spend every evening / weekend studying for this exam which may not actually get you a better job / pay rise / job security?
For some they have knowledge in a lot of areas and are very content with the work they are doing.
I have met some great engineers in my time who are not CCIE’s and I have also met some CCIE’s who are not great engineers!
Personally though this is a challenge that I have come to far in now to give up, so I am in it till the bitter end.
UPDATE: I passed the CCIE Routing & Switching Exam in August 2015 and am now CCIE #50038
To read about my journey – Click Below
CCIE or Python?
Another very big debate in 2020 is should even bother with CCIE and just learn Python for Network Automation instead?
You need to know how to configure BGP before you start to look at automating a large scale roll-out.
Do you need CCIE? That is the question, you can gain a great deal of knowledge with CCNP level certs and the CCIE is the ultimate certification and will gain you a lot of respect in the industry and also open a lot of doors with regards to jobs.
However if you can prove to an employer you can do the job and you also have automation skills, then this is where you need to be, if you do have a CCIE and Python skills you will be in demand.
Good luck with your studies.