There are no formal prerequisites for CCIE certification. Other professional certifications or training courses are not required.
Candidates must first pass a written qualification exam and then the corresponding hands-on lab exam. You are expected to have an in-depth understanding of the topics in the exam topics and strongly encouraged to have three to five years of job experience before attempting certification. You can review the exam preparation materials included on this page for more information.
Steps to Certification
Step One: CCIE Security Written Exam
You must pass the two-hour test with 90–110 questions that validate professionals who have the expertise to describe, design, implement, operate, and troubleshoot complex security technologies and solutions. Candidates must understand the requirements of network security, how different components interoperate, and translate it into the device configurations. The exam is closed book and no outside reference materials are allowed.
Step Two: CCIE Security Lab Exam
The eight-hour lab exam requires a candidate to plan, design, implement, operate and troubleshoot complex security scenarios for a given specification. Knowledge of troubleshooting is an important skill and candidates are expected to diagnose and solve issues as part of the CCIE lab exam.
You must pass the lab within three years of passing the written to achieve certification. Your first lab attempt must be made within 18 months.
CCIE certifications are valid for two years and must be recertified every two years thereafter.
To recertify, pass ONE of the following before the certification expiration date:
CCIE and CCDE professionals that do not pass a qualifying exam or lab exam before the recertification deadline will be placed in a suspended status and their employers will be notified. Suspended CCIE and CCDE professionals have one year to pass the required exam or lab before their expert level certification becomes permanently inactive. Inactive CCIE and CCDE professionals lose all benefits and must pass both the CCIE written and lab or CCDE written or practical exams again.
Achieving or recertifying CCIE, CCDE or CCAr automatically extends your active Entry, Associate, Professional or other Expert level certification(s), or Specialist Certifications up to the expiration date of the latest CCIE, CCDE or CCAr certification achieved.For more information, access the How to Recertify page.
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