ZNDP 008 – Ask Zig – What CCxE should You pursue?

I was recently asked by one of our Ziglets, what expert level Cisco certification they should pursue…A CCIE or the CCDE? My answer to this was “It Depends”. Today’s episode is going to dive deep into what you should think about to help answer this question in your situation.

Making the decision to pursue any CCxE certification is not a decision that should be made lightly.

  • There are a number of costs associated with all CCxE’s: Money, Time, and Energy are the top categories that should be looked at before making this leap.
  • Make sure this is a joint discussion and agreement with your family.  
  • Make sure you are being upfront on how much time and energy you will need to put into this journey that most likely will take away from the family, and other activities.  
  • You will need to have the drive, motivation, and dedication to accomplish this goal, and you still may not achieve it.  
  • These exams are not easy or everyone in this field, in this community would have them.

If you have come to terms with all of these costs, and you have decided to start your CCxE journey but you are not sure what certification to actually pursue, then keep reading!

A CCIE vs the CCDE:

Some questions that I would ask to help make this decision:

  • What is your experience today?
  • What do you want to be doing in the future?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Does your current company have any CCxE’s?
  • Which CCxE do you personally like more?

I wouldn’t normally plan something like this for your current role unless you plan to stay in that current role in 5 years from now for some reason, but more for your future role.

Recommended Resources:

CCDE Recommendations:

CCIE Recommendations:

  • Boot Camps / Self Paced Training:

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Michael “Zig” Zsiga II, CCDE™ 2016::32, CCIE™ #44883 has been in the networking industry a little over 15 years. He is currently a Lead Technical Architect at ePlus in the New England region of the United States. Zig holds an active CCDE and two CCIE certifications, one in Routing and Switching and the second in Service Provider. Zig also holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science from Park University. Zig is a father, a husband, a United States Marine, a gamer, a nerd, a geek and a big soccer fan. Zig loves all technology and can usually be found in the lab learning and teaching others. Zig is a co-organizer of The Boston Network Operators Group (www.bosnog.org), runs multiple CCIE Study groups, and is a newly published author. Zig lives in New Hampshire, USA with his wife, Julie and their son Gunnar.