The Cisco Certified Internet work Expert, or CCIE, is a technical certification offered by Cisco Systems. The CCIE certifies the skills required of network engineers to plan, operate and troubleshoot complex, converged network infrastructures on a wide variety of Cisco equipment.
The CCIE is described by Cisco as “the most prestigious networking certification in the industry.” The CCIE certifies a very specific set of skills in the field of networking. According to Cisco, less than 3% of Cisco Certified engineers obtain CCIE certification and less than 1% of the networking professionals worldwide, and the average candidate will spend thousands of their own dollars and spend at least 18 months studying while pursuing it. Passing all the requirements of the program earns the individual a unique CCIE number assigned by Cisco.
The program is currently divided into seven different areas of expertise or “tracks”. The CCIE track in which one becomes certified determines the different aspects of networking technology that individual is recognized as being an expert in. One may also choose to pursue multiple CCIE tracks to be recognized as an expert in several different categories of Cisco technology: Routing & Switching, Service Provider, Security, Service Provider Operations, Voice/Collaboration, Data Center, and Wireless.