CCIE Cont Ed Credits or How to milk your CCIE’s!

In case you missed it Learning@Cisco as finally announced their plan for Continuing Education Credits as a way to renew your CCIE instead of having to take an exam. You can read all the “official” stuff over at this link but let me break some things down as to why this is the dumbest implementation of CE I’ve ever seen.

Only Cisco

Before you go off on me for saying but it’s Cisco CE let’s be fair for a second ok. What is the definition of Continuing Education? Isn’t studying say for example core 802.11 fundamentals a form of CE? If you are prepping for another exam, such as the CWNP exams, you are furthering your understanding ABOVE and BEYOND what even Cisco tests on in regards to the CCIE Wireless so why not count it? CWNP counts other exams towards their CE credits.

High Requirement Low Yield

Look at the return on your investment (time and money) and you’ll see that it is extremely low in my mind. You need to hit 100 credits, but to earn those credits it’s fairly low on some of the items so will require a lot to meet the threshold. Want to earn faster? Yeah you can but it’s going to cost you a TON.

High Cost to Play

ALL OF THE LEARNING REQUIRES YOU TO SPEND MONEY! Did I get that point across well enough? I only found 1 option that didn’t require you to fork over a bunch of money to Cisco: Content Authoring. Unfortunately that is at the approval of Cisco (something tells me this blog post won’t count) and returns a very low credit. Why are you requiring only items that cost a lot of money? For example the average class is around $1500 – $5000. So here we get a large number of credits (avg 40) with a high cost to play. For someone like me that pays for their own training and certifications this is nuts.

Missing Training?

Things like Cisco Live and classroom or eLearning training options are there but then they forget all about the partner trainings such as the Virtual Training or VT events that many of us in the partner community rely on for our training. So we are getting CE on the product portfolio but can’t use it for CE credits for most likely the largest CCIE user base out there: partners. Right hand meet left hand?

The Fee

Finally you have enough credits and you need to pay $300 now. That’s fair, how about we reduce some of the other expenses to help offset this understandable fee?


So ultimately in the end what does this program really come down to? Simple: Milk your CCIE’s for as much as you possibly can and masquerade it as a CE program so we don’t have to deal with the crappy written exams. Before anyone goes off on me about being part of the solution and not the problem let me tell you how many times I’ve reached out to assist with the program. It’s hit or miss as to if you get a response or how timely that response is, from both sides. It’s a large time commitment to help make these programs better with a low return on your investment so it’s a struggle. I REALLY wanted to like and help with the CE program and hopefully maybe someone at Learning@Cisco will take this open offer to sit down and talk with me about how horrible this is. I strongly believe this is simply going to encourage MORE brain dumps by unskilled people because it’s the easier and cheaper solution now.

/rant over, go back to your regularly scheduled programming now

1 Comment

  1. Milkee July 24, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    You’re totally right. Doing the math it’s a shame, because they’re really pricing people out of becoming CCIE’s, or worse, putting people into debt for a certification people aren’t really impressed about anymore.

    I’m a CCIE DC, but in this marketplace it’s probably worth more time and effort to focus on AWS certs. It really sucks because I have a hard decision coming up as I have to recert later this year. I’ve had some peers take the CCIE’s Written recently and they say the tests are getting more ridiculous. The CCIE program has always been a nice money maker for Cisco, now as they push us into the CPE program you’ve illustrated nicely in the article how they’ve gone from getting $400 from us in an exam to now us having the privilege of spending $10,000 easy just on training fees not counting time off work, hotel, and airfare to get or keep our number. It sucks royally.

    Individual yearly training budget at my company is $3,000. 100 credits is out of wack. Plus they limit Live not to 70 credits per year but per *cycle*. Wish they would have modeled it more after CISSP’s CPE program.

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