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How to Earn a CCIE Security Certification – 2021 Guide

There is absolutely no doubt that Cisco CCIE Security certification is the highest-ranking acknowledgment an individual in this line of work can possess. Engineers who do have it are considered to be the best since they possess the necessary knowledge and skill to earn it.

If you are thinking about going for this certification, there are numerous things you have to know, such as the tests, prerequisites, as well as the reasons why you should obtain it. In the following article, we will provide you with some of the most important information.

How to earn this certification?

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The first thing you have to know is that there are two tests you have to pass. The first one is a written test that is known as a qualifying exam. This test is considered to be a traditional format since it consists of fill-in-the-blanks and multiple-choice questions. Generally speaking, it is not very difficult to pass this test, and most people manage to do it on their first or second try. To get prepared for it, all you need is a book and a time to go over it. Basically, it is like any test you have ever taken.

However, this is not the case with the second part of the exam, which includes lab work. This test is practical and, in order to pass it, you have to master your problem-solving skills. Candidates have eight hours at their disposal to configure and troubleshoot Cisco network gear. They need to score at least 80% to pass the exam. Not only do you need experience and practical knowledge, but you also have to possess the ability to work under pressure, and more importantly, to work fast.

Taking all of this into consideration, it is not surprising that CCIE is not only the highest accomplishment, but it is also the one that is most difficult to obtain.

Are there any prerequisites?

No, there aren’t any formal prerequisites you have to meet before passing the exams, but considering how complex the exams is, you cannot just decide one day that you want to do it and expect to pass it. You have to invest a lot of time, and you will probably need some help. Learn what your tutoring options are when it comes to the CCIE Lab exam on the Spoto website.

It is advised that potential candidates have at least five years of experience in deploying, designing, managing, and operating security technologies.

How much time will the preparation take?

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Now that you know some basics about the exam, you are probably wondering about the time you have to invest. The short answer is – a lot. First of all, you need years of practical experience, so there’s that. Then, you will need to invest as much as 1,000, or if you want to understand it in another way, at 6 months.

Basically, it will become your second job. People who managed to obtain this certification said that they had put every waking minute into studying before taking the test. It means that you will have to sacrifice a lot during this time, everything from social gatherings to hobbies.

What are the benefits?

We understand how depressing the previous paragraph sounds, so let us tell you about some reasons that make this sacrifice worth it.

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Job opportunities

Naturally, the biggest advantage of obtaining this certification is that you will get to choose what you want to do next. CCIE experts are in high demand right now since they are of crucial importance for every company’s growth and development. Upon passing this exam, you will be presented with great networking opportunities, and a lot of professionals will want to collaborate with you. Simply put, you will receive numerous job options, and it will be up to you to decide whether you want to accept them or not.

Salary packages

CCIE professionals aren’t only in high-demand, but they are also among the highest-paid experts in the IT industry. This certification will enable you to get an attractive compensation package even at an entry-level job. Then, as you develop your skills, you will be able to earn even more money and quickly transform your finances.

Growth opportunities

Taking into consideration the previously mentioned benefits, this one is fairly obvious, right? Not only will you be able to find the right job position quickly since the number of CCIE experts right now cannot meet the demand, but also it will be fairly easy for you to develop your career, acquire more skills, meet people, earn promotions, and naturally, boost your salary.

How much does it cost?

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Finally, taking this exam can be quite expensive. The final number can reach even $20,000, but let’s break it down a bit. First of all, you need to get all the study material. This expense can vary between $100 and $5,000. Here, you have numerous options. If you want to go with a CCIE boot camp, the price can vary between $2,200 and $5,000. Then, you can go with CBT Nuggets training that costs $840 per year. Yes, there are many resources you can use, but keep in mind that none of them are free. Well, it at least the good ones that will actually help you pass the exams.

Next, there is the cost of the lab equipment. This cost can also vary, and there is an option of building your own lab. However, let’s face it, doing this is neither convenient nor cost-effective. Depending on the provider you choose, some of them charge $0.50 per hour, while others charge $100 per session.

Finally, there is the cost of both exams. The written one, which consists of 90 to 100 questions you have to complete in two hours, costs $450. Still, you should consider the chance that you may not pass it the first time, so you should put in the additional cost of re-taking it.

Once you pass the written exam, it is time for lab one. The price of this one is $1,600, but you cannot forget about the accommodation cost as well as food. If you fail this test, you can take it again without having to worry about the written one since it is good for three years. That’s something, right?

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