Requirements for Certification
There are no formal prerequisites for CCIE certification. Other professional certifications or training courses are not required. Instead, 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 blueprints 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.
Step One: CCIE Security Written Exam
You must pass the two-hour, written qualification exam covering networking concepts and some equipment commands before you are eligible to schedule the lab exam.
Step Two: CCIE Security Lab Exam
The eight-hour lab exam tests your ability to get a secure network running in a timed test situation. 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.
The Cisco CCIE Security lab exam features a question format in a section called Core Knowledge. In this section, candidates will be asked a series of four open-ended questions that require a short, typewritten response (typically several words). The questions will be randomly drawn from a pool of questions on topics currently eligible for testing on the CCIE Security lab exam. No new topics have been added. Candidates have up to 30 minutes to complete the Core Knowledge section of the exam, and may not return to the questions later. First introduced to the CCIE Routing and Switching lab exam in February 2009, Core Knowledge questions have been added to all CCIE tracks. The changes allow Cisco to maintain strong exam security, and they help ensure that only qualified candidates are awarded CCIE certification.