The CCIE exam is difficult, it’s clear. It’s also not hard to see why the CCIE is so expensive. It’s an investment, however. It’s important to understand the cost of any investment to determine if it’s worth it.
Here are some examples of the expenses you might face while trying to earn the CCIE.
The CCIE is not your first cert
First, it is important to remember that CCIE does not occur in a vacuum. Technically, there is no prerequisite for the CCIE. However, no one should go into this exam without having some knowledge. The CCIE is an expert-level certification that requires a lot of knowledge. It is a three-part series. This knowledge can be gained with the recommended, but not so low, three to five years of experience and some additional entry-level Cisco exams.
The CCNA or CCNP are recommended if you don’t have any certs or wish to see the total cost of CCIE. Here are the prices for Cisco-proctored exams.
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Training for new CCNAs is $300.
ICND1 & ICND2 cost $165 each. The total 200-105 ICND2 cost is $325.
All CCNPs cost $300
Add them all together and you get your first number. The recommended exams for CCIE are approximately $650, which includes certification exam costs.
Similarly, CCNA doesn’t represent the first certification for most people. Most professionals begin with CompTIA exams or Microsoft exams. It can be a long road to obtaining the CCNA or CCIE.
CCIE costs: Exam fees, travel, study material
Passing both exams first is the cheapest way to earn the two-part CCIE. This is no easy feat and it is not the easiest path to success. The best way to learn is through years of practical experience in large, complex networks. Once you have that experience, you can take on the certification. This begins with the written exam.
CCIE written exam fees – $450 x times taken
Once you feel confident enough to take the CCIE exam, you can start the written exam.
The 400-level expert exams (aka CCIE written exam), take two hours and contain 90 to 110 questions. After passing the written section of CCIE, you will be able to make arrangements for the lab test, which we’ll look at below.
The lab exam can be taken and passed within 18 months of the written exam. The written exam can also be used for three years. This is important because most people take multiple lab exams.
CCIE lab exam fees – $1,600 x times taken
You have the CCIE written exam in your rearview, so you are ready for the lab exam. Maybe. Don’t believe anyone who says the lab exam is difficult. According to some estimates, the average CCIE passes the lab exam 2.3 times. The CCIE lab exam costs $4,900 and includes travel and lodging.
There is one silver lining. You can take the lab as many as you like without having to take the written portion again. The written exam will still be valid as long as the labs are completed within the three year timeframe. The lab exam is not cheap, but it is possible to pass it if you prepare well and study the right material.
Study material for CCIE – $100 to $5,000
This is the best place to start calculating the cost of studying for your CCIE. This is also where you will save the most money. It’s a great investment.
Prices vary greatly. CCIE boot camps can easily run from $2,200 to $5,000 without food or lodging. For $840, SPOTO CCIE R&S Training costs one year. There are many resources. There are many resources available. At least, the good ones aren’t. If you’re like Kim Bartlett CCIE #52158 you’ll use them all.