New member, Need some direction from experienced individuals

Hello all,

My name is Dio, I work for Spectrum Enterprise as a network Engineer II. I have my CCNP in R&S, and have hit a brick wall recently. I feel like after getting my CCNP, I am no longer as driven to go for the CCIE. Not that I don’t want to get it, but there are so many other things I would like to learn. I end up not learning anything because I can’t focus on just one thing. I have been like this for about 3 months now, I need to desperately choose one path and stick with it. I have thought about going for the CCIE, but after analyzing how long it would take, I’ve considered starting with a new track. Maybe, getting my CCNP in Service Provider, Data Center, and Design as well as Security. I would love to get some feedback, from the community. I think of myself as a relatively sharp individual (but that is relative). Let me know your thoughts, I am very interested in hearing out anyone that has been in my shoes before.

PS - There are other vendors other than Cisco that we have in our network, Nokia (Alcatel Lucent) and Juniper which has become a big deal since they are now our PE devices. I don’t know if maybe I should deviate and go for one of those as well. I am not a fan of either of those platforms, not to say anything negative, I just don’t like the way they implement their configurations and/or services. I would prefer to stick with what I know, but having a cert with either or both of those two would also be a big deal.

Hello Dio.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your struggles with us. A lot of people are often in the same situation as you and it is often difficult to know what to do. Sharing your experiences will help you as well as other that are facing similar dilemmas.

It is true that getting your CCIE is a huge endeavour. Getting two CCIEs has been equated by some with obtaining a PhD as far as the investment of time and effort involved is concerned. If you’re going to get your CCIE you must be determined to spend the time and effort and to wait the necessary amount of time (until you obtain it) to start reaping its rewards. If you have a day job, this means that it could be a couple of years or more before obtaining it.

Alternatively, broadening your knowledge base by obtaining CCNP specialisations like Data Centre, Design, Security etc as you mentioned may bring you more immediate rewards in both job advancement as well as personal satisfaction. It will also give you more fields of expertise compared to a single CCIE and make you elligible for a larger range of job opportunities.

Essentially, you must look at what your goal for the future is. Do you want to specialise in depth into R&S with a CCIE investing the time and effort to see rewards after a longer period of time? Do you want to broaden your skills base, not at the depth of a CCIE but at a deep enough level to be a vaulable resource for your company in many areas?

Keep in mind also, that if you do want to end up getting your CCIE, do it as early as possible. I don’t know your age or your family situation, but the older you get, the more difficult it is to study and retain information… and to find the time to actually prepare! (wife/husband and children can be somewhat of a distraction :smile:)

I hope this has been helpful!


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@lagapides ,

Thank you so much for the well thought out feedback. I agree that both directions will have their pros, and cons. I am relatively young (27yrs old), and plan on having my CCIE before I am 30, if possible of course. My current employer is an ISP, and I work for the commercial core side. That being said, I have a lot of exposure to many technologies, therefore, benefit more from the multiple certifications.

We just deployed a ton of Juniper MX’s out in the field, so I recently (today) got my JNCIA certification, and will go for my JNCIS-SP since it also comes with a nice bonus. This got me thinking, and what you stated about being multifaceted with different technologies, could really help me grasp a solid picture of how vendors implement their services/protocols.

After contemplating for some time, I decided to get certifications in different tracks, but from different vendors for the aforementioned reason. Thank you for your feedback, I hope that we can share some thoughts in the future once again.

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Glad that I could be of help! Always looking forward to sharing with you on the forum.