7 things you Need to know about Cisco Certifications 2.0

Certification 2.0

Updates 11/06/19: CCNP Migration Tool at bottom of page

#CCIE Collaboration 3.0 added to bottom of page

The certification changes announced by Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco today at the #CLUS Keynote are the biggest changes to certifications i have seen by any vendor, while introducing new certifications like the Cisco DevNet track for Software developers which holds the same rigors of the traditional certification track, the most significant change is that the certification path puts the one one perusing certifications driving seat of their career path and to this point they can pick and chose which areas they wish to specialise in, Hence why i call it Cisco Certifications 2.0.

From my previous post you can see the certification landscape is constantly changing with current IT certifications not allowing much room for deviation, to this point, the new generation of Cisco certifications is a game changer in what it means to be a IT professional in the modern age, how and what it means to stay relevant is this fast pacing world of technology. Who wants to be stuck to a certification path when the technology i use in my job is no longer relevant or my perspective and goals have now changed and as such this new approach allows that flexibility…. and less exams 😉

Before we start on the main points here are the three certifications principles you should be aware of when analyzing to help you understand Cisco’s approach:-

  1. Agility – puts you in the drivers seat
  2. Value – Your path to productivity and career advancement
  3. Leadership – the most critical skills for today and tomorrow

That said, Here are the top 7 things you need to know about the new certification/s from Cisco

1. Certification Levels
The certification levels for the most part remain the same, here are the certification levels:-

  • Associate Level – CCNA
  • Specialist Level
  • Professional Level
  • Expert Level

Key points

  • To gain professional level you no longer need a associate level certification, similar to the CCIE
  • while working on a professional Level certification you automatically get a Specialist Certification
  • Professional Level certifications count towards Expert level certifications – so you now only need to give Lab exam after you reached Professional
  • Professional Level certification consists of 2x exams which you can mix-n-match
    • 1x Core certification
    • 1x Specialist Concentration

2. Professional Level Certification Tracks
The Certification paths for the Professional Level exams consists of the following tracks Enterprise, Security, Service Provider, Collaboration and Data Center Tracks, you only need to do a core and a concentration exam to be certified.


  • Professional and Specialist certification tracks
    • Enterprise
      • Core
        • Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core technologies
      • Concentration Exams (+1)
        • Implementing Cisco Enterprise Advanced Routing and Services
        • Designing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks
        • Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks
        • Implementing Cisco SD-WAN Solutions
        • Automating and Programming Cisco Enterprise Solutions (counts towards DevNet specialisation)
    • Security
      • Core
        • Implementing and Operating Cisco Security Core Technologies
      • Concentration Exams (+1)
        • Securing Networks with Cisco Firepower
        • Implementing Secure Solutions with Virtual Private Networks
        • Securing Email with Cisco Security Appliances
        • Securing Web with Cisco Web Security Appliances
        • Implementing and Configuring Cisco Identity Services engine
        • Automating and Programming Cisco Security Solutions (counts towards DevNet specialisation)
    • Service Provider
      • Core
        • Implementing and Operating Cisco Service Provider Network Core Technologies
      • Concentration Exams (+1)
        • Implementing Cisco Service Provider Advances Routing Solutions
        • Implementing cisco service provider advanced routing solutions
        • Implementing cisco provider VPN solutions
        • Automating and Programming Cisco Service Provider Solutions (counts towards DevNet specialisation)
    • Collaboration
      • Core
        • Implementing and Operating Cisco Collaboration Core Technologies
      • Concentration Exams(+1)
        • Implementing Cisco Collaboration Applications
        • Implementing Cisco Advanced Call Control and mobility Services
        • Implementing Cisco Collaboration Cloud and Edge Solutions
        • Automating and Programming Cisco Collaboration Solutions (counts towards DevNet specialisation)
    • Data Center
      • Core
        • Implementing and Operating Cisco Data Center Core Technologies
      • Concentration Exams (+1)
        • Implementing Cisco Storage Area Networking
        • Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure
        • Designing Cisco Data Center Infrastructure
        • Troubleshooting cisco data center infrastructure
        • Automating and Programming Cisco Collaboration Solutions (counts towards DevNet specialisation)

3. New Software Developer Certification Path: Cisco DevNet Professional / Specialist
As with before combining this with a Core exam gives you a DevNet Professional certification, but doing an exam standalone gives you a Specialist certification

devnet cert.png

Pre Requsites: DevNet Core Exam + 1 Concentration exam

  • Professional Level
    • Concentration Exams
      • Developing Applications Using Cisco Core Platforms and APIs
      • Implementing DevOps Solutions and Practices using Cisco Platforms
      • Developing Solutions using Cisco IoT & Edge Platforms
      • Developing Applications for Cisco WebEx and Cisco WebEx Devices
      • Automating and Programming Cisco Enterprise Solutions
      • Automating and Programming Cisco Security Solutions
      • Automating and Programming Cisco Service Provider Solutions
      • Automating and Programming Cisco Collaboration Solutions
      • Automating and Programming Cisco Data Center Solutions

the last four are the same as the concentrations traditional track – so in theory you can achieve 2x CCNP’s with only 3x exams.

4. CCIE Certification

devnet ccie.png

    • New DevNet CCIE Certification -coming soon*
    • Professional Level Certification now counts for the Written exam
    • Multiple CCIE options within each Track for example CCIE Enterprise matching CCNP Enterprise would have
      • CCIE Enterprise – CCIE Enterprise Wireless Lab Exam
      • CCIE Enterprise – CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Lab Exam

5. Recertification
this is another area Cisco has made significant changes

Currently two methods have been identified to help re-certify (more to follow) they are

  • Take a Exam
  • Continuing Education (Yes this has been extended from the CCIE program)
    • Attend Cisco Live Training Sessions
    • Author Content
    • Complete online Training Courses
    • Complete Instructor Led Training

Credits required

  • CCNA 30
  • CCNP 80
  • Specialist 40
  • CCIE 120 (increased by 20)

Considering they have expanded the CE options and will continue to do more it doesn’t seem like a difficult task.

Currently re-certification for Continuous learning ( CE Credits is only applicable to CCIE’s, who also have a 2 year certification length to renew with 1 year inactive before expiring,

under the new model there will be a 3 year re-certification period for all certification paths and the next re-certification is now from the re-certification date and not the Exam Anniversary – so for example you pass your exam on 20th June 2020, you now need to pass by 20th June 2023 but If you re-certify on 1st January 2023 then your 3 years start from this date

6. CCIE Emeritus for Life
If you have had and Active CCIE for 20 Years or maintained a Emeritus status you can keep this status for life with no renewal fees. If you recertify, same as before where it reactivates your CCIE status

7. Migration Paths

    • All certifications Valid until it expires
    • if you complete an exam and you will get the new Specialist certification
    • For associate you will get CCNA + relevant training badges
    • For Professional, you will get CCNP + relevant Specialist certifications see the following tool for migration options CCNP Migration Tool (added 11 June)

Important Dates
Announcement Date 10th June 2019 at Cisco Live
New Certification Go-Live; 24th February 2020

Learn More:-
http://cisco.com/go/nextlevel (might not be updated yet*)

NEW 11th June 2019
CCNP Migration Tool :

CCIE Collaboration 3.0 details released

#CiscoCert #DevNet


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