An Acronym for Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert.

The serious CiscoNuts end up getting this. Pursuing CCIE should only be considered after at least five years experience with Cisco equipment. The first time failure rate is over 80%.

When having a discussion with 2 friends about my CCIE ambitions, one of them explained it to the other as "You know Jedi? CCIE is like that, but for networking." -- NathanWard

The certification exams are in two parts.

The written exam for Routing and Switching


Theory related to topics such as IP, IP routing, non-IP desktop protocols, bridging and switch-related technologies. Also some equipment commands.


Two hours.

  • Computer-based multiple-choice system, 100 questions.
  • Exam is closed book.
  • No outside reference materials are allowed.

Required score

Set by statistical analysis and is subject to periodic change.


USD $300, administered by independent testing vendors. Actual price may vary due to exchange rate and local taxes, including VAT and GST.


Available immediately following the exam. You must wait 72 hours between attempts. After passing, you have 18 months to schedule your first lab exam.

As of October 2004, you can now renew any Cisco Certifications by passing the CCIE written exam.

The lab exam


Build a series of complex networks to certain specifications. You will not configure end-user systems but are responsible for all devices residing in the network (switches, routers, etc.).


Eight hours.

  • The Cisco documentation CD is available in the lab room, but the exam assumes knowledge of the more common protocols.
  • Network specifics, point values, and testing criteria will be provided.
  • You must report any suspected equipment issues to the proctor as soon as possible; adjustments cannot be made once the exam is over.
  • You are not allowed to bring any materials into the lab exam room.

Required score



USD $1250, not including travel and lodging expenses. Actual price may vary due to exchange rate and local taxes, including VAT in Brussels and GST in Sydney. You are responsible for any fees your financial institution may charge to complete the payment transaction.