Will gaining a CCIE help?

Unanswered Question
Oct 29th, 2007

I'm trying to work out whether CCIE is worth pursuing for my situation.

I've always worked as a network manager for fairly small companies so my experience is pretty broad as I had to look after everything. I've set up a Pix, VPN Concentrator, a few small routers as well as Exchange, IIS, SQL. I've written a VB.NET/ SQL application used by hundreds of people everyday.

I've tried to ensure I do things properly and learnt as much as I can along the way picking up a few qualifications (CCNP, CCSP, CISSP, MCSE, CWSP) as this seemed a good way to learn best practice.

To get to the point I've done lots of stuff but do not have a great deal of experience in any one area

for instance...

I've set up Pix, but only 3 outside of a lab

I've set up only about a dozen Cisco routers in production, mostly 800s to vpn to head office.

I set up a Cisco wireless LAN to authenticate via radius using client certificates, but I've only ever done this once.

I've gained as much experience as I can doing what I'm doing now, But i've been told recently by a recruitment consultant that I do not have enough experience to get a job in networking or with a larger corporate company.

I've about ready to sit CCIE R&S Written but am not sure if gaining a CCIE will help me considering my lack of experience.

I guess what I'm asking you guys is… Will gaining a CCIE, with it having a practical component compensate for my lack of specific experience?

Thanks for reading this and any insight will be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Steve

I have this problem too.
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Hi Steve

I am not sure what the job market is like where you live but I am amazed at a recruitment consultant saying you have insufficient experience to get a job in networking. Maybe you should talk to a different recruitment consultant.

You do not say how long you have been working in the networking field but I am guessing a couple of years. It also seems that you have no problem figuring things out and getting things up and running.

Finally you mention the qualifications you have achieved. Three Cisco professional qualifications (Two of which are security, The CISSP (another security qualification) and the Microsoft qualification. You did not mention CCNA which is required for CCNP certification but I assume you have passed this exam also? Are all these qualifications current or have any elapsed? Was there no practical components to any of these certifications?

Of Course I think a CCIE would be beneficial but it must also be coupled with experience. However I would also think that any employer would rather have an employee with a broad range of experience rather than an employee who is limited to one or two specific areas, unless this specific experience is what was advertised for in the first place.

Maybe you could try sending your CV directly to a few companies rather than using recruitment agencies. Also if you have some spare time you could consider offering your services for free to schools, libraries etc to help gain more experience?

Well that about it from me other then to say good luck with the job hunting.

Best Regards,

Michael

rgodden Tue, 10/30/2007 - 04:49

You should be ok.

I would rather employ someone who knows everything about a small network than someone who has worked on a big network watching screens go from green to red and doesnt get the chance to drill down on problems.

steve_steele Wed, 10/31/2007 - 16:14

Hi Michael,

The Certs are all current including CCNA, and I've worked in IT now 13 years.

No none of the exams I've passed have a practical component. But I do have a stack of routers, 2 servers,3 switches, a frame relay switch, 2 x pix and a vpn concentrator. I used to have an IDS but sold it as soon as I passed the IDS exam.

Thanks for the input, that consultant had me feeling a bit like i was wasting my time.

Regards

Steve

ellis_b Thu, 11/01/2007 - 06:03

Steve,

Getting a CCIE cert will absolutely be beneficial. But as the folks already said in this thread, EXPERIENCE is just as important. A CCIE cert does show dedication, understanding, and some level of networking knowledge. While studying for your CCIE, there will definitely be a lot of "lights" going on and some additional understanding in specific technologies. From your situation you described, I believe the CCIE will only help you. (but since Im in the CCIE training business, you could say I'm slightly biased - but I definitely believe in the value of the cert as well!)

thanks,

Brad Ellis

CCIE#5796 (R&S / Security)

CCSI# 30482

CEO / President

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