Getting CCIE without CCNP!

Unanswered Question
Nov 10th, 2007

Dear all,

Is it possible to successfully prepare for CCIE without first getting CCNP cert? I'd particularly appreciate inputs from people who have been able to do just that. I guest, my question is how tough is it? is it better to get CCNP first before attempting CCIE?

Thank you for your suggestions.


I have this problem too.
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Hi Ben

I am not a CCIE, just a CCNP student at present, however I think your question on whether you could successfully prepare for the CCIE without first getting the CCNP would depend on your level of Networking experience and your experience with configuring Cisco hardware.

While there are no prerequisites (previous Cisco certifications) for the CCIE, from what I have read of the exam and from speaking to CCIE's it is quite a difficult exam, especially the CCIE Lab.

I suppose that if you have sufficient networking experience that it would be possible to read the required topics and pass the written exam. However it would seem that to pass the CCIE lab you would need to have quite a high level of proficiency in configuring Cisco hardware in both LAN and WAN configurations encompassing all of the relevant technologies.

I am sure you have also read about the number of CCIE candidates who have the experience, previous Cisco certifications and have put in the study and rack time and still required more than one attempt to get their number and the lab is not the cheapest of exams, especially if you do not live close to a lab testing center.

So I am sure with the right amount of hands on experience and a thorough understanding of Networking technology that it is possible. But without these I do not think that becoming a CCIE is possible.

Just my 2c worth.


foeadefinal Sun, 11/11/2007 - 16:49

Hi Michael,

I have my CCNA and I'm almost thru with CCNP BCMSN.My thinking was to first get my CCNP;however, one of my boss who is a CCIE,told me I should go for CCIE directly. His reasoning is that both CCNP and CCIE written involve pretty much the same material. Once,I pass the CCIE writen,I can prepare for the lab. I'm not so sure; that's why I posted on this forum to find out what other people think. Anyway, thanks for your reply.


steve_steele Sun, 11/11/2007 - 22:51

Hi, I am sitting the CCIE written on Friday and have already passed the CCNP Track.

I can tell you that there is significant overlap between the CCIE Written and the entire CCNP track.

The CCIE written covers a lot of ground. Studying for the CCNP first followed by the Written has helped me break down the material into chunks that I found easier to manage. I also feel that I have benefitted from going over the same topics a second time but from different books.

It may take you a fair while to pass CCIE, studying for CCNP on route lets you pick up an extra cert and maybe a raise / bonus on route adding a bit of incentive during the long trek to CCIE.

Thats my take on it anyway, hope it helps to some degree.

Regards Steve

swmorris Mon, 11/12/2007 - 09:00

In the words of he great Cisco... "it depends" :)

It IS possible to go straight to CCIE because there are no pre-requisites for the written exam. But the CCNP tracks help give you exposure, or stepping stones, to the various technologies you will be tested on.

I did not do the NA/NP track prior to my CCIE. Granted, I got my CCIE back in '99, so the NA/NP didn't even exist until right before I took my CCIE written (so I wasn't going to slow down and regroup)!

But the big thing is it depends on the the depth and breadth of your current knowledge. Worst case, you'll be out $315 for taking the CCIE written and saying "Wow, I think I need some more work". :)

Best of luck in your studies no matter which path you take!


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rizzast Wed, 11/14/2007 - 08:12

I've been working on my CCNP and just taking to long. If you pass the written CCIE will you get the CCNP?


cyphur353 Mon, 11/19/2007 - 07:17

rizzast - something to consider - if you're teaching yourself the materials for the CCNP tests, then you'll still have to teach yourself much of the same material(not all) but in greater depth, as well as many things not covered in the CCNP track.

Either way, you are going to be learning a lot of materials. Depending how far into the CCNP you are - it may make more sense to break off and go for your CCIE instead. If you're halfway in, however, I'd say to stick with the CCNP as it will give you a lot of good exposure to the topics prior to preparing for the R&S Written.


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