CCIE voice do I stand a chance ...

Unanswered Question
Sep 6th, 2008

I have 7 years of experience dealing with cisco switches, routers, firewall and linux, I passed the CCNP in 2005 and the CCVP in 2008 (hard study, no braindump ....). I currently work for a Internet service provider so I deal on a daily basis with switching, routing and connectivity issues. My problem as you can see I don't have any experience or exposure to IP communication. I'm in the process of building a ccie voice LAB at home (without 6503 and VG248), and rent a virtual lab to train my self with the techno I don't have in my lab.

I know CCIE is not a peace of cake, do I stand a chance of becoming a CCIE by using my home lab + rented Lab + of course HARD WORK ? or is that simply mission impossible if you don't work at all in the VOIP industry on a daily basis?

I know some would suggest to leave my current job and try to find a junior IPT role, but I can't afford a pay cut.

thanks in advance.

I have this problem too.
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Richard Burts Sat, 09/06/2008 - 09:01


If the question is do you stand a chance of achieving CCIE Voice although you do not work in that industry, then I would say that yes you stand a chance. It will be quite difficult. But adequate study and adequate practice with equipment (your own and rented) can lead you to this accomplishment. It would be easier if you work with the technology on a regular basis, but not working with it does not preclulde your ability to learn it.



rob.huffman Sat, 09/06/2008 - 09:46

Hi Kaine,

I agree with my friend Rick here! +5 points Rick for the good advice :)

You certainly can accomplish this goal! You have an excellent foundation, you are obviously hard working and you have the desire. These are all the building blocks for success! It may take a little longer and you may have to work a little harder due to the fact that you don't work with IPT on a daily basis. But nothing in life is impossible when you have the proper attitude and a great "game plan" :)

Best of luck on your journey!


kayih Sat, 09/06/2008 - 10:44

hi guys,

Thanks for your advises. This will give me more courage.

thanks again

Chris Deren Sun, 09/07/2008 - 07:34

I also beleive that with a lot of work and dedication you can achive it by simply studying it, becuase I've seen it happen :-) It may take you a lot more time than someone who deals with the technology everyday, but it's doable. The bigger question is your motive for doing this? Do you want to get the certification in order to change or advance your job, or do you simply want a CCIE number? If you want to work in the UC field, I would recommand getting there first, since you've earned your CCVP you should have very good start. I dont agree with getting a particualar cert and then going for the job, I can feel that out in 5 minutes of the interview. Either way, good luck to you!!!


kayih Sun, 09/07/2008 - 10:33

hi chris,

it's not at all for the sake of getting a CCIE number. I did try to find a job in the IP com industry here in London, I went to many interviews for an IPT role but I was not successful. The companies are only interested in people who have many years of experience rolling out callmanager, unity, .... IPCC ..etc.

I was talking to a recruiter last time and he told me the only way I can find a job in IPT is to accept a junior role (of course paying less than what I'm currently earning) in order to get more experience and practice. I can't accept to earn less because I have a family to support and life is bloody expensive here. I think another thing that could make it difficult for me to find a job in London is maybe the fact that I come from France... I would not say my English is crap but not fantastic yet. Before currently working for this service provider I did work in a IT consultancy company in France for 5 years as a network and security engineer, designing and implementing Cisco LAN networks and security solutions under Linux platforms, so I'm not really a beginner in IT. The real problem is companies who want to hire only experienced engineers. So the only way I can get the experience, practice, and have a descent salary is through my home lab and rented Lab.

I don't want to lie on my CV because I know for 100% that the guy who is going to interview me can find out (provided of course he is good in IPT).

Learning through the CCVP I can say for sure that I read more than 5500 pages of IPT techno, theory is good but it's about time I got some hands one.

Moreover the credit crunch is not helping us to find a job quickly.

cisco24x7 Sun, 09/07/2008 - 13:30

If you have the desire and time to get it done,

I would go for it. There is nothing wrong with

getting a CCIE-V with zero experience.

It shows prospective employers that you're

a motivate and dedicate person.

BTW, you can build Cisco Call Manager and

Unity on VMWare. That's how you get started.

Good luck to you

Chris Deren Mon, 09/08/2008 - 05:57


My intend is not to discourage you or tell you not to do it. It's simply to guide you, I've seen a lot of people going for CCIE for the wrong reasons and then they're dissapointed becuase they are either unable to find the job they were hoping for or they dont work in the field. I think it only brings you value if you are planning on going into Unified Communications field, otherwise it may be a lot of wasted time/funds.

Either way as eveyone else has stated with the correct attitude, desire and hard work it can be achived. Good luck!!!


cisco24x7 Tue, 09/09/2008 - 08:43

I have respectfully disagree with you on this.

It is NOT a waste of time. That CCIE-V will

help you in the long run whether or not you

decide to go into the Unified Communications.

Let me give you an example. I have a CCIE

Security but I do not work with Cisco Security

products on a daily basis. As a matter of

fact, my expertise is with Checkpoint

Firewall, VPN and RSA security products.

Do not let others tell you it is waste of time

even if you will not be working in the UC

field now. Think of this as a long term

investment for your career.

My 2c

Chris Deren Tue, 09/09/2008 - 08:51

But you work in security field!!!

The only benefit I can think of if not working in the field is perhaps getting a job at a partner who needs a CCIE for their certification status. I know guys who "lease" their numbers for substential amount of money. But besides this and the personal satisfaction I dont see what else (dont forget the ability to shop for CCIE logo stuff) it brings you unless you work in the field.

So, can you provide an example how it helped you?


Danilo Dy Sun, 09/07/2008 - 17:49

Everybody stand a chance :)

I believe in CCIE you need a "core skill" (no braindump like what you are doing). Because if using braindump and the scenario defers from it, you are going to fail :(.

I believe CCIE Written are easy (cause I took once and passed with a high mark : ).

I believe you need a lot of practice for CCIE LAB - and be active in the forums and/or groupstudy :) I know people who are active in this forum and use it to reinforce their preparation to CCIE LAB and passed it the first try :)

Good luck!


kayih Sun, 09/07/2008 - 21:05

hi medan,

you should take time to read the message before posting an answer, I don't know why do you mention I'm using braindump !!!!, I always take the time to read my books from page 1 to 80x, people who use braindump don't like to read, reading for me is a pleasure, I have sometimes to stop myself because I must spend time with my family.

This is what I have in my home labs :

- CCM6, Unity, Call Manager express, IPCC express, Unity express

- Routers acting as Gateways (voice module + fxs, fxo, DSP), PSTN simulation (using a router), Gatekeepers, IP to IP GW.

- switch 3550 with POE

I can train my self on 75% of the core skills.

I don't have a chassis 6503 + digital interfaces, VG248 it's too expensive, The last thing I have to buy is the ATA186. I will use proctor labs to train my self on stuff I don't have in my lab. If this is what you call braindump, then ok, no worries I'm happy with your definition. What's important is to UNDERSTAND the techno. AAR, SRST, MGCP, H323, SIP .... will run the same regardless it's been implemented on a LAB network or Production network. In the mean time I keep looking for a job in IPT, as I know it's the best way through the CCIE. I maybe lucky this week, I would be more than HAPPY to work in the IPT industry.

paul.matthews Tue, 09/09/2008 - 07:12

You have some good advice here already. CCIE is achievable without the detailed hands on - remember all the flavours of CCIE need a thorough R&S understanding to be able to get the basic network to where it needs to be so your current experience is good grounding for that.

You also sound like you have the right attitude - not looking for shortcuts.

As for your english - it is better than some native english speakers I know!


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