What's the CCDP's industry worth?

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May 29th, 2005
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I feel like I might be getting mixed input about the value of the CCDP cert. Recently, I was considering my pursuit of the CCIE R&S, however, I decided against this due to financial limitations. I'm already a CCNP, and my thought was that until the time came for me to pursue the CCIE, I'd round out my troubleshooting/support cert with a design cert. Another individual mentioned that he had seen a few in the industry take this path - combine the CCNP with the CCDP while on course to obtaining CCIE status.

I have a couple of purposes for obtaining the CCDP. First is simply the satisfaction and challenge of learning a new avenue of network engineering. Second, I want to increase my marketability and advancement opportunities. However, I've noticed a couple of interesting things about the CCDP. First, if you do a simple search on a job board like dice.com (search with keyword "CCNP"), you'll get 359 hits. Use the "CCDP" keyword, you'll only get 59 hits. Then, if you visit TCPMag and check out the 2004 salary survey numbers for both, there's around a $20K difference in favor of the CCDP.

Bottom line: I just renewed my CCNP cert Friday and have started the CCDP study process. I'm not looking to leave my private company employer, however, I've had thoughts of possibly doing some Cisco work on the side. Besides, no one knows what the future will bring...I want to have as many tools at my disposal as possible to make the most of every opportunity. Is the CCDP entering a sunset phase? Or, is the situation as it appears - less jobs because it's a "higher-end" design cert, and by nature, design can command as much (or more) in terms of responsibility and salary? Don't get me wrong, this isn't just about getting a fatter paycheck! :-)

Thanks for any and all input!


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Overall Rating: 5 (1 ratings)
scottmac Mon, 05/30/2005 - 09:11
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I believe you'll find the CCDP useful from several different perspectives.

Sometimes "fixing" a network (ala CCNP skills) require a re-design for the long term solution. To me, it makes sense to design and build within the scope of the manufacturer's rational for creating the network components.

Cisco (or any other manufacturer) can't possibly cover every possible solution scenario. They build the equipment with specific environments, topologies, and design philosophies in mind.

By designing and implementing with that framework, you are greatly increasing your chances of creating the most efficient and available networking system.

I believe it also broadens the CCNP's troubleshooting horizon somewhat .... by understanding how the equipment was designed to fit into the system, it make it easier to spot when something is operating out-of-scope and make the necessary adjustments.

And, if it comes down to it, given the choice of a CCNP certified candidate versus a candidate that is a CCNP and a CCDP, I believe the addition of the CCDP make the candidate more desirable (given reasonable competency to both individuals).

The extra effort of gaining a CCDP cert (depends on your organization and managment) may be recognized and rewarded.

Personally, I like the challenge, and feel that any additional information that may give me an edge is worthwhile.



alex.walker Tue, 05/31/2005 - 04:45
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I was CCNP, and then did CCDA and CCDP, mostly as stepping stones to assit in CCIE. I found a few questions in my later exams that I may not have known without having done CCDP.

Also, if you pass a CCIE written exam later on, it renews all lower certifications, such as CCDP and CCNP.

I would go for it. For me, it was only another two exams after doing CCNP.

cscee44444 Sun, 06/05/2005 - 15:41
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As for myself, I passed the CCDA and now working on CCDP before even finishing CCNP. I don't know about the ARCH material yet since I haven't started (doing BSCI and BCMSN first)... but the CCDA was very useful and revealing for me. I was very curious about learning design and now I know the foundation of a well designed network and why it's so important. It seems more logical for me to do the design certs first and the dive more deeply into stuff like CQS and the other two CCNP exams (CIT and BCRAN).


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