Cisco Debuts 'Emeritus' Designation To Keep Longtime CCIEs Closer


According to Cisco, the extension, dubbed Cisco Emeritus, is available to CCIEs that have been certified for 10 years or longer and are active CCIEs at the time they apply for Emeritus designation.

To remain an active CCIE with Cisco requires renewing the CCIE certification every two years and passing a $350 written exam. But if CCIEs don't renew after two years and then want to re-certify as a CCIE down the road, they have to essentially start from scratch: time-intensive coursework and lab work, written exam and a lab exam that costs about $1,400 per attempt.

The Emeritus designation, according to Cisco, essentially guards a CCIE from having to do that. Those with a CCIE Emeritus designation pay an $85 annual fee, and, while they are not considered active CCIEs, need only to pass the written exam if they decide to return to active CCIE status.

The program doesn't count toward any channel or partner program requirements, nor does it apply toward maintaining any channel partner status.

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According to Cisco, CCIE holders eligible for the program will receive a notice of CCIE Emeritus qualification on their CCIE 10-year anniversary. Along with the $85 annual fee, they are required to provide a summary to Cisco of what they're doing to stay connected to the CCIE program, be that through participation in community forums or Learning @ Cisco activities, or mentoring new CCIEs.

Fred Weiler, director of marketing for Learning @ Cisco, said a "bridge program" of CCIE Emeritus' kind is something CCIEs have been requesting of Cisco for years.

"People who have been for a long time in the CCIE program -- 10, 12, 15 years -- many of them have moved to non-hands-on, non-technical jobs in management or in other leadership roles," Weiler explained in a CRN interview. "They don't want to be active in the program, but they don't want to let their certification lapse and de-certify either. So we thought about that for a couple of years. People, personally and professionally, identify very strongly with being a CCIE."

The 10-year CCIE requirement was decided, Weiler explained, because that's the point when many CCIEs have begun to move into management roles or other areas that take them away from day-to-day, hands-on technical jobs.

"We understand their lives change," added Angela Mendoza, events marketing manager at Learning @ Cisco. "This program [CCIE] is entering its eighteenth year and we don't want to lose any of them, so we're offering this bridge as an option."

The number of current CCIEs with 10 years or longer of certification is "in the low single digit thousands," Weiler estimated.