For many years, the CCIE (Cisco Certified Internet Expert) certification has always been the highest level of certification that network professionals have dreamed of. At present, there are very few people worldwide who have obtained this certification. However, this situation has now changed. On Monday, Cisco released a new certification that is higher than the CCIE level-Cisco Certified Architect (CCA). Cisco is trying to use the CCA certification to combine CCIE’s network engineering skills with the MBA’s business talents.
In Cisco’s CCA certification, CCA will train candidates to work with chief business operations executives to transform business requirements into effective IT systems. Cisco spokesperson Fred Wieller said, “Our research shows that if a company buys the wrong technology and services, they may waste $100 billion.” The reason for this waste is that executives have a deep understanding of business needs, but lack of understanding of IT architecture, or have a deep understanding of IT architecture, but lack of understanding of business needs. CCA will train CCIE how to communicate with the above two groups.
Cisco newly announced CCA certification is not only expensive, but also extremely difficult to pass. CCA certification costs 15,000 US dollars. Candidates must not only have a CCIE or CCDE (Cisco Certified Design Expert) certification, but also need at least 10 years of work experience in related industries. Candidates must submit an application, and they must be strictly screened by Cisco before they can participate in the training. Once admitted to the training course, candidates must propose an architectural solution for a series of business needs. At that time, the examination committee will question the trainers, and the trainers will need to respond to the plan and make changes. The examination committee is composed of world-renowned engineers and related experts in other fields, and its members are not only from Cisco.
In this regard, Wieller said, “This certification will encourage companies to regard network architecture as a job function rather than a part of work.” Once allowed to participate in training courses, the certification process can be completed within a few weeks.
Industry analysts are very much in favor of this new certification. Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president of Yankee Group, a market research organization, said, “CCIE is currently the highest level certification for network engineers. However, the newly launched CCA certification will exceed CCIE certification in level, which means a network engineer with CCIE certification will have MBA business talents. Many companies will often buy some technologies and then figure out how to use them. This phenomenon is very common. Looking at these technologies by business standards is currently a very sought-after skill.”
Kerravala believes that CCA certification will soon be as valuable as CCIE certification. Since many companies now have to show the proportion of their employees who have obtained CCIE certification, Kerravala believes that system integration companies will be the first to send their employees to participate in CCA certification. In addition, Kerravala also believes that network engineers from large multinational companies will also be keen on this new certification. He believes that this kind of certification may even replace some business graduate degrees in the future, and some companies that cooperate with complex networks will be able to specifically seek such talents in the future.
Cisco said that in the future CCA certification will become an elite certification, and the number of people who pass this certification each year will be very small. Cisco project manager Sanjay Mehta said that the number of people who pass the CCA certification may only be in double digits in the first two years. Cisco will begin accepting applications for CCA certification this fall, and the first batch of trainees will respond to their architectural solutions in January next year.
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