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What is the CCIE Exam Eligibility?

Author : PyNet Labs
Last Modified: May 30, 2024 
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The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification is one of the most prestigious and respected certifications in the IT industry. It is designed for networking professionals who have a deep understanding of Cisco networking solutions and technologies. It validates the skills required to plan, operate, and troubleshoot complex, converged network infrastructures but do you know what the CCIE Exam eligibility is.

If you want to become an expert in Cisco networking, you must pass the Cisco CCIE certification exam, which is not easy. Given its high status, the eligibility criteria for the CCIE exam are rigorous. So, the first task is to become eligible for the exam.

Then to prepare for the CCIE Certification, you should enrol in a CCIE course, such as, PyNet Labs’ CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Training, where you will learn all the expert skills for managing complex network infrastructure. In this blog, we will discuss the CCIE exam eligibility required to appear in the CCIE Certification exam.

CCIE Exam Eligibility

While talking about CCIE Exam Eligibility, there are no formal prerequisites to take the exam, successfully navigating it requires significant knowledge and experience. Here’s a breakdown of the key points regarding CCIE exam eligibility:

Written Exam

The first in the list of CCIE Exam eligibility is passing a written exam. If you want to take the CCIE exam, you must pass a qualifying written exam, otherwise known as CCNP core exam, before the CCIE lab exam. It means that you must pass a core exam for each track of the CCIE.

Let’s take an example to understand clearly –

If you choose to take the  CCIE Enterprise Certification exam, you must first pass the CCNP ENCOR v1.1 (350-401) or Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies exam before taking the CCIE Lab exam.


Next in the list of CCIE Eligibility is experience, which is recommended but not necessary. Cisco recommends having 3 to 5 years of experience in designing, deploying, operating, and optimizing complex network scenarios and technologies or the specific track you want to pursue before attempting the CCIE Exam.

Note – There’s no mandatory college degree requirement. However, a strong foundation in networking concepts is essential.

These are the CCIE Exam Eligibility. Now, let’s look at the essential steps to prepare for CCIE exam.

Preparatory Steps for CCIE Lab Exam

To prepare for a CCIE Exam, you must –

  • Understanding the Exam Blueprint: Cisco provides an exam blueprint to guide you in your preparation process. You need to be familiar with all the subjects of the field and their depth of knowledge.
  • Practical Training: Since the exam is practical, you need extensive training. You can achieve this by working in the field or laboratories and obtaining relevant training materials.

Now it’s time to understand the process of the CCIE exam.

Examination Process

The CCIE certification process consists of two parts:

  • CCNP Core Exam: It is a two-hour core exam that tests you on a wide range of networking concepts and some device commands.
  • Lab Exam: It is an eight-hour practical lab exam that tests your ability to implement networking equipment and software, running a secure, scalable network.

Now, we have covered CCIE eligibility, its preparatory steps, and exam process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1 – Is it hard to pass CCIE?

Yes, it is tough, but you can pass on the first attempt with hard work, dedication and a thorough understanding of networking concepts.

Q2 – What do you need to do to get CCIE?

For CCIE, you must pass a qualifying exam i.e., CCNP core exam. It means, if you choose CCIE Enterprise Wireless certification, you must pass core exam (350-401 ENCOR v1.1) or Implementing Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies. Additionally, you are expected to have three to five years of on-the-job experience before attempting certification.

Q3 – Is CCIE worth it in 2024?

Yes, CCIE is worth it in 2024. Employers prefer candidates with expert skills to manage their complex network infrastructure and remain competitive in the IT market.

Q4 – Can I do CCIE after CCNA?

Yes, you can do CCIE after CCNA. It will help you understand advanced networking concepts easily.


As we discussed, for the CCIE exam you must pass a qualifying exam i.e., CCNP Core Exam. For every track of CCIE, you will need to pass a CCNP core of every track. In other words, if you want to go for CCIE Security then you must pass the core exam (350-701 SCOR v1.1) before the CCIE lab exam. Moreover, the experience and knowledge recommended above are essential factors for CCIE exam eligibility.

I hope you enjoyed this blog! If you have any questions or comments about the CCIE certification or networking in general, feel free to leave them below.

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