The New King of Certifications – Cisco Certified Architect

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cisco-architectWell it was bound to happen.  The CCIE has been de-throwned.  No longer is the CCIE the pinnacle of certifications.  There is a new cert in town and its name is Cisco Certified Architect.

I’m actually kind of surprised its taken Cisco this long to come out with a certification that tops the CCIE.  For the longest time, and still to this day, the CCIE is one of the most respectied certifications you can get in the I.T. industry.  An extremely difficult certification to achieve in itself ,the CCIE requires that you past a 100 question written exam just to qualify to take the test.  The CCIE test itself, also referred to as the CCIE lab portion, is a grueling one day lab taken at Cisco campus where candidates are given a case study, designs, and debug outputs where they must build the network that is depicted in the material.  The hardware equipment is all provided, however there are “snags” built-in to the lab.  Non-default settings in the configuration that you must find and fix in order to pass.

But that’s now all behind us.  The new big certification, the Cisco Certified Architect (CCA),  has a prerequisite that you hold a CCIE in design (CCDE) just to be qualified.

There are currently no training providers that exist to help you here either.  You are own your own with this one.  This reminds me of when the CCIE first came out and you had to find your way all by yourself.

In order to achieve this certification, per Cisco’s website, the candidate must:

  • Pass a examination by a panel of experts.
  • Candidates will propose and defend an architecture solution to a set of business requirements, and the candidates will be asked to modify their proposals “on the fly,” based on additional requirements presented by the board.
  • Prerequisites include a CCDETM certification, approximately 10 years of industry experience, and acceptance into the program via an application process.

Responsibilities of the Cisco Certified Architect

  • Lead creation and evolution of enterprise architecture
  • Analyze technology and industry market trends
  • Establish governing principles for Enterprise networks
  • Selection of technology and products
  • Identification of organization resource needs
  • Lead the development of communication and education plan for enterprise network architecture

Though this certification won’t be available until January 2010 the scrambling has begun for this highest of IT networking certifications.

Are you considering going for this exam? What you think of the CCA?  Leave your comments and tell us what you think.

5/5 - (1 vote)



Senior Network Engineer, technology enthusiast, guitar and bass player. Joe Wilson is the creator of as well as other niche websites that can be found around on the Internets.

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