News Release

Cisco Raises the Bar with Highest-Level IT Networking Certification: Cisco Certified Architect

New Certification Resides Above CCIE to Validate Competency and Experience in Support of Growing Innovation in Network Infrastructure Architecture
Jun 29, 2009

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 29, 2009 – Responding to strong customer and market demand to recognize the architectural expertise of network designers, Cisco today introduced the Cisco Certified Architect, the highest level of accreditation achievable within Cisco® Career Certifications.

Key Facts/Highlights:

  • Advanced technologies such as Cisco Unified Communications, Cisco TelePresenceTM and mobility are converging and increasing the opportunities for innovation and collaboration while adding to the complexity of enterprise networks.
  • According to IDC, "With many existing certifications focused on point technologies, architect-level certifications bring together project management, business needs analysis, and IT elements into a true solutions framework and validate a candidate's ability to address planning, design, interoperability, and connectivity issues." *
  • Gartner reported in its 2008 IT market compensation study (U.S. based), that "IT organizations continue to have difficulty in finding skilled IT professionals, especially enterprise architects, network architects, project managers and Web application programmers." **

Cisco Certified Architect:

  • The Cisco Certified Architect certification recognizes the architectural experience and competency of network designers who can support the increasingly complex networks of global organizations and effectively translate business strategies into evolutionary technical strategies.
  • Cisco channel partners play a critical role in enabling customers to deploy advanced new technologies supported by professionals with the skills required to use these innovative solutions.
  • The certification stands above the expert-level CCIE® certification in terms of difficulty, with an emphasis on expertise in network infrastructure architecture and a proven ability to work with executive-level customers to ensure that business requirements are incorporated into successful designs.

Certification Process:

  • The Cisco Certified Architect certification will be administered as a board exam.
  • 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.

Supporting Quotes:

  • "It's exciting to see Cisco raising the bar at the high end of its certification program for IT professionals," said Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president, Yankee Group. "Organizations will be encouraged to view architecture as a defined job role rather than as a component of a job role. For individuals, this new certification provides a level of expertise that will be attractive to CCDE and CCIE holders as a way to advance their careers."
  • "Architecture is not just another name for 'design' – it's a different perspective and set of skills," said renowned author and networking expert Terry Slattery, CCIE® #1026. "The Cisco Certified Architect demonstrates a breadth and depth of knowledge and perspective, incorporating technology with the trade-offs required by real-world business requirements. It provides individuals with a clear path through their professional development. This new certification recognizes that an architectural view of network design is far more efficient than tackling network problems after implementation."
  • "We applaud Cisco for taking an architectural approach and mapping it to the organization's business requirements," said Robert Stephens, vice president of the Revere Group. "As a partner, we spend a great deal of time looking at the network from a global perspective.  The new Cisco Certified Architect affirms the need to look at business drivers and validates that an individual possesses not only the expert technical acumen but can communicate the strategic business value of new technologies to senior business executives."
  • "The Cisco Certified Architect designation was developed to meet the demands of global organizations for specialists with the advanced design skills to support increasingly complex networks and effectively translate business strategies into evolutionary architectural implementations," said Jeanne Beliveau Dunn, general manager, Learning@Cisco. "This prestigious certification represents an exclusive group of architects who possess the hard skills to support complex network design and the soft skills to articulate the value of the technology to their colleagues."

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 Talent Development, Cisco Certified Architect, Network Architecture, Certifications, IT Certifications, Cisco, Cisco Learning Network, Collaboration, Education, CCDE, CCIE, Learning@Cisco

*Source: IDC, Worldwide and U.S. IT Certification Training and Testing 2008-2012 Forecast, Doc #213828, Aug. 2008.

**Source: Gartner CIO Alert: Jobs and Skills Topping the Difficult-to- Recruit-For List in the U.S.; Lily Mok and Dianne Berry; October 2008.