News Release

Cisco Champions New Skills Framework to Address the Talent Requirements of Today’s Digital Economy

Certification Portfolio Updates Ensure IT Professionals Stay Aligned With Evolving Industry Job Roles to Achieve Critical Business Outcomes
Nov 19, 2015

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 19, 2015 – As we move into an era of digital business transformation, success for any business depends upon finding and hiring people with critical skills. According to a recent report from the MIT Center for Digital Business, 77 percent of companies surveyed considered missing digital skills as the key hurdle to their digital transformation.


Cisco today announced a new framework for its certification portfolio to validate the skills required by industries to meet the demand for emerging technology and business insights. This framework establishes a new standard for industry relevance and leadership for Cisco Certified individuals, who will now be assessed on the most advanced and unparalleled skillset in the IT industry.


While IT professionals still require depth in their area of expertise, today they also need a breadth of understanding of interrelated technologies and how they impact business outcomes. Accordingly, topics such as Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud, Business Transformation, and Network Programmability will influence all Cisco Career Certifications, including the trusted expert level. The new framework will be introduced starting with the upcoming refresh of Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Data Center and Cisco Certified Network Associate Security (CCNA) being announced today.


CCIE Program Evolution

Cisco is revising the charter of all expert-level CCIE and Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) certification programs to ensure that experts are equipped to participate in meaningful business discussions about these new technical areas that are shaping business strategy and operations. Updates include:

  • A new assessment approach focused on ensuring that candidates demonstrate knowledge and skills with evolving technologies such as Network Programmability, Cloud and IoT.
  • Unified written and lab exam topics to demonstrate that candidates possess a holistic view of each exam domain.



Refreshed Certifications


CCIE Data Center version 2.0 certifies expert-level skills focused on advanced data center solutions needed to design, implement and troubleshoot complex, modern data center infrastructure.

  • CCIE Data Center version 2.0 provides skills focused on end-to-end management of complex data centers aimed at policy-based infrastructure, advanced virtualization, orchestration and automation. 
  • CCIE Data Center is the first certification of the expert-level program to implement the changes to structure, including evolving technologies and unified exam topic.
  • Additions of skills are aimed at evolving technologies – including IoT, SDN and Cloud – and their impact on architectural framework, deployment models, implementation, and operations. 


CCNA Security centers on the foundational skills needed to build highly secure infrastructure, implement controls, enforce security policies and assist in addressing security issues.

  • The refreshed CCNA Security expands focus from network security to end-to-end IT security, with emphasis on core technologies and skills needed to maintain enterprise information systems.
  • Training and exams now include newer technologies, such as 802.1x, ISE, BYOD, Cloud Web Security, Cloud & Virtualization, FirePOWER, FireSIGHT, Advanced Malware Protection, Cloud and Virtualization.


Supporting Quotes:

  • Tejas Vashi, director, product strategy & marketing, Cisco Services: “In today’s economy, every company is a digital business. To remain competitive and drive necessary business outcomes, enterprises need IT talent that can understand the interrelationship between technology and business, and that requires a new skills framework. The IT jobs of the future are being defined now, and Cisco is dedicated to providing certified experts with the education they need. The program enhancements we are introducing today will help individuals develop future-proof IT skills needed to support business outcomes, and organizations gain the confidence that their workforce is trained and skilled to maximize investments in key technologies.”
  •  Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst, ZK Research: “Many of the hottest IT jobs today didn’t exist five years ago, and massive global-scale change is occurring at rates faster than ever could be predicted. IT professionals must stay relevant as the technology landscape continues to change. With the next generation CCIE and other program enhancements, Cisco is enabling IT pros to future-proof their careers by certifying them with critical skills and technologies that are essential to play a vital role in digital business transformation while ensuring IT organizations are getting the most from every IT staff member, as well as the technical systems and business processes they direct.”


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