What’s Next After CCDE?

One question that comes up a bit is “what’s next?” or more specifically, will I pursue the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) certification? We’re talking about the PhD of Cisco certifications… the pinnacle. I’ll start by saying that I’d like to, but I’m going to take a long break from certs to enjoy this one and spend more quality time with the family. The cool thing is that in the meantime I’m preparing just by doing my job!

I’m taking my time to learn as much about the cert as I can. No harm in that, right? I always said first thing’s first, and now that I have CCDE under my belt, I can start to entertain the thought of pursuing CCAr. It’s definitely a big investment, and it’s not something that I want to have to pay for more than once (either part), so I want to be sure that I’m ready.

I attended the CCAr focused breakout session at Cisco Live, but my mind was still in CCDE land. It would have been awesome to have gotten the results back that week, but I’m not complaining. I’ve since watched the recording and have reviewed some of the material on Cisco Learning Network, but I still have some questions.

There are a lot of questions about return on investment and the market value of the CCAr. For CCDE, I didn’t worry about any of that. I didn’t want to get the cert to punch my ticket to a new job or to get a big raise (although that would be nice – hehehe), but I just wanted to be recognized as a design expert. This would be no different. I would really just like to be certified at the highest level and be recognized as a Cisco Certified Architect. We are talking about $15,000 though…

We’ll see soon enough how many new architects we have after this round of board exams in December/January 2013. I’d be interested to see how many CCDEs are starting the interview process, which begins in August. I did notice that there will only be one or two administrations of the board exam a year, and only one or two candidates will be accepted each exam period. I’m in no rush…

So what’s next then? I did vow to my family that I’d learn to speak Russian after I passed CCDE, so that may be my biggest challenge yet. I know a lot of words, but never have been able to put it all together. I’ll keep an eye on CCAr as I continue to work at being a better architect. I’m coming off of a short vacation with my family, and I sure could use some more of that too!



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