Roughly a week ago, The Packet University posed the following question in the form of a poll, “I am pursuing or will likely pursue the following CCIE Track”. I was quite pleased to have 15 CCIE Candidates respond to the poll. Although this is not a large enough pool of participants to establish a trend, it did give a small sampling of what tracks are being pursued. Within the poll, the following answers were permitted:
- Routing and Switching
- Service Provider
- Storage Networking
- None–CCIE is not my thing
- Too Far in Future to tell
Although unscientific, we received 15 responses. Before I name the winner, I would like to mention that according to Cisco’s CCIE Statistics the vast majority of the current 18,451 CCIE’s are certified in Routing and Switching. Actually, of this total number of Experts, 16,260 or about 88% have passed the Routing and Switching lab. That is not to say that they cannot have a R&S IE as well as a CCIE in Security or Voice. Based on the numbers, a single person holding a CCIE in R&S and Security count as one expert in the total number.
Routing and Switching is still very popular based on the limited number of participants that responded. Of the 15 respondents, six were in pursuit of Security and six were in pursuit of Security. I will have to admit that my vote was one of the six for security. Going on down the list, there were two in pursuit of the Service Provider CCIE and one in pursuit of the Voice IE.
I actually expected Routing and Switching to be fairly close with Security. However, I also expected Voice to be in the running as well (and it might have been had we had more respondents).
In the past it seems as though Routing and Switching has been the default “first” CCIE with the others added on sort of like specializations. However, now it seems as though an engineer’s first CCIE may not necessarily be Routing and Switching. Obviously, this is my approach. Looking through the blueprints, I chose the IE Track that most closely matched the work I do on a daily basis. Fortunately, my work meshes well with the security track. Additionally, I think there will be a strong demand for security professionals for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, I would always encourage technical engineers to pursue what the find interesting and not what they believe will make them a lot of money. Just my two cents.