Becoming an IT expert is by no means an easy task. With that in mind, you can only imagine how difficult it must be to become an expert among experts. One of the ways in which you can achieve just that is to take on one of the several Cisco’s CCIE exams. CCIEs are widely regarded as one of the most difficult exams a person can take, which is one of the reasons why the CCIE certificate is considered one of the most prestigious ones in the networking sphere.

The one we will be talking about today is CCIE Security certification. To even begin discussing what you’ll need if you wish to earn this certificate, we need to go over what the certificate represents and how can you obtain it. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

What Is CCIE Security Certification?


As we’ve already mentioned, CCIE Security Certification is one of the most prestigious callings in the IT world. Only the best of the best in the realm of network security can hold this title. Only those who possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and expertise in the area of networking can hope to be called a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert. Those individuals can single-handedly plan, design, engineer, implement, support, and troubleshoot a broad spectrum of Cisco security technologies and solutions. On top of all that, they’re familiar with the latest industry standards and practices when it comes to network security. To obtain that certification – you have to pass a mighty exam.

All You Need To Know About CCIE Examination


The exam itself is made up out of two parts – the written exam and the lab exam. The written exam is what you would call a qualification exam – the one you have to pass in order to reach the lab portion of the journey. This one is a traditional version of the test, like the ones we all used to take in school – only much, much harder. It is a two-hour long examination with various questions regarding network security, protocols, equipment etc.

Once again, although it sounds rather simple – it isn’t. Many advise that you spend at least 1000 hours studying for this particular test so you can be certain that you’ll manage to successfully complete the exam. Of course, hours of studying don’t guarantee success, but they do improve your chances drastically.

Once you pass the written portion of the exam, it is valid for 18 months. With that in mind, you have 18 months to prepare for and eventually take the lab test. This 18-month period is very important, because, many fail to pass the lab test on the first try, so not having to retake the written test, as well, saves you quite a few bucks.

The reason why many fail the lab exam is that it is an 8-hour long exam that will require you to single-handedly plan out, design, deploy, operate and optimize complex network security solutions.

For any additional information regarding the exam, CCIE Data Center Lab or any other kind of certification, you can visit and find out all you want to know.

What Do You Need To Pass The Exam And Earn The CCIE Security Certification?


Since this is in no way going to be an easy journey, we’ve decided to extend a helping hand and make sure you know what you’ll most definitely need if you want to earn this certification.

1. Time

Time will be one of your most important assets to you during this journey. You’ll need to study hard and practice even harder. To obtain this certification, you’ll need to spend anywhere between one and two thousand hours, meticulously going over every possible aspect of networking in order to pass the test. It won’t be easy and it probably won’t be too exciting, but in the end, it will definitely be worth it. If possible, clear your schedule and devote your time towards this goal and be prepared to sacrifice social life for the time being.

2. Money

As is the case with any other prestigious certificate or a college diploma – it takes money to get it. Cisco’s certification is in no way cheap. Good thing is – it is only up to you how much you’re going to end up spending. Although there is no clear answer as to how much all of it will cost, we can give you a pretty accurate ballpark.

The cost of the examination alone is $2050 – $450 for the written exam, $1600 for the lab session. However, there are only a handful of testing centres in the world, so you have to include trip expenses. On top of all that, you’ll need tutors, study materials, lab practice etc. Realistically, if you pass on the first try, you’re looking at about $8000 expense.

3. Tutors

Although it is true that you can do this all by yourself, the fact of the matter is, you could use some help. A helping hand through all of this is more than welcome if you ask anyone who has been through this. A Cisco-certified Trainer can help you tremendously. Not only have they already gone through the whole experience and emerged victoriously, they will also point you in the right direction, motivate you and make sure you stay on the right track and not lose sight of the final goal.

4. Study Materials & Practice Tests

The thing about IT is that it’s ever-evolving. There is no single textbook that will be enough for you to pass this test. You will require a multitude of books and research papers on the subject if you want to make sure you don’t fail. Find as many books as you possibly can and don’t rely on a single source of information.

On top of all that, you can greatly benefit from the practice tests. These tests will make sure you know exactly what to expect, so you won’t be caught off guard. Trainers can also help you with these, as they’ve already taken them.

5. Lab Practice

Finally, we come to the most important thing – lab practice. Without putting in work and practicing in the lab you can be certain that you won’t pass the final exam. Whether you decide to enroll in a lab training course or to build your own lab – that’s entirely up to you. The only difference here is how you wish to learn and practice. With courses, you have several hours of practice, several days a week, and the ability to ask others in case you get stuck. With the home lab, on the other hand, you have no one but yourself to rely on, but you can practice whenever and for as long as you want.



As you can tell, CCIEs are no joke. They require a lot of hard work, sacrifices, and dedication. Hopefully, we have managed to help you out a little bit by showing you how to come closer to your ultimate goal.

The provided link leads to PrepAway, an online learning platform dedicated to providing comprehensive resources for individuals preparing for professional certification exams. PrepAway caters to a diverse range of industries, offering a plethora of study materials such as practice exams, exam dumps, and study guides.