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After the CCNA: Cisco certification on the way to your CCIE

May I prepare for the CCIE after getting the CCNA global certification? Would you recommend I take an easier certification to work my way up to the CCIE instead?

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The professional level of certifications are not necessary to earn your Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE); however, they do make great logical stepping stones to reach the level of understanding necessary to pass the CCIE.

If money is tight and if nothing else, at least read and study for each of the exams as if you were going to take them. That way you don't actually have to spend extra on the certification vouchers but you still have the level of understanding associated with them. If budget isn't a primary concern, getting those professional certifications is an excellent way to achieve a higher status of Cisco recognition along the way to your long-term goal of getting the CCIE, since you will inevitably be spending a long time preparing.

This was first published in March 2009

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