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Should I CCIE certify or get voice/security Cisco certifications?

I am currently CCNP Certified and one course away from the CCIP Cert (BGP). I am undecided as to whether or not I should push through to CCIE or pursue one of the other Cisco Professional tracks such as voice or security. Both of these tracks are very hot right now which makes it a tough decision. What are your thoughts?

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I am a giant supporter of getting as many certifications as possible. With that being said, I advise you to get the other professional tracks for two very important reasons:
  1. The knowledge you learn in each of these tracks will undoubtedly make you more prepared when it comes time for the CCIE. Despite there being specialized CCIE tracks, they all tend to touch on each other in some way, and having more knowledge and experience in those other areas will improve your ability to tackle the questions/scenarios.
  2. Not only will your knowledge of Cisco be more well-rounded, but so will your Cisco portfolio. We live in a unified/converged world these days and it is becoming a rarity to only find one technology (i.e. just data and no voice or security). By expanding your expertise into each of the technologies makes you more of an asset for any organization or enterprise.

This was first published in March 2008

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