Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)
The CCDE certification identifies networking professionals with expert-level knowledge and skills in network design.
The Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) is for expert-level network design engineers, expert-level network leads of IT infrastructure teams, and expert-level network leads of architecture teams working in job roles that require them to translate business needs, budget, and operational constraints into the design of a converged solution. The CCDE curriculum prepares designers to develop design solutions at the infrastructure level for large customer networks. Network engineers holding an active CCDE certification are recognized for their expert-level knowledge and skills in network infrastructure design. The deep technical networking knowledge that a CCDE brings ensures that they are well qualified to address the most technically challenging network infrastructure design assignments.
There are no formal prerequisites for CCDE. No specific training or other professional certifications are required.
Step One: CCDE Written Exam
The 2-hour, written qualification exam covers network design in the areas of routing, tunneling, Quality of Service (QoS), management, cost, capacity, and security. You must pass the written exam before you are eligible to schedule the CCDE practical exam.
Step Two: CCDE Practical Exam
The 8-hour Practical exam tests your ability to perform design analysis, justify design requirements, and develop a design implementation based on best practices. Only candidates that have a passing score on the CCDE Written Exam may register for the CCDE Practical Exam.
- Written Exam Preparation Resources Spreadsheet
- Written Exam Reading List
- Practical Exam: Unleashing CCDE Blog Series
- Practical Exam Reading List
A comprehensive list of study materials is also available.
Cisco Learning Network Resources
- CCDE Written Exam Study Materials
- CCDE Practical Exam Study Materials
- Evolving Technologies Study Resources
- CCDE Certification Study Group
Get all your CCDE questions answered.
Learning Partner Content
To earn this Cisco certification, you must pass the following exam(s):
The CCDE Written Exam will test a candidate’s combined knowledge of routing protocols, internetworking theory and design principles .The exam assesses a candidate’s understanding of network design in the areas of routing, tunneling, Quality of Service, Management, Cost, Capacity, and Security. This exam combines in-depth technical concepts with Network Design principles and is intended for a Network Professional with at least 7 years of experience in Network Engineering or Advanced Network Design.
The 8-hour practical exam tests your ability to perform design analysis, justify design requirements, and develop a design implementation based on best practices. Only candidates that have a passing score on the CCDE Written Exam may register for the CCDE Practical Exam.
CCIEs are required to recertify every two years.
Active CCIE status shows your commitment to maintaining expert-level knowledge in an industry critical to the success of virtually every organization. CCIEs are encouraged to continually expand their technical knowledge and are required to pass a recertification exam every two years. If you do not complete your recertification before the deadlines, your CCIE certification will be suspended and you and your employer will lose the benefits associated with your expert status. You have one year to reinstate your CCIE status before you become inactive and must begin the certification process all over again.
- Your recertification deadline can be viewed online anytime (with login) at Certification Status.
- Subsequent recertification deadlines are always based on your original certification date, not on when you took your last recertification exam.
- Candidates must make an initial attempt of the CCIE lab exam within 18 months of passing the CCIE written exam. Candidates who do not pass must reattempt the lab exam within 12 months of their last scored attempt in order for their written exam to remain valid. If a candidate does not pass the lab exam within three years of passing the written exam, he or she must retake the written exam before being allowed to attempt the lab exam again.
- To maintain active status, every 24-months CCIEs have the flexibility and option to recertify using one of the options below before the certification expiration date:
- Earn the required credits through the Cisco Continuing Education Program, or
- Pass any current CCIE Written Exam OR CCIE Lab Exam, or
- Pass the current CCDE Written Exam OR current CCDE Practical Exam, or
- Pass the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview AND the CCAr board review to extend lower certifications.
- CCIE certification automatically extends other Cisco Certifications, such as CCNP or CCNA.
- Candidates can only apply one passed written exam or the earned required credits using Cisco Continuing Education Program towards recertification for every 24 month recertification period.
- Candidates must wait 15 calendar days between attempts at the written exam.
- Certification candidates are responsible for keeping track of their certification expiration dates. Please plan your recertification accordingly. If your CCIE recertification requirements are not completed on or before the certification’s expiration date, your CCIE certification will be suspended for one year. Candidates have one year to recertify their CCIE certification by passing the required written exam. If a candidate does not recertify prior to the one year deadline and your employer will be notified. Suspended candidates have one year to recertify their CCIE certification by passing the required written exam or practical lab before their expert level certification becomes permanently inactive. Inactive CCIE professionals lose all benefits and must pass both the CCIE written and lab exams again.
- Achieving or recertifying CCIE automatically extends your active Entry, Associate, Professional or other Expert level certification(s), or Specialist certifications up to the expiration date of the latest CCIE, CCDE or CCAr certification achieved.
- Be sure to use the same ID number you were assigned for your original qualification exam to ensure your profile is updated accurately. If you have any questions about which ID number to use, contact CCIE support.