CCIE Emeritus

Terry Slattery
Principal Architect

Cisco announced the CCIE Emeritus program on June 21, 2010. It is a program that has been requested and discussed a number of times at the CCIE NetVet luncheon/reception with John Chambers for several years. Many of the more senior members of the CCIE community have been moving into jobs that are less about hands-on network operations and more about project management, running companies, and designing networks. An active CCIE must recertify every two years by passing the CCIE qualification written exam (the CCDE written also qualifies). A number of people who wanted to stay associated with the program and didn’t have the time in their lives to stay current with the CCIE/CCDE topics have been asking about a program to ‘grandfather’ them so that they no longer had to take recertification exams.

The proponents of not having to recertify were asking that after some number of years, typically ten, that Cisco would grandfather them into the CCIE program and waive future recertification requirements. My view was that I thought that it would weaken the program. However, I thought it useful to keep senior people associated with the program, but differentiate them somehow. At the CCIE NetVet luncheons, when the topic would come up, I would voice my opposition to a grandfathering program for this very reason. (see CCIE Flyer article “CCIE Grandfathering?“)

At these sessions, I have voiced support for a program in which a senior CCIE could opt to exit the program, yet retain the right to use the title as a demonstration of prior expertise. My example was how military Admirals and Generals get to retain their titles, with the suffix of “Retired” (e.g., Admiral John Doe, Retired). It should only be available to candidates who spent time in the program (ten years was often mentioned by proponents) and demonstrates that the person has the smarts and will-power to successfully accomplish significant projects. In the CCIE Emeritus program, members will use the title “Emeritus” after their CCIE number, e.g., John Doe, CCIE #1000, Emeritus. This lets future employers and associates know that the person has successfully participated in one of the toughest technical programs in the industry. It’s like putting your certification into a state of suspended animation.

The Emeritus program has some interesting requirements:

  • Ten years of active status as a CCIE and currently still active. Many people drop out of the program at seven years, so this requirement identifies individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to the program.
  • An annual $85 fee, which provides a basic hurdle to guarantee that the candidate is genuinely interested in staying in the program. Cisco obviously doesn’t make money on this fee and it is low enough that individuals can pay it if their employer refuses. The benefit to the employer is that the person could re-enter the CCIE program without having to take the lab test.
  • Demonstrate that the candidate is continuing to work in the industry in some fashion and give back to the community. This could be in the way of teaching, blogging, writing articles, mentoring, or running network projects. There is an annual application in which the candidate documents past activity.
  • The candidate cannot be counted in a Cisco Partner’s status and won’t have TAC privileges or preference. This should not be a problem because the person should not be doing hands-on network tasks.
  • The candidate can re-enter active status by taking any of the written tests that are suitable for CCIE recertification. There is currently a limitation of ten years on being able to become active again. I wouldn’t be concerned about this limitation right now. If you maintain a very active role in the community, you may make a very good case for extending the Emeritus program. I would start discussing it after about six years in the Emeritus program.

Will I join the program? Not yet. I just recertified by passing the CCDE written qualification exam. August 2010 is my 17 year anniversary. Why not pass the recertification again and make it to 20 years?



Re-posted with Permission 

NetCraftsmen would like to acknowledge Infoblox for their permission to re-post this article which originally appeared in the Applied Infrastructure blog under


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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.