Does the Job Market Push Us Towards Multiple-CCxP?

Today I'll wrap up this thread of posts rambling about the job market. The last two such posts generated some good discussion and informal stats that I found interesting - particularly on the possible danger to CCIE's - and sparked another couple of survey's that I'll list today. I'll move on to something different next post, so if you wanted to comment on the job market stuff, here's the last blogspot on this topic for a while.

First off, my informal survey says that roughly 2/3 of the respondents think you're probably better off as a CCxP, making $20K less, verses being a CCIE making $20K more. Yikes! I never would've guessed that high a percentage. I really was trying to not lead anyone one direction or the other - I figured we might see 10% preferring the lower salary but with CCxP. But why so high? (Anyone out there thinking oppositely - "why so low"?) Is it:

  • General fear about job loss means remove all risks you can, including CCIE?
  • Individual cases where people saw more experienced/expensive people getting laid off?
  • They'd rather not do the CCIE's job?
  • What else?

 Next topic: two posts ago, I'd asked a couple of surveys about goal setting, and likelihood of spending patterns in this economy. The unsurprising part: many of you would spend less this year versus last for cert prep items. It's no shock, being around the training world off-and-on for 20 years, that the demand for classes that cost money goes down in a down economy. That survey pretty much tracked to the cost of the cert prep item. The big surprise to me was that roughly half the respondents write down their goals and review them later. Way to go! Makes me wonder if my survey was actually self-fulfilling - maybe those with the most success in planning were the most likely to answer that survey. Guess I should've gotten help from a psychometrician on the survey (at least I think that's who I'd need help from!)

And in case anyone's keeping score... no, I didn't write my 2009 goals down yet. Feel free to ping me later to see if I ever did. ;-)

Finally, a couple of posts made me consider another slant on the idea of what skills you have - namely, how many CCxP certs do you need to "catch up" to a uni-CCIE?

Anyone who's thinking of going past CCNA, or even past CCENT today, has to think about what the next best cert should be. I even toyed with this idea relative to the new CCNA's when they came out last summer: will there ever be a day that a quadruple CCNA be as valued as a uni-CCxP?

I could pose the same question - probably with a more substantive comparison than with CCNA/CCxP - for getting multiple CCxP's versus a single CCIE. Or more appropriately, getting and maintaining the skills associated with those exams, because it's the skills that matter.

But in keeping with this thread about the job market, and desirability of Cisco certs, I'm going to put a couple of slants on today's questions: When you've planned for 2009, did you change from pursuing CCIE to instead pursuing multiple CCxP's? Or vice-versa? Or consider changing paths, but not change? What I'm driving at is whether there's been movement in this area, and if so, if it's related to the job market. That's hard to collect in a survey, so feel free to comment on why.

The other question that comes to mind when comparing these options is whether a multiple-CCxP has the same perceived job-loss target on his head as does a CCIE? That's not to say that all CCIEs are at risk - I'm just expanding the same point as the last post, which seemed to be supported by our informal survey, that CCIEs (with higher salary) are at more risk in this economy. Does someone with multiple CCxP's - and with the skills implied by those certs - achieve the same level of job-loss risk? And how many such CCxP's before you reach that level of risk?

Let me know your thoughts. Thanks...

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