Brocade BCFD trumps Cisco CCIE R&S in salary survey

A salary survey in the December 2008 issue of Certification Magazine has ranked the Brocade Certified Fabric Designer (BCFD) as the highest paying certification to hold in the United States ($120,770 USD), even trumping the world-renowned Cisco CCIE Routing and Switching certification ($120,330 USD). Note: Curiously, yours truly would like to point out that the salary survey does not include the rankings of other Cisco CCIE certification tracks such as Voice, Security, Service Provider and Storage. According to Brocade, the high value of its certifications helped it achieve a major milestone, surpassing 10,250 Brocade certifications to date.

"The Brocade Certification Program was an effective way to validate my SAN skills and achieve a competitive technological edge," said Gurbinder Sagoo - Systems Administrator at a Canadian Telecommunications company. "Brocade certifications provide an objective measurement of technical proficiency for selling and supporting SAN solutions." Peter Cookson - global technical director at Greencourt Solutions states, "As a Brocade certified trainer, I am able to educate the next-generation of SAN professionals with industry-leading products. Achieving Brocade certification demonstrates a mastery of Brocade products and technologies and also commands the highest vendor certification-based salary in the IT industry." Brocade currently offers 6 credentials at different levels. To help us get a better "handle" on its certs, Brocade responded to my Q & A format below: What is the breakdown of Brocade certifications by region?

Rank January 2009 Region # of Certifications
1 North America 3,937
2 Asia Pacific, Japan 3,933
3 Europe, Middle East and Africa 2,386

Total 10,256
Source: Brocade Education Services

What has Brocade put in place to protect its certification process?

Brocade has several security countermeasures in place to detect cheating, and unauthorized distribution of our intellectual property. We also maintain a zero tolerance policy, and have had to ban people for life from the program. We make the terms and conditions clear in the NDA, which is downloadable from the Education section of our website. Brocade has also taken an active leadership role with the Association of Test Publishers - Test Security Initiative, and serves as co-chair on the ATP Collaborative Working Community on IP Theft.

Will Brocade be adding ethernet technologies to it education portfolio?

With the close of the Foundry acquisition, we are looking forward to adding in Ethernet-based training and certifications to the Brocade Education portfolio of offerings.

What are the steps to follow in achieving a Brocade certification?

Step #1: If you were just starting out in the industry, and wanted to achieve a Brocade Certified Fabric Professional credential for example, which is our foundation and core certification, the first step would be to visit our website at: And click on the education tab on the main bar. That will take you to our Education home page. There are links to take you to information on the individual certifications and accreditations, exam information, a copy of our NDA and program FAQs. For each certification exam we list the objectives, prerequisites, and study tools that we provide for free. We do not have formal prerequisites at this time, but we strongly suggest that one attends the supporting training classes. The study tools include a practice exam, and an exam study guide.
Step #2: The second step would be to enroll for, and then attend at your leisure one free web-based fundamentals course FC 101 Fibre Channel Fundamentals (6 hours). This is only required for those that are new to the concepts of Fibre Channel and Storage Area Networks.
Step #3: Next, you would need to attend two instructor-led blended learning classes: CFP 270 Brocade 8 Gbit/sec Introduction to Administration and Theory (3 days) CFP 271 Brocade 8 Gbit/sec Advanced Theory and Administration (3 days) This would complete the training component of your journey.
Further advice: With some hands-on experience outside of training, you could attempt the free knowledge assessment CFP 272 8 Gbit/sec BCFP Knowledge Assessment, and then download the BCFP in a Nutshell exam study guide. After adequate preparation, you would then be ready to attempt the Brocade Certified Fabric Professional (BCFP) exam. It should be noted that starting in February Brocade will offer virtual classroom versions of CFP 270 and CFP 271, for those that wish to take the training from the comfort of their office or home. To enroll for the BCFP exam, you would need to visit the website of our test delivery vendor, Pearson VUE at: Once there, you would select the BCFP exam (143-060), create a profile, register and then select a time and location for your exam experience. After the exam concludes you will get a stamped score sheet with the results. If you pass, you could expect to hear within two weeks from the Brocade fulfillment function, where you would get an email with a username and password, directing you to the website where you would choose your fulfillment gift. Upon closing out your order, you will soon receive a package with a welcome letter, the gift and the certificate. In the welcome letter will be instructions on how to access and download the BCFP logos. You will then have performed all of the steps to becoming a Brocade Certified Fabric Professional. Since Brocade does not set expiration on our credentials, you would carry this honor for life. We do strongly recommend as a best practice, that you maintain your credential with the latest technology, as the exams get updated. The BCFP credential is a good foundation for achieving other Brocade certifications.

What are the average salaries of other certifications?

2008 Certification Magazine Salary Survey Source: Certification Magazine

View 2008 Cisco Salary Rates View CCIE water cooler gossip Related story: China CCIE count grows 11 times more than U.S.

What is your take on this salary survey? BradReese.Com Cisco Refurbished

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