Cisco puts CCIE learning on the fast-track

Cisco Tuesday rolled out Cisco 360 Learning Program for CCIE - Routing and Switching, a six-month

program that incorporates e-learning and hands-on practice labs to accelerate expert-level competency. The program is designed to run head-on against third-party boot camps, which Cisco says are not up to par (you'll be able to read more about Cisco's thoughts on this in Network World's IT Careers & Training newsletter on Wednesday). The program will be made available through select authorized Cisco Learning Partners and consist of pre-assessments, six online classes covering topics such as IPv6, QoS, Frame Relay, Border Gateway Protocol and switching, instructor-led workshops, practice labs and mentoring. The courses start at $5,000 but can reach to double-digits for the mentorship features.

Cisco Subnet podcaster Ken Presti spoke to Cisco Director of Marketing for Learning@Cisco Fred Weiller about the program and you can access that podcast here.

Cisco hopes the program will increase the number of skilled individuals around the world, which needs to reach 3 million by 2012, according to Weiller, from today's 1 million.

It's great that Cisco is working to help make it easier and quicker for individuals to become CCIEs but does this mass approach cheapen the CCIE brand? Interestingly, the Cisco press release about this lists Bangalore, India alongside San Jose, Calif., in the date line. It's only a matter of time before CCIEs in India outnumber CCIEs in the United States.  

related link:

Cisco CCDE practical exam: Thoughts from one exam taker

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