Is CCIE RS Certification Equivalent to A Degree?

CCNA 200-301

CCNA 200-301

CCNP Enterprise

CCNP Enterprise

CCNP Security

CCNP Security

CCIE Enterprise Lab

CCIE Enterprise Lab

CCIE Security Lab

CCIE Security Lab

CCNP Service Provider

CCNP Service Provider

CCNP Data Center

CCNP Data Center

CCNP Collaboration

CCNP Collaboration



Is CCIE RS Certification Equivalent to A Degree?

Well, the simple answer to this question would be No! But that doesn’t mean that any of it would be of less importance. To understand it, let’s discuss it further.

In degree, you would be learning various topics. Some are useful in life while others would be considered as utterly useless. Cisco Certificates is considered to be vendor-specific and one particular topic. The degree would take 3 to 4 years to earn. For Certain Job Profiles, you would be required to obtain the Cisco Certification, to which CCIE is the top-level one. Degrees, on the other hand, wouldn’t be able to compete with those requirements. It would be depending on which career you choose, though having both of them wouldn’t be a bad thing either. Having both of them is beneficial.

A common question in the IT industry would be that which is considered to be the best for your IT career, getting certified with CCIE or just pursuing a formal degree? Well, this isn’t considered to be a simple question and there would be no right or wrong answer for the same. Significantly what makes them unique are their own differences. The answer to this question is that it depends on where you see yourself in your career as well as your career goals. 

If you are in dilemma to about what to choose, I would say that you should pursue CCIE R&S Certification, if you wish to make a good career in the IT industry.

Significance and Equivalence of Cisco Certifications Compared to A Degree

Cisco certifications are industry-recognized credentials that validate an individual's knowledge and expertise in various areas of networking and Cisco technologies. These certifications are offered by Cisco Systems, a multinational technology company specializing in networking equipment. 

Cisco vs Degree:

Cisco certifications and degrees serve different purposes and have distinct significance in the field of IT and networking. 
Following are some points to take into account when comparing the two:

Knowledge and Skills: 

Cisco certifications focus on specific technical skills and knowledge related to networking and Cisco technologies. They provide in-depth training and validate expertise in areas such as routing and switching, network security, wireless networking, and collaboration. On the other hand, a degree in computer science or information technology provides a broader understanding of computer systems, software development, algorithms, and various IT concepts.


Cisco certifications allow professionals to specialize in specific areas of networking, such as Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) for entry-level network administrators or Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) for highly advanced networking professionals. While degrees offer a wider range of specializations beyond networking, such as software engineering, database management, artificial intelligence, and more.

Practical Focus: 

Cisco certifications often emphasize practical hands-on skills and real-world scenarios. They involve lab work, simulations, and troubleshooting exercises, providing practical experience with Cisco hardware and software. Degrees, while also incorporating practical elements, generally offer a more theoretical and conceptual approach.

Industry Recognition: 

Cisco certifications are highly regarded and recognized within the networking and IT industry. They demonstrate a specific level of expertise and can enhance job prospects, particularly for roles that require Cisco-specific knowledge. However, degrees from accredited universities also carry weight and are generally recognized across various industries. They may provide a broader foundation for career opportunities beyond networking.

Career Advancement: 

Both Cisco certifications and degrees can contribute to career advancement, but they may have different impacts depending on the career path. Cisco certifications are particularly beneficial for networking professionals, as they demonstrate a deep understanding of Cisco technologies and can lead to job roles such as network engineer, network administrator, or network security specialist. Degrees, on the other hand, can open doors to a wider range of IT roles, including software development, systems administration, IT management, and consulting.

Importance of Cisco Certifications:

Cisco certifications hold significant importance in the IT industry, particularly in the field of networking. 

Industry Recognition: 

Cisco certifications are highly regarded and recognized globally by employers, IT professionals, and industry experts. They validate your knowledge and skills in specific networking areas, showcasing your expertise in Cisco technologies. Having a Cisco certification can enhance your credibility and reputation within the industry.

Career Advancement: 

Cisco certifications can significantly impact career growth. They demonstrate your commitment to professional development and highlight your ability to handle complex networking tasks. Employers often value candidates with Cisco certifications, and having these certifications can open doors to job opportunities, promotions, and higher-level roles within networking and IT departments.

Job Opportunities: 

Cisco certifications can broaden your job prospects. Many organizations, especially those that heavily rely on Cisco networking equipment, prioritize candidates with relevant certifications. Having a Cisco certification can increase your chances of being selected for networking-related positions such as network engineer, network administrator, network security specialist, or network consultant.

Skill Validation: 

Cisco certifications validate your technical skills and knowledge in specific networking areas. Through the certification process, you gain practical experience in configuring and troubleshooting Cisco hardware and software, which are highly valued skills in the industry. These certifications provide you with a solid foundation and hands-on expertise, making you a valuable asset to employers.

Salary Potential:

Cisco certifications can positively impact your earning potential. According to industry surveys and reports, professionals with Cisco certifications often command higher salaries compared to their non-certified counterparts. These certifications demonstrate your specialized knowledge and competency, making you eligible for higher-paying job roles and opportunities.

Networking Community and Resources: 

Obtaining a Cisco certification allows you to join a vibrant community of networking professionals. You can connect with peers, experts, and mentors who can provide valuable insights, support, and networking opportunities.

Keeping Up with Evolving Technologies: 

Cisco certifications are regularly updated to align with emerging technologies and industry trends. By pursuing and maintaining Cisco certifications, you demonstrate your commitment to staying current with the latest advancements in networking. This can give you a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving field and ensure that your skills remain relevant.

Levels of Certifications and Impact on IT Career:

Entry-Level Certifications:

Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT): 
CCENT was designed to validate fundamental networking knowledge and skills, serving as a starting point for individuals pursuing a career in networking. It can help individuals kickstart their IT careers by showing employers their commitment to learning and pursuing professional development.

Associate-Level Certifications:

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA): 
CCNA certifications are available in various specializations such as Routing and Switching, Security, Wireless, and more. These certifications provide a comprehensive understanding of networking concepts and technologies. CCNA certifications are widely recognized and can qualify individuals for entry-level networking positions, allowing them to work as network administrators, support engineers, or technicians.

Professional-Level Certifications:

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP): 
CCNP certifications offer in-depth knowledge and skills in specific networking domains such as Routing and Switching, Security, Collaboration, Data Centers, and more. These certifications demonstrate expertise beyond entry-level roles and are highly valued by employers. CCNP certifications can qualify individuals for senior-level networking positions, such as network engineers, network architects, and network managers.

Expert-Level Certifications:

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE): 
CCIE certifications are the most prestigious and highly sought-after certifications in the IT industry. They validate expert-level knowledge and skills in specific areas such as Routing and Switching, Security, Data Centers, and Collaboration. CCIE certifications are recognized globally and can lead to advanced career opportunities as network architects, consultants, or senior-level engineers. Achieving a CCIE certification demonstrates a high level of mastery and can significantly boost career prospects and earning potential.

Architect-Level Certification:

Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr): 
The CCAr certification is the highest level of Cisco certification and validates the skills required for conceptualizing, designing, and implementing complex network infrastructure. The CCAr certification can help individuals advance to executive-level positions, become IT consultants, or start their own networking consulting businesses.

Benefits of Cisco CCIE R&S Certifications:

The career path of the Cisco R&S Certifications begins with CCNA R&S, CCNP R&S, and lastly CCIE R&S. Well, that doesn’t beam that they are all pre-requisites of one another, however, it is considered to be a natural progression and once you begin to build solid work experience behind you, you could pursue your CCIE R&S.  Well, the candidates could directly take the CCIE R&S Certification as there are no official pre-requisite for pursuing the same. Below mentioned are the benefits of being certified with CCIE R&S Certification

Getting Hired

Having a CCIE R&S certification would often make your resume stand out and gives you an advantage over other applicants in the process of hiring.  It might even be a qualifier for a position since certified professionals are going to demonstrate current competency in technology as well as job skills. If the job is considered to be highly technical, it could be that a CCIE R&S would be more valuable. 

Advancing your career 

Now, that you would have obtained your CCIE R&S Certification successfully and have landed on your IT job which you already wanted to have and have been in the industry for several years. Gaining on-the-job experience might be invaluable, but staying up to date with your certifications might mean the difference between career stagnation as well as career advancement. Becoming as well as remaining CCIE R&S certified which would demonstrate your dedication for keeping up with the latest technology trends which would be benefitting both you and your employer.

Employer benefits 

One way to ensure that the employees have acquired the necessary skills, as well as experience in current and emerging technologies, is through the certifications which he or she holds. CCIE R&S Certified staff could be presumed to have specific knowledge as well as skills to be more productive and efficient. Companies that would be investing in their staff through training, as well as certification, would have a more technically advanced workforce which would be able to respond to tough challenges more quickly. 

So, considering these benefits, you would see that there is no harm in having a degree but it is considered to be much more beneficial to have a CCIE R&S Certification. Though it is not that easy to achieve, and you would require a good preparation course, like the one of the many offered by the SPOTO.