Responding to strong customer and market demand to recognize the architectural expertise of network designers, Cisco today introduced the Cisco Certified Architect, the highest level of accreditation achievable within Cisco Career Certifications.
The Cisco Certified Architect certification recognizes the architectural experience and competency of network designers who can support the increasingly complex networks of global organizations and effectively translate business strategies into evolutionary technical strategies.
According to Cisco, channel partners play a critical role in enabling customers to deploy advanced new technologies supported by professionals with the skills required to use these innovative solutions.
The certification stands above the expert-level CCIE certification in terms of difficulty, with an emphasis on expertise in network infrastructure architecture and a proven ability to work with executive-level customers to ensure that business requirements are incorporated into successful designs.
Advanced technologies such as Cisco Unified Communications, Cisco TelePresence and mobility are converging and increasing the opportunities for innovation and collaboration while adding to the complexity of enterprise networks.
According to IDC, "With many existing certifications focused on point technologies, architect-level certifications bring together project management, business needs analysis, and IT elements into a true solutions framework and validate a candidate’s ability to address planning, design, interoperability, and connectivity issues."
Gartner reported in its 2008 IT market compensation study (U.S. based), that "IT organizations continue to have difficulty in finding skilled IT professionals, especially enterprise architects, network architects, project managers and Web application programmers."
The Cisco Certified Architect certification will be administered as a board exam.
Candidates will propose and defend an architecture solution to a set of business requirements, and the candidates will be asked to modify their proposals "on the fly," based on additional requirements presented by the board.
Prerequisites include a CCDETM certification, approximately 10 years of industry experience, and acceptance into the program via an application process.
New certification is highest Cisco certification and above CCIE