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The Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) is for expert-level network design engineers, expert-level network leads of IT infrastructure teams, and expert-level network leads of architecture teams working in job roles that require them to translate business needs, budget, and operational constraints into the design of a converged solution. The CCDE curriculum prepares designers to develop design solutions at the infrastructure level for large customer networks. Network engineers holding an active CCDE certification are recognized for their expert-level knowledge and skills in network infrastructure design. The deep technical networking knowledge that a CCDE brings ensures that they are well qualified to address the most technically challenging network infrastructure design assignments.


There are no formal prerequisites for CCDE. No specific training or other professional certifications are required.

Step One: CCDE Written Exam

The 2-hour, written qualification exam covers network design in the areas of routing, tunneling, Quality of Service (QoS), management, cost, capacity, and security. You must pass the written exam before you are eligible to schedule the CCDE practical exam.

Step Two: CCDE Practical Exam

The 8-hour practical exam tests your ability to perform design analysis, justify design requirements, and develop a design implementation based on best practices. Only candidates that have a passing score on the CCDE Written Exam may register for the CCDE Practical Exam.

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