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On November 2, 2021, Cisco will release v3.0 of the CCDE certification. With this update, CCDE practical exams will be administered at Cisco testing centers.

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Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)

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.

Exams and recommended training

To earn a CCDE, you pass two exams: a qualifying exam and a hands-on lab exam.

Step one: Pass the qualifying exam - CCDE written exam (CCDE 352-001)

Last date to test: November 1, 2021

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: Pass the lab exam -CCDE practical exam v2.0

Last date to test: October 26, 2021

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.


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

Study and learn

Wear your certification pride with CCIE and CCDE shirts, jackets, and other goodies personalized with your name and certification number.


Your CCDE certification is valid for three years.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education Program

Cisco announces a flexible and alternative method of recertification for expert-level certification holders. In addition to the existing option of passing relevant exams, candidates can choose to recertify by earning credits through the Continuing Education Program.


Frequently asked questions