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Cisco’s New AI Certification – CCDE-AI

Feeling overwhelmed by the constant stream of new buzzword ‘AI’? You’re not alone. In today’s digital age, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. This article dives into how Cisco is embracing Artificial Intelligence and guides how you can upskill yourself to unlock exciting new possibilities.

The past five years have seen a lot of noise and excitement around Artificial Intelligence (AI). Everyone is talking about Gen AI, Predictive AI and what not. Network engineers, hungry to upskill in this evolving landscape, are often unsure where to begin.

Cisco has come up with a solution to this problem by introducing AI related content, courses and certification.

Why do we need AI upskilling:

  • There is a huge amount of workload on the infrastructure . Hence, we need infrastructure to support AI in the first place.
  • The Cisco AI content is designed keeping in mind network architectural skillsets.
  • In the age of AI there is no room for error.

The certification that we are now going to talk about is Expert level. However, as an associate or professional network engineer continue reading to know how to upskill yourself in AI.

The New Cisco AI Certification: CCDE-AI

  • It stands for Cisco Certified Design Expert – Artificial Intelligence Infrastructure.
  • This certification is not a replacement of any other certification.
  • It is actually an elective of the already existing Cisco CCDE Program.
  • You can read about the exam here: Cisco CCDE
  • The exam will launch to test in 2025.
  • The exact cost of the Cisco CCDE-AI certification isn’t officially confirmed yet, but it’s likely to follow the pricing structure of the existing CCDE certification.

Here is a snippet from cisco website on the key update:

CCDE exam updates

On February 10, 2025, Cisco will offer an elective for its CCDE certification focused on AI infrastructure. This elective validates the skills of experienced Newtwork Design Engineers (5-7 years) in designing data center networks that can handle the demanding needs of AI workloads. The new v3.1 written and practical exam will be available for testing beginning February 9, 2025, at Cisco Live Amsterdam.

Training and courses to get into AI as a network engineer:

  • Game up your skills with free AI related courses on the Cisco U website. The website has many courses to choose from and Cisco will continue to launch both free and paid courses to get you CCDE-AI certification ready throughout the coming year.
  • Cisco U has a wide range of courses even for beginners, it might be difficult to judge which should be the first one you should go for. We recommend the following course which is of only 55 minutes but has great takeaways as a newbie in AI. Link to the course.
Understanting AI and LLMs as a Network Engineer
  • Our very old friend Cisco Network Academy has recently launched a new AI course for beginners on the Skills-for- all website. It is a 10-hour free course designed for newbies. Link to the course: AI Fundamentals.
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