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Your license to design

The CCDE certification program prepares you for expert-level job roles in network architecture and designs. These roles often include integrating many different networking elements into a sustainable, manageable, and scalable architecture that supports the ever-growing needs of enterprises and customers. As one of the industry’s most respected certifications, the CCDE certification distinguishes you as a leader in designing complex network solutions.

Introducing the updated CCDE

Achieving the updated CCDE certification proves your skills designing and architecting complex Enterprise network solutions. To earn your CCDE, you pass two exams: first, a qualifying exam that covers core technologies and competencies required by every network designer, then an 8-hour practical exam that covers designing and architecting Enterprise networking solutions by analyzing business requirements and technical requirements and making design decisions based on many factors such as resiliency or cost.

  • First, take the qualifying exam, CCDE Written (400-007), which focuses on your understanding and skills within the realms of network design, technologies, translation of business and technical requirements into functional specifications, and business strategies.
    • The qualifying exam earns a Cisco Specialist certification, so you can get recognized for your accomplishments along the way.
  • Second, take the 8-hour, practical exam, CCDE v3.0 Practical exam. This exam covers several scenarios, one of which the candidate can select, providing the flexibility to include topics related to your area of expertise, in addition to validating core enterprise architecture technologies. The CCDE v3.0 Practical exam will be delivered at Cisco Certification centers.

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October 30, 2023

Migrating to the new program

On November 2, 2021, the new CCDE v3.0 certification will replace the current CCDE v2.0. 

If you have started working toward the current CCDE certification, keep going. In the new program, you’ll receive credit for work you’ve completed in the current certification. 

  • If you pass the current CCDE v2.1 Written exam before November 2, 2021, you will be eligible to take the new CCDE v3.0 Practical exam after November 2, 2021.
  • After November 2, 2021, the CCDE v2.1 Written exam (352-001) will be replaced with CCDE v3.0 Written exam (400-007). 
  • Upon passing the CCDE Written exam, you earn a Cisco Specialist certification.
  • If you are CCDE certified by November 2, 2021, then as of November 2, 2021, you’ll maintain your CCDE certification as per the new recertification guidelines, and you will also receive the Cisco Specialist certification.


There are no formal prerequisites for taking the CCDE, but you should have a thorough understanding of the exam topics before taking the exam.

CCDE candidates are recommended to have five to seven years of experience with designing and architecting network solutions, as well as engaging in other related activities, such as pre-sales work.

What's new

CCIE Practice Labs

Get hands-on practice for your CCIE lab exam before you take the test. For $50 USD, you can rent four-hour timeslots and practice using topologies similar that you’ll see in the lab exam.

Your exam, your way. The CCIE BYOD Mobile Lab is here!

The CCIE Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) lab allows CCIE exam candidates to take the lab, using their own devices (laptop, monitor, keyboard, mouse), at expanded locations and dates. The BYOD Mobile Lab exam fee is $1600 USD, a $300 USD savings compares to the $1900 USD Cisco kit mobile lab exam fee. The CCIE BYOD Mobile Lab is open for registration.


Your CCDE certification is valid for three years.