In recent phone conversations with Fred Weiller and Angela Mendoza of Cisco (Mr. Weiller is the Director of Marketing for Learning@Cisco, and Ms. Mendoza is the Marketing Manager for Cisco Certifications), I learned that the company plans to extend and build upon its always-popular and highly esteemed Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert, or CCIE, certification, starting today (6/22/2010). While active CCIEs must recertify every two years come heck or high water, given that job responsibilities and professional portfolios change over time, Cisco divined from its certified professionals and customers that some way to keep experienced CCIEs in the community would be a good idea, even for those who might not be interested in or able to keep up with the regular recertification requirement. This has now led to the introduction of an “Emeritus” designation for CCIEs with10 or more years of active status in that certification.
In general, the term “emeritus” refers to someone who’s retired from a position, but whose abilities and distinction in that position allow the person who holds the title to retain and continue to use it in a professional context. This designation is most commonly encountered in academia, where a professor who attains emeritus status may continue to teach, do research, and maintain an office and a presence on-campus even when he or she may no longer be actively involved in the everyday routines of the academic life and calendar. The word comes from the past participle of the Latin work emerere, which means to “serve out, earn, or deserve.”
In this same vein, obtaining the CCIE emeritus designation allows individuals to keep calling themselves CCIEs — albeit “emeritus CCIEs” — even when their credentials may no longer be completely current. At or after their 10th anniversaries as active CCIEs, individuals can apply for emeritus status and file an application with the CCIE emeritus team. Upon approval, emeritus status is granted for one year, and re-application is required each following year to maintain that status. Applications must also pay an $85 application fee (yearly) and file valid application paperwork to achieve and maintain CCIE emeritus status. In exchange for keeping up with program requirements, CCIE emeritus professionals are permitted to use the CCIE Emeritus logo, and can append that designation to their CCIE number (which is kept active and registered as long as Emeritus status stays current). CCIE Emeritus holders can continue to participate in the CCIE community online (forums, blogs, groups, and so forth), and will continue to be recognized for technical proficiency and veteran status in the CCIE program. After attaining emeritus status, a CCIE can return to active status at any time within 10 years of joining the emeritus ranks by passing any written CCIE exam (no lab exam required).
However, the Emeritus status for CCIEs is not an active certification. Thus, it does not count toward Channel or Partner requirements for the organizations that employ emeritus CCIEs, nor does it apply to maintaining staff certification status levels for channel partners either. Nevertheless, the CCIE Emeritus promises to be a great way to keep CCIEs who are advancing into more business and less technical aspects of their careers active in the CCIE community, and to extend the recognition and value of this already formidable IT certification.