Cisco Certified Design Expert (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.


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.


  • Step 1: Take the qualifying exam, CCDE v3.0 Written exam (400-007)
  • Step 2: Take the practical exam, CCDE v3.0 Practical exam


Your CCDE certification is valid for three years.