The Cost of my CCIE Security - Time & Money in Review


I finally passed the CCIE Security this week after starting this journey over 2 years ago in November of 2015. As I did with the CCIE Data Center, I'm going to go through the cost and time I spent on the CCIE Security. 

  • IPExpert Security v4 Lab Prep Video - I wish I could tell you how good this course was but unfortunately they went out of business before I had a chance to watch it. - $124.50


  • IPExpert Security Bronze Bundle - I didn't get to use more than the lab workbooks since IPExpert went out of business shortly after this purchase but they definitely were still relevant and useful leading up to the lab. - $224.50


  • Zero-To-Hero Security - This was a great course that kicked off my studying into the CCIE Security. I think it was a great course to get my feet wet and help get me to the CCIE written. It was a total of 16 weeks and gave me a lot of ideas on how to proceed with my lab goals. It was a bit cheaper in 2015 since I took the first class with them for Z2H - $3500


  • Udemy Courses - These ended up not being as good as I thought they would be. They're more just added lite labbing - $117


  • Labminutes ISE 2.0 Video Bundle - These were great on learning the new features of ISE and doing a lot of great labbing. - $199


  • Labminutes FTD 6.1 Video Bundle - Great videos that were awesome for learning all the normal tasks of FTD and some extra corner cases - $239


  • Labminutes FlexVPN Video Bundle - One of the best courses to lab all things FlexVPN - $195


  • Cisco Next-Generation Security Solutions Book - I thought this would be great for the CCIE lab but it ended up being more CCNA-level to me - $52.67


  • Firepower 6.x Book - This was a good CCNP-level Firepower book which I read early on - $59


  • Safari Books - This was great for all the Livelessons and books I needed studying for the lab -  $99


  • Khawar Butts All Access Pass - One of the best bootcamps for the lab that I took and I would say that it covered 80-90% of the technologies covered in the lab. It's a good bootcamp to take right before the lab - $3150


  • CCIE Written - I had to take the CCIE written twice since I failed the first time. This cost $450 each time - $900


  • Colo costs for my lab equipment - It would have cost a lot more to have run the server, switches, and ASAs at home with electricity costing what it does in California so I housed a lot of the equipment in a colo and paid for it for about 18 months. I was able to split this with another friend who was taking the CCIE around the same time I was - $3,132


  • CCIE lab attempts - It took me two times to pass the lab exam. 
    • Lab fees - $3200
    • Travel to the labs - ~$2000


In total, my two and a half year journey to the CCIE Security cost about $17,200. I was lucky in the sense that my employer paid for the lab attempts but the rest were entirely out of pocket. The CCIE Security ended up costing me more than the CCIE Data Center despite the fact that the CCIE Security's equipment was easier to get my hands on than a complete data center rack. I spent about two and a half years working on it and I had a bit of disruption in the middle of it where I couldn't do much labbing for about 6 months.