The Cisco CCIE certification is the highest Cisco certification currently available. Most individuals with a Cisco CCIE certification are employed as Network Security Engineers and earn as much as $120,000 per year. A Network Security Engineer is a great job with lots of challenges in an ever changing environment. In order to qualify for a Network Security Engineer you must have a background in network security, an education in a related field and a Cisco CCIE certification. Let's see how a person can get into this highly compensated field.

The single most important thing you can get that will open the doors in network security is a Cisco certification and especially a CCIE certification. Cisco certifications are difficult to get and therefore are highly respected. All of the Cisco training programs are very detailed and require the student to not only know the text but also have hands on experience. Students that graduate from Cisco training programs are the best in Internetworking knowledge. These programs are very difficult and so are the Cisco CCIE certification exams. You really have to be an expert in network security in order to get a CCIE certification. If you are one of the lucky ones that passes, you will be rewarded handsomely.

The Cisco CCIE certification is composed of several areas of expertise or tracks. Here are the 6 Cisco CCIE tracks.

1. Routing and Switching Track - This is the most popular Cisco track and requires expert knowledge in LAN and WAN networking including routers and switches. You will be able to troubleshoot and solve complex connectivity issues with the goal of increasing bandwidth, improve response time, increase network performance and support global network operations.

2. Security Track - This track is the backbone of the CCIE. You will gain expert knowledge of network security and VPN solutions. You will also get an indepth knowledge of the following operating systems: Microsoft Windows, Unix and Linux along with an understanding of HTTP, FTP, SMTP and DNS. You will learn Layer 2 and Layer 3 network infrastructure and some IP routing. You will know how to configure complex end to end secure networks. Troubleshooting integrated environments is one of the most difficult tasks and you will learn how. One of the favorites is learning how to mitigate network attacks and understanding how they occur.

3. Service Provider Track - You will gain indepth knowledge of IP fundamentals and concepts. You will build extensible networks for service providers. Some additional skills are packet architecture and technologies, MPLS, VPN and basic security.

4. Storage Network Track - You will be able to implement and troubleshoot storage area networks or SAN's. You will learn good skills in the following technologies, LANs, MANs, WANs over fiber channel, iSCSI, FCIP and FICON. Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing and switching skills are covered.

5. Voice Track - Gain expert knowledge of Cisco voice over IP or VoIP products and solution in an enterprice environment. You will be able to build complex telephony networks for end to end users. You will troubleshoot these VoIP networks. Again, you will learn or review Layer 2 and Layer 3 infrastructure.

6. Wireless Track - This knowledge will enable you to advance in your career and so it is very valuable to know. You will be able to manage Cisco wireless networks which will validate your expertise in WLAN technology.

These are all of the Cisco CCIE Certification tracks that you will need to take in order to acheive a CCIE certification. There are many Cisco certification classes that will prepare you not only for the CCIE certification but also for the duties of a Network Security Engineer or a Network Engineer. The Cisco certification classes are challenging and expensive but the reward far exceeeds the requirements.

If you re interested in this high paying career then start looking into Cisco Certification classes. You can attend a Cisco certification school or take Cisco certification classes online. You will be glad you did.