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Arista’s Philosophy of Training
Arista has two founding principles that drive us forward: create solutions to customer problems and always focus on Quality, Quality, Quality!
Arista has extended this into the NEW Arista Cloud Engineer (ACE) Certification Program in such a way as to be different from other vendors. We believe high quality training should be available to everyone in the format and price point that best fits your needs. Our training focuses on Arista recommended practices for solutions, not just features and commands. This is a huge differentiator from other vendors but still not enough. Arista goes a step further by aligning the program to typical job roles.
The new ACE program is structured on a simple multi-level model. Each of the first five levels consists of a course, exam and certification. Arista is taking the approach that as you learn and master new skills you should increase your certification level. No nested courses requiring you to pass two or more individual courses to complete a single certification. We feel this is a commonsense approach that allows engineers to distinguish themselves amongst their peers. If you have invested in multiple courses and have mastered those skills, you should not share the same certification level as someone that has not progressed as far.
Beyond the five core levels, there are two expert levels. These two certifications do not have a required course and focus on acknowledging those that have reached the highest levels and have proven this through in-depth exams.
What Level Are You?
The new Arista Cloud Engineer (ACE) Certification program was designed to allow engineers to enter at the level that matches their current skill set. Arista does not force engineers to progress in any specific way. All certification exams are practical in nature and tests the skills learned at the specific ACE level as well as the levels below. For example, if an engineer chose to enter the program at Level 4, then the exam for Level 4 would include content covered in the Level 4 course as well as the content from Levels 1-3.
|Job Roles||Typical Experience Level||Competitive Cert Level*||Course Requirements||Exam Type|
|Engineer / Architect Lead||10-12 Years||DC+SP+R&S Expert||Exam Only||Practical Lab Exam
Must be a Current Level 6
|Engineer/Architect Lead||7-10 Years||DC+SP+R&S Expert||Exam Only||Practical Board Exam RFP Scenario Based Open to Any Level**|
|Network Automation Lead||5-7 Years||Expert + Python and Ansible||5-day Course + Exam||Practical Lab Exam Open to Any Level**|
|Upper Tier Ops / Senior Network Engineer||5 Years||DC+SP+R&S Professional||5-day Course + Exam||Practical Lab Exam Open to Any Level**|
|Practical Lab Exam Open to Any Level**||3-5 Years||DC+SP+R&S Professional||5-day Course + Exam||Practical Lab Exam Open to Any Level**|
|Front Tier Ops / Early Career Network Engineer||1-3 Years||DC+SP+R&S Professional||5-day Course + Exam||Practical Lab Exam Open to Any Level**|
|University Graduate / Job Changer/ New to Network Engineering||New||DC+SP+R&S Associate||5-day Course + Exam||Multiple Choice Exam|
*A Combination of these certs will give the closest mapping to the Arista Cert. Those holding these certs would be able to enter the Arista Cert program but still may find significant gaps between competitive vendors programs and the Arista program.
** All exams are cumulative, all levels below the level being taken are also tested during the exam. Taking a ACE L3 will test you on Levels 1-3.
Exams round out the learning process by validating your knowledge and providing you with a certification which you can use to prove that knowledge. As you’ll see below, Arista has developed a detailed process for taking exams to earn your certification. This process is meant to prove your knowledge of the subject material from start to finish. By doing this, the certification will mean just a little bit more to those that earn it and will mean a lot more to companies eager to hire engineers with these skills.
To start the exam process, once you have completed training (through an instructor-led class, self-study, or another available format), you will be asked to submit an application for taking the exam. This application will include your proof of purchase that the training was provided by an Official Arista Training Partner, how/why your experience level matches the required experience for the certification level, and one or more job-specific write-ups depending on the certification level you are testing. After your application is approved and you’ve paid your yearly membership fee, you will have access to the pre-qualification multiple-choice exams to finish your preparations and be sure you’re ready for the practical lab.
The Level 1 exam will be a multiple-choice exam. Levels 2-5 will be practical labs to allow engineers to ‘prove’ their knowledge of the material instead of best-guessing a multiple-choice exam, Level 6 will include a written and practical lab, and Level 7 will be a very in-depth practical lab.
Most of the industry maintains an expiration date on your certifications of two or three years. Before the expiration date, if you want to stay certified and current, you need to purchase new material, study from the beginning, and retest all over again. Arista will not have an expiration date.
Instead, Arista is introducing a yearly recertification program which will allow you to stay current and certified year after year without retesting. This recertification is based on a point system; you will earn points through the various learning tools available to you and through being an active participant in the Arista community.
ACE certified engineers will need to accumulate a minimum of 100 points every year to maintain their Arista certification. This will be in addition to paying the annual membership fees.
- Category 1: Product/Feature Courses – 15 points(required) per 2-hour course/webinar/video (must accumulate at least 60 points)
- Category 2: Documented Arista-based networking projects completed – 10 points(required)(maximum of 20 points per year)
- Category 3: Community Involvement – active participant (10 or more posts and answers) – 5 points(optional)
- Category 4: Submitting whitepapers, Linux/Python scripts or other packages – 10 points(optional)
- Category 5: Higher Level Certification courses – purchase and attend, passed exam is not required – 30 points per course (optional)
Arista and our select Training Partners make all training available in numerous formats to allow customers to choose the model that fits their learning style and schedules. All formats allow you to purchase the official books and lab time as stand-alone products. This allows you the opportunity to purchase the book ahead of the course date to better prepare for the course. You can also add additional lab time before, during or after the course to provide the opportunity to increase your confidence and proficiency in a cost-effective way.
If you hold a single current Arista certification from the previous program (ACE, ALE, AME, APE), you will be grandfathered into the new ACE:L1. If you hold multiple certifications of the previous program in any combination, you will be grandfathered into ACE:L2. This grandfathering process will allow you a one-year grace period before the new rules of recertification will apply.
Arista Training Partners
Arista has a distinguished group of specialized partners that deliver our ACE program. We have divided our partner ecosystem across three distinct tiers, each required to maintain increasing levels of service and expertise within their instructor pools. Look for these badges before purchasing training to ensure you are receiving Official Arista Training.