Arista Course Differentiation
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.
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)
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