Getting Citrix Certified

So you want to become a Citrix certified enterprise engineer, or maybe an infrastructure architect?  Well, the road is long — and the exams are hard, so let’s quickly discuss what it will take to complete this arduous task!

There are a number of certification paths you can take when you decide you want to get your Citrix certifications.  The good news for you is that Citrix makes their certification program fairly intuitive, and each certificate they offer usually flows into the next.  Once you have achieved a high level Citrix certification like the CCEE (Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer), for example — you’ll only need to take a single exam every few years to keep up your certification level to the most current level.

The first thing you’ll want to do when you start down a path of Citrix certification would be to enroll in some courses.  Citrix offers many online training courses to prepare you for certification, and the first set of courses you will be taking will be for your CCA (Citrix Certified Administrator).  I’ve personally taken Citrix education courses online and in person, and I can tell you from experience that there is very little difference between the two.  Both are instructor led, and you will be able to ask questions and get help with whatever problems you encounter within the labs.  Unless you are just incapable of learning online, you should attend the online training courses first.

While this can all change quickly depending on product support lifecycle, the current list of Citrix CCA certifications available are:

  • CCA for XenDesktop 5
  • CCA for XenDesktop 4
  • CCA for XenApp 6
  • CCA for XenApp 5 for Windows Server ’08
  • CCA for XenApp 5 for Windows Server ’03

Once you complete your CCA, you can move on to take the Citrix Advanced Administrator exams to achieve your CCAA certification.  Currently, Citrix offers only two advanced administrator certifications:

  • CCAA for Citrix XenApp 6
  • CCAA for Citrix XenApp 5 for Windows Server ’08

After you become an advanced administrator for Citrix, the next certification milestone you’ll want to attain would be the CCEE, or Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer.  In order to achieve the CCEE, you’ll have to continue classroom training and exams to accumulate the following Citrix certification credits:

Step 1.
Attain Administrator certification for each product below.
Citrix XenApp
CCA for Citrix XenApp 6
Citrix XenServer
CCA for Citrix XenServer 6
Citrix XenDesktop
CCA for Citrix XenDesktop 5
Step 2.
Pass Advanced Administration exam.
Citrix XenApp
CCAA for Citrix XenApp 6
Step 3.
Pass Engineering exam.
A25 Engineering a Citrix Virtualization Solution
Prepare with:
CVE-401 Engineering a Citrix Virtualization Solution 

Once you complete your Citrix CCEE, it’s a major achievement and you should definitely pat yourself on the back.  There are only a very limited number of Citrix CCEE’s in the world, and you have joined at elite fraternity at this point.

If you wish to continue the Citrix certification track to attain the final and highest level certification that Citrix offers, you will next pursue the Citrix CCIA (Citrix Certified Infrastructure Architect).  The architect certification will be different than anything you have studied for so far, and is focussed on architecting Citrix solutions rather than troubleshooting or maintaining them.  In order to become a Citrix CCIA you’ll have to complete the following steps:

Step 1.
Attain the following Engineer Series Certification.
Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE) for Virtualization
Step 2.
Gain Architect-level field experience (recommended).
Successful candidates for this certification will have extensive field experience related to architecting Citrix virtualization-based solutions. Detailed information on this recommendation will be available with the release of the final exam.
Step 3.
Pass Architecting Exam.
A16 Architecting a Citrix Virtualization Solution
Prepare with:
CVA-500 Architecting a Citrix Virtualization Solution
Step 4.
Complete CCIA Program documentation.
To complete this certification, candidates must:
  • Agree to the CCIA for Virtualization program agreement available in Certification Manager
    • Complete online profile questionnaire available in Certification Manager

Once you have attained the Citrix CCIA, congratulations!  There are very few Citrix Certified Infrastructure Architects in the world, and you have just joined the status of the truly elite.  Many states in the US don’t even have a CCIA, and so you’ll quickly find your skills to be in serious demand.

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