These certifications will lead you to get your career ahead
Networking-savvy IT professionals are in high demand on the current job market. Those who are committed to their IT careers should consider obtaining one or more of these best-of-breed networking certifications in order to distinguish themselves from their peers.
There is a lengthy list of tools and technologies that qualified IT professionals must master in order to maintain modern networks, particularly those who aspire to become network administrators. In such environments, there is a great deal of network infrastructure to manage in addition to the servers and clients that comprise the endpoints. This includes both physical and virtual switches and routers, as well as a variety of appliances and services, such as unified threat management (UTM), next-generation firewalls (NGFs), software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions, virtualization (NFV) components, WAN optimization, and spam, email, and content filtering.
Understanding all these certification options and specialisations can be difficult, but knowing where to begin can help. We examined five networking certifications (in the order in which they appear in the job boards table below) that we consider to be leaders in the field of networking for 2019 and beyond.
To select our leaders, we analysed the state of networking certification, examined various market and salary surveys, and conducted an informal job board survey to determine the number of U.S. job postings on a given day that mentioned our featured certifications.
The SolarWinds Certified Professional makes its inaugural appearance on the leaderboard this year (SCP). It replaces the Juniper Expert in Enterprise Routing and Switching (JNCIE-ENT) certification. While the JNCIE is still an excellent certification, the SCP’s job board numbers were stronger, earning it a spot in the top five. Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), CompTIA Network+, and WCNA Certification for Wireshark are the additional credentials featured (WCNA).
The featured certifications cover all levels of networking job roles, from entry-level (Network+) to expert (CCNP) (CCIE). According to Glassdoor, a person beginning a career in networking, most likely as a technician or junior administrator, can expect to earn approximately $67,000 annually. Mid-level network administrators and engineers earn an average salary between $79,000 and $90,000, while CCIEs earn an average of $119,000.
Cisco Certified Network Professional
The Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification targets platforms and products from a leading networking equipment vendor utilized by the majority of communications and internet service providers, as well as enterprises and businesses of all sizes, including government, research, and academia. Today, it’s difficult to go wrong with Cisco certification, and the CCNP is its most important midrange credential across a broad range of specializations.
Cloud, Collaboration, Data Center, Routing and Switching (the most popular), Security, Service Provider, and Wireless are the various CCNP flavors offered by Cisco. The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a prerequisite for CCNP certification. After the CCNP, networking professionals may pursue another CCNP (different specialty), one or more Cisco Specialist certifications, or the advanced Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification, which is also available in a variety of specializations.
CompTIA Network+ Certification
There aren’t many IT certifications for entry-level networking, likely because CompTIA’s Network+ credential dominates this market. Many IT and certification experts, including ourselves, consider Network+ to be a crucial early certification requirement for any savvy IT professional. This certification is appropriate for those just starting out.
CompTIA Network+ is a vendor-neutral certification that serves as a stepping stone to a variety of advanced networking certifications. Even some vendor-specific certification programmes require it.
CompTIA Security+ Certification
CompTIA Security+ is currently one of the most widely recognised certifications. These certifications demonstrate that you have at least the fundamental skills necessary to perform your job and keep sensitive data secure.
In particular, the CompTIA Security+ certification exam verifies that you possess the skills necessary to respond to specific incidents, reduce risks, or even better, prevent them from occurring. Almost anyone who wants to work in cybersecurity can obtain this certification, but security professionals and IT administrators will benefit the most. Check out the CompTIA Security+ Study Guide by How To Network for exam preparation.
Additional Certifications in Networking
There are numerous other options available for networking professionals to investigate and pursue.
Cumulus Networks’ Open Networking Professional certification is an upcoming and intriguing Open Linux Networking-focused credential (CCONP).
Although it did not make the top five this year, the Juniper Enterprise Routing and Switching-Expert (JNCIE-ENT) is still a valuable credential for those interested in Juniper technologies.
Many other major networking vendors, such as F5 and HPE, provide networking-centric credentials that ascend to the expert or advanced level. Serious network professionals should also investigate the Avaya, Citrix, and Extreme Networks certifications.
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