At a time when some industries are shedding jobs, IT offers a wider range of entry-level positions and career advancement opportunities than just about any other field.
Consider these facts:
• There are currently over 500,000 job openings for IT professionals in the U.S., according to CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association.
• U.S. employers are expected to need 140,000 network system and data communications analysts, a 53% increase, over the next decade, according to the U.S. Department of Labor..
• Industry observers are sounding the alarm about a growing networking and security skills gap. That’s good news for Network+ certified techs with these much needed skills.
• 91% of hiring managers indicate that CompTIA certifications are valuable in validating expertise.
• The average salary of a network engineer is $91,000
Think of an IT career as a lifelong learning path. Earning certifications is how you show employers you’re advancing your skills and are ready for the next step. A typical certification path would include:
CompTIA A+ Cert. => Network+ Cert. => Security+ Cert. => Microsoft or Cisco Certs.
The Network+ Certification exam covers a lot of material. The list price for the exam is $277. You want to make sure you’re ready to pass the exam the first time so you don’t have to pay for a retake.
Studying for the Network+ exam: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Here’s the best way to learn the concepts, memorize the material, and make sure you’re ready to pass the exam:
Step 1; whether you’re an experienced network tech or just starting out, you need to make sure you know all the concepts covered on the exams. With so much to learn the best way to start is to find a good textbook or video training course. Don’t try to learn everything at once. Start with bite sized pieces. Take a first bite; read a few chapters or watch a series of videos that cover a related group of topics.
Step 2; Take a break from learning new concepts and practice what you have learned in the first group of topics. I recommend setting up a home lab. You will need several computers, routers, switches, cabling and a simple server to start. You can usually get some used equipment to start with and build from there. You will need to set up a network in your home lab and add functions as you cover topics in your studies. You can also purchase a set of Network+ simulations. Try to find simulations that track chapter by chapter the book or videos you are using to study. This will allow you to get hands-on experience that will reinforce what you have learned and help you commit the information to memory. These types of simulations can also help prepare you for the performance-based questions you will see on the CompTIA Network+ exam.
Take a practice test
Step 3; Get a good set of practice test questions; preferably one that works with your study materials and allows you to test on groups of chapters or topics. This way you can test yourself only on the topics you have studied so far, see where your weak areas are and go back and review them before you go on to the next group of topics.
Step 4; Repeat this process one bite size set of topics at a time. Keep the amount of material you try to master at one time small, practice and test yourself until you are confident before you take the next bite. Pretty soon the elephant doesn’t look so big. Finally, once you have covered all the material for the entire exam use the practice test software to covering everything and find any last weak areas for review.
This step-by-step study methodology will help you tackle the large amount of material covered on the CompTIA Network+ exam in a systematic way that makes it easier to remember everything and make sure you are ready to pass the exam the first time.
The key to this approach is to find training videos, simulations and practice test software that work well together and allow you to use them in matching bite size pieces. Total Seminars offers videos, simulations and practice test software that all map to Mike Meyer All-in-One book. The author Mike Meyers offers Video training plus TotalSims, Network+ simulations and Total Tester, Network+ practice test software on his Total Seminars web site. Both these products track chapter by chapter with the videos. Total Seminars also has discount vouchers that will save you on the cost of the CompTIA exam.