[Posted 20 June 2013 by Kathy Yale]
Across various industries today, the tight labor market is causing both employers and employees to take a closer look at the skills and educational background of job candidates. Employers want to hire the most qualified candidate for the position; with competition for jobs fierce, employees must do what they can to differentiate themselves from others in some way. While the competition for positions varies from industry to industry, competition for positions in the IT industry is often competitive. For IT professionals who want to improve their likelihood of getting hired, one great option to consider is to earn a Network+ certification.
What is Network+?
The Network+ certification is a general certification that is not designated for any specific vendor or operating system, and this makes it a popular certification for many employers to look for regardless of the type of system they are running. It is an entry-level certification that covers networking topics like installation, configuration, troubleshooting, maintenance, and management of the network. While it can stand alone for professionals seeking an entry-level IT position, it also can be used as a stepping stone to the more coveted MCSA, or Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator, certification. It also is recognized by other system brands like Cisco, HP, and Novell. The certification can provide the basis for further growth, development, and specialization in the IT field.
Job Positions that May Require Network+
The Network+ certification is an entry-level certification, and it can help new IT professionals prove their knowledge and proficiency in entry-level IT tasks and topics. It may be required for positions like a PC tech, help desk administration, or network administration. It should be noted that even when the certification is not a requirement, it can give job applicants a competitive edge over others. This is because a certification proves to employers that certain objectives they may be looking for in a candidate have been mastered. Employers know when they hire a professional who has this certification that they do have a certain knowledge base in subject matter that is relevant to the position.
How to Get the Certification
To pass the certification exam, you will need to study hard. There are numerous classes available online and in classroom settings that cover all of the material found in the certification exams. There are also training DVDs and instructional books available to help those who are interested in passing the exam. However, this is one of the few certification exams in the industry that can be taken without any formal training. It is not required that students sit through a class before taking the test. Studying the material may increase the likelihood of passing the test and will ensure that students with weak areas in the material are fully ready. However, those who feel that they are proficient in the material can sign up to take the test when ready.
For IT professionals who are struggling to find a position in their field, who want to move into a new position, or who are just getting started in the IT industry, earning a Network+ certification may help. This certification can help IT professionals to meet their current goals, and it can also provide them with a wonderful stepping stone to earn more advanced certifications in the future.