[Posted 28 May 2013 by Kathy Yale]
Almost 15 years after it was initially launched, Network+ remains one of the most popular – and powerful – certifications for today’s tech professionals seeking to make themselves more attractive to their current or future employers. Why? Well, the primary reasons are its power and its versatility. The networking certification Is one of the flagship certifications supported by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), and for anyone interested in becoming an IT support person, having this certification is a must. It’s also a natural next-step for anyone who has already completed CompTIA’s A+ certification or who has some background working in an entry-level IT position.
To really understand just why this specific certification remains so popular among both networking professionals and the companies who rely on them, consider the advantages the certification offers:
- It’s accessible. There’s no need to have an extensive background in computers in order to gain Network+ certification. All you need is the time and dedication to study the review materials, watch the videos and take the practice tests – all of which can be done according to your own schedule and at your own pace.
- It’s versatile. Unlike certifications sponsored by specific hardware or software manufacturers, your certification will not tie you into one specific platform or application. As you work toward becoming certified, you’ll learn networking concepts that are applicable to a wide range of platforms, including how to configure, manage and troubleshoot network infrastructures – and that means you’ll be in demand by a larger pool of employers.
- It counts toward vendor-specific certifications. Because the exam covers networking concepts that are used in a variety of platforms, Microsoft, HP, Novell and Cisco all recognize Network+ certification and allow it to be counted toward their own certification pathways, including Microsoft’s Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) certification, which means you’ll actually save time – and money – if you decide to pursue one of these specific tracks later.
- It’s in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the field of network administration is expected to grow by 28% by 2020 as companies invest in more powerful networks. Because it’s internationally recognized, your certification comes with a built-in degree of confidence which means that with just one look at your resume, employers will know you have the knowledge and preparation required to handle a broad range of networking issues regardless of the platform the company uses.
All of the Network+ materials offered by Total Seminars will help you earn your certification; however, many experts advise using more than one source to prepare for the exam – for instance, two books by different authors or a book combined with a video series. To be completely prepared, industry experts also recommend taking as many practice tests as you can to get a real “feel” for how the actual exam is structured. With some time and determination – and the right study materials – you could be on your way to a networking career in less time than you imagine.