[Posted 8 Mar 2013 by Kathy Yale]
The Value Of Certifications In The IT Industry
The IT industry is build on certifications and experience, which means if an individual doesn’t have one then they need the other. The tech industry is a large and varied industry with many specialties. Unlike other industries, it also doesn’t have a strong emphasis on traditional degrees. Instead, the tech industry focuses on many specialized certifications in different fields, one of the most notable being Network+. These certifications show two things: that you have the basic knowledge necessary to fulfill your job, and that you keep on top of current technology and protocols.
Certifications range from entry-level and student certifications to advanced certifications that command a high salary. In general, those with certifications will command a higher salary than those without. Many positions within the IT industry need certifications such as the Network+ to even be considered for hire, especially in lucrative government contracts.
The Different Types of Certification
There are three main types of certification that an IT professional would consider: Microsoft, Cisco, and Comptia. Each of these certification companies have a variety of certification paths that one can go down to advance and specialize their knowledge.
Microsoft certifications focus on supporting Microsoft products for the use of systems administration and help desk support, where Cisco certifications focus on supporting Cisco products for network and routing capabilities. These are two very different industries which means that an IT professional should choose the industry that they prefer before deciding which certifications they want.
Comptia is different from the other certificate vendors because they are not based on any specific product line. Rather, Comptia certifications test entry-level capabilities in general technology, and thus show an individual’s ability to work in any environment.
When To Get Network+ Certification
Network+ certification is an entry-level certification that is usually taken at the beginning of one’s career or even while still in school. The Network+ certification will show employers that an individual is aware of the basic concepts of networking and routing. This differentiates an individual from other job applicants and proves that they have the basic knowledge required to be a network administrator.
Network+ certification is required for many positions, and is often preferred over Cisco Certified Network Associate certifications for positions that want all-around knowledge and not Cisco-specific knowledge. Network+ certification is a single exam that can be arranged through a local testing center.
How To Study For Network+ Certification
There are many different ways to study for Network+ certification, depending on an individual’s preference for learning. There are physical classes by local IT centers, video lessons, audiotapes, textbooks, and interactive practice tests. The Network+ certification is best taken by people that have at least a small amount of experience in the industry.
What To Do After The Network+ Certification
Since the Network+ certification is an entry-level certification there are a couple of options an individual can take after Network+. There are other Comptia certifications for a variety of technologies that can help grow an individual outwards. Obtaining a Microsoft certification or Cisco certification after Network+ can similarly make an individual look more well-rounded and professional.
The Cisco certification path for networking is more involved than the Network+ certification, so it is often easier to take Network+ before the Cisco exams. The Microsoft certification paths, however, can show that an employee is able to handle both the networking and the system administration side of technology as well as opening up different positions to a job seeker.