If Systems Networking is Your Gig, Certifications Can Set You Up for Success
Not all networking professionals are created equal. One company could be looking for a network architect who leads with a business mindset, while another may be seeking a design/architect with deep technical knowledge.
Certifications help you show your specific expertise, while giving employers validation that you’re the right person for the job. Cisco says that 99 percent of organizations use certifications to make hiring decisions, and 78 percent of technology execs and managers consider them a critical success factor. We will look at some of the top-requested certifications employers need today.
CompTIA Certifications: CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+
CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) is a non-profit trade association that offers vendor-neutral certifications worldwide.
The starting point for many network professionals is the CompTIA A+ foundation, dubbed “an entry-level rite of passage for IT technicians.” Take this if you’re beginning your career and seeking to gain experience working in roles such as junior analyst, help desk specialist, and service technician.
If you already have nine months of network experience, you can jump straight to the CompTIA Network+ certification and ready yourself for roles that include network support specialist, system engineer, and network analyst. These certifications demonstrate that you have the basic knowledge to design, manage, secure, and troubleshoot networks, and are required if you’re seeking to work as a Dell, Intel, or HP service technician.
With CompTIA Network+ under your belt, you can build your expertise with CompTIA’s Security certification, or you may choose to add vendor certifications from industry leaders, including Cisco, SolarWinds, or Wireshark.
Cisco Certifications: CCT, CCNA, CCNP, CCIE, and CCAr
Cisco segments its certifications by five levels of experience: CCT (Cisco Certified Technician) for entry-level; CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate); CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional); CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert), which is currently held by fewer than 3% of Cisco network engineers; and the new Architect accreditation, CCAr. Effective February 24, 2020, Cisco will be implementing a more modular certification approach for the CCNP designation.
The new curriculum reflects a more modular approach to CCNP, which accommodates five tracks of specialization with concentration electives. Each track requires passing a Core exam, plus one concentration course within the track. The concept accommodates the addition of concentrations over time.
Cisco’s CCIE will mirror the new tracks of CCNP, although Enterprise will be split into CCNP Enterprise Infrastructure and CCNP Enterprise Wireless.
CCNP: Effective February 2020
|Service Provider||Collaboration||Data Center||Enterprise||Security|
|Implementing and Operating Cisco Service Provider Network Core Technologies||Implementing and Operating Core Collaboration Technologies||Implementing and Operating Cisco Data Center Core Technologies||Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies||Implementing and Operating Cisco Security Core Technologies|
|Implementing Cisco Service Provider Advanced Routing Solutions||Implementing Cisco Collaboration Applications||Designing Cisco Data Center Infrastructure||Implementing and Operating Cisco Advanced Routing and Services||Securing Networks with Cisco Firepower Next Generation Firewall, Securing Networks with Cisco Firepower Next Generation IPS|
|Implementing Cisco Service Provider VPN Services||Implementing Cisco Advanced Call Control and Mobility Services||Troubleshooting Cisco Data Center Infrastructure||Implementing Cisco SC-WAN Solutions||Implementing and Configuring Cisco Identity Services Engine|
|Implementing Automation for Cisco Service Provider Solutions||Implementing Cisco Collaboration Cloud and Edge Solutions||Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure||Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks||Securing Email with Cisco Email Security Appliance|
|Implementing Automation for Cisco Collaboration Solutions||Configuring Cisco MDS 9000 Series Switches||Designing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks||Securing the Web with Cisco Email Security Appliance|
|Introducing Automation for Cisco Solutions, Implementing Automation for Cisco Data Center Solutions||Implementing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks||Implementing Secure Solutions with Virtual Private Networks|
|Automation for Cisco Enterprise Solutions||Implementing Automation for Cisco Security Solutions|
SolarWinds Certified Professional (SCP)
SolarWinds is among the most widely known network solution providers with network and systems management products used by enterprises of all sizes. It offers SCP certifications via a customer portal, with specializations including Architecture and Design, ARM (Access Right Manager), NCM (Network Configuration Manager), NPM (Network Performance Monitor) SAM (Server & Application Monitor), and NTA (Netflow Traffic Analyzer).
Wireshark WCNA (Wireshark Certified Network Analyst)
The Wireshark WCNA certificate focuses on analysis techniques and tools that can be used on any network; some believe it helps them fix problems exponentially more quickly from the “wire perspective.” Some hiring managers think that Wireshark skills will become increasing important due to its focus on understanding how things work in TCP/IP communications, network troubleshooting, and network security.
About Signature Consultants, LLC
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the ninth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 29 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit https://www.sigconsult.com. Signature Consultants is the parent company to Hunter Hollis and Madison Gunn.