If you are working as a networking professional or considering getting into the field, you may have heard about CompTIA’s Network+ certification. As part of what is referred to as the Core Skill certifications, Network+ is one step along the path that CompTIA (the Computing Technology Industry Association) recommends for IT professionals starting out and progressing through their career.
What is Network+?
Network+ is a foundational certification designed for those already holding a CompTIA A+ certification (or comparable skills) who have at least 9 to 12 months of networking experience. It is one of the most popular certifications around and is earned by passing a single Network + examination. The number varies slightly, but the exam (CompTIA exam code N10-007) includes no more than 90 questions, which are a combination of both multiple-choice and performance-based questions. Topics covered include critical security concepts to helping networking professionals work with security practitioners, as well as cloud computing best practices & coverage of newer hardware and virtualization techniques. Although it is not a cybersecurity certification, it also includes concepts to give individuals the skills to keep the network resilient.
Is Network+ Worth It?
There are a number of benefits to earning the Network+ certification.
First, it can help you to get a job. More than 9 out of 10 employers report that IT certifications play a key role in the hiring process because they are a reliable indicator that an employee will be successful in the new role. Certifications confirm that you have a baseline skillset.
This belief by hiring managers is factually based. A study by CompTIA confirms that those with certifications perform at a higher level once they are in an IT position. They are more confident, more knowledgeable, reach job proficiency more quickly, are more reliable, and generally perform at a higher level.
As a result, having a certification makes it more likely that applicants get the opportunity to interview for open positions. 96% of employers report that certifications play a part in the screening and hiring process.
Peers in the IT community seem to recognize the benefit of being certified. In fact, more than 2 million IT professionals have already earned a CompTIA certification
Source 2 IDC White Paper, sponsored by CompTIA, IT Support and Security Performance: The Impact of CompTIA Certification on Organizational Performance, IDC #252603, December 2014
Source 3 IDC White Paper, sponsored by CompTIA, IT Support and Security Performance: The Impact of CompTIA Certification on Organizational Performance, IDC #252603, December 2014
What Can I Do with a Network+ Certification?
There are several job roles and employers seeking someone with the expertise covered by Network+. Some of the job titles of those holding the certification include IT Manager, Junior Network Administrator, Network Field Technician, System Engineer, IS Consultant, Network Support Specialist, and Help Desk Technician. Companies that trust the Network+ certification in their team include Apple, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Canon, Dell, HP, Intel, Ricoh, Verizon, and even the U.S. Department of Defense.
Network+ not only adds value to your resume in and of itself, it also serves as a strong certification to confirm your skills along the way as you advance to higher-level certifications.
How Much Does Someone with a Network+ Certification Make?
There are a number of factors that impact how much you will make with a Network+ certification. These include how much job experience you have, where you are working (both the industry itself and the geographic region can have a significant impact), and other skills or training that you have. It is important that you keep current with your networking skills.
Soft skills can also influence how much you earn. Employers are likely to be impressed by someone who has good communication skills, both interviewing well and interacting professionally and effectively with other team members.
So, what type of income can you expect? According to payscale.com, the average salary for someone with a Network+ certification is $67,002.
How Do I Earn Network+?
The first step to earning any certification is understanding what is covered in the test. You can download the exam objectives on the CompTIA website here. They will show you exactly what you need to know to pass. Once you download the objectives and review them, it is valuable to consider what gaps might exist in your knowledge.
One method for determining how your skills compare to those required is to take a practice test. These can help you to both become familiar with what you can expect in the real exams, as well as discover what areas you should study to be fully prepared.
Practice tests can also be helpful once you believe that you are ready to take the Network+ exam. You can confirm your readiness and feel more confident when you take the exam.
If you find that there are holes in your knowledge, consider using a Network+ study guide. These are ideal for the self-paced learner. They cover the functional areas of the exam and include a glossary of terms to aid you.
You may still find that you have questions as you review. Online discussion groups and forums may have the answers that you’re looking for. Others are often generous in sharing their expertise and can offer insights to assist you in preparing.
While there is no quick way to acquire these skills, if you are experienced and dedicated, the Network+ certification may be the answer for you.
Are You Ready to Become Network+ certified?
We have discussed some of the benefits of holding a Network+ certification, as well as the salary that you can expect if you have one. Are you ready?
If you have prepared and believe that you have what it takes to earn your Network+ certification, GetCertified4Less is here to support you. In addition to study guides and practice tests, you can purchase discounted vouchers that can be redeemed to sit for the Network+ exam.
Remote testing is now available. You can take the Network+ exam safely from the comfort of your home or office.
Take the exam, earn the Network+ certification, and advance your IT career.