Jun 30, 2022

6 Network Certifications

Network certifications: Should you get one?

Though certifications are often not required, they can be a good way for employers to validate your skill level quickly. Network certifications can help you make your resume more competitive and gain the skills you need to succeed in an IT role.

1. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Widely regarded as a staple network certification, the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is an associate-level (early career) credential. It covers a wide range of networking fundamentals. Cisco is one of the largest companies in the networking industry, making this credential highly relevant. Cisco also offers entry (CCT), professional (CCNP), and expert-level certifications (CCDE). 

  • Cost: $300

  • Requirements: Requires one exam. No prerequisites, though at least one year of experience working with Cisco solutions is recommended.

  • What’s being tested: Network access, IP connectivity, IP services, security, automation, and programmability

2. CompTIA Network+

A vendor-neutral certification, the CompTIA Network+ certification tests your understanding of networking basics regardless of the company your networking technology may come from. CompTIA also offers the CompTIA A+ certification for those who are looking for entry-level IT jobs.

  • Cost: $338

  • Requirements: Requires one exam. No prerequisites, though 9-12 months of networking experience or CompTIA A+ certification is recommended.

  • What’s being tested: Essential networking concepts; cabling, device, and storage technologies; managing networks; security; and troubleshooting methodology and tools

3. Juniper Networks Certified Associate - Junos (JNCIA-Junos)

The JNCIA-Junos is the associate-level certification for Juniper Networks technologies. It’s the first step required for those who want to take more advanced certifications from Juniper Networks in data center technologies, enterprise routing and switching, or service provider routing and switching.

  • Cost: $200

  • Requirements: Requires one exam. No prerequisites.

  • What’s being tested: Junos OS fundamentals like software architecture and transit traffic processing, configuration basics, routing policy, and firewall filters

4. SolarWinds Certified Professional

The SolarWinds Certified Professional credential enables you to use and maintain SolarWinds network and system products. SolarWinds products are used prominently in specific industries, like government and accounting.

  • Cost: $200

  • Requirements: Requires one exam. No prerequisites.

  • What’s being tested: Diagnostics, database performance analysis, network configuration, performance monitoring, network architecture

5. Aruba Certified Mobility Associate (ACMA)

Some companies may expect you to know Aruba networking features. The Aruba Certified Mobility Associate (ACMA) ensures you can design, set up, and configure a basic Aruba Wireless Local Area Network. There are four other associate-level Aruba certifications (Switching, ClearPass, Design, and Security); getting any three of them will make you an Aruba Edge Associate.

  • Cost: $230

  • Requirements: Requires one exam. No prerequisites, though candidates are encouraged to take a course in Aruba Mobility Fundamentals.

  • What’s being tested: Essential workings of Aruba WLAN, using V8 operating system architecture

6. VMWare Certified Technical Associate - Network Virtualization (VCTA-NV)

If you’re interested in virtualization, getting the VCTA-NV certification can be a good way to get started with the essentials of the VMWare NSX network virtualization platform. The certification will test your basic knowledge of the NSX terminology, graphical user interfaces, and other core technical skills.

  • Cost: $125

  • Requirements: Requires one exam. No prerequisites.

  • What’s being tested: Installing, configuring, and setup; performance-tuning, optimization, and upgrades; fundamental architecture and technologies; planning and designing; troubleshooting

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