The two “go-to” entry-position computer networking certifications are CompTIA Network and Cisco’s Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT). Those credentials are fine for information technology (IT) beginners, but the moment I want to bandy a more pointed question “What are the networking certifications?” that are most delicate to achieve? Notice my clause “delicate to achieve.” The seven networking certifications I describe in this article are each considered advanced or expert-position titles, so you can nicely anticipate their subject matter to be delicate. I also, still, considered complications similar to precious lab or classroom training conditions in my math.
In point of fact, I know people who work with VMware every day who are unfit to certify because they can not go the time and cost needed in sitting for an authorized VMware training class that incompletely fulfills the conditions of the certification. These expert-position networking certifications are neither for the Ethernet networking freshman nor for the faint of heart. They target job places similar to the following:
● Information Systems Director
● Network Infrastructure Engineer
● Network Solutions Architect
● Senior Network Administrator
● Senior Wide-Area Networking (WAN) Specialist
Note that I present these seven advanced networking certifications in alphabetical order; the first one listed doesn’t mean that I suppose it’s the most or least delicate. Also, I give a link to each certifications page at the seller’s point. We don’t have the compass to break down every single test demand in this single article, so you can learn those details from the seller.
My job is to give you an administrative summary of what’s available in this niche certifications space. Let’s begin!
Why it’s hard Former AWS certification needed; five times of advanced AWS experience needed. Let’s face it — for numerous IT professionals, Ethernet networking can be complicated enough to master. Add to that the software-defined networking (SDN) that works in public shadows like AWS or Microsoft Azure, and you find yourself faced with a significant literacy wind.
The AWS Certified Advanced Networking certification is a specialty add-on title that can only be achieved once you’ve attained one of the following AWS certs:
● AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
● AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
● AWS Certified Developer – Associate
● AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
According to Amazon, the Advanced Networking certifications require one computer-based test that uses a multiple-choice format. Then are the six test content disciplines, for your reference:
● Design and apply cold-blooded IT network infrastructures at scale
● Design and apply AWS networks
● Automate AWS tasks
● Configure network integration with operation services
● Design and apply for security and compliance
● Manage, optimize, and troubleshoot the network
Why it’s hard All-day lab practical test needed in addition to a written test. The CCIE has generally been described as the “Ph.D. of networking certifications” by industry stagers. Cisco firstly had only one CCIE title, in routing and switching, but currently, you can choose your specialty from the following credential list:
● CCIE Data Center
● CCIE Security
● CCIE Wireless
● CCIE Collaboration
● CCIE Service Provider
As you might anticipate, all the Cisco certification centers focus on designing, enforcing, maintaining, and troubleshooting Cisco-based internetworking results. As a matter of fact, in the advanced networking certification realm, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) sellers generally rule the day in that regard. Cisco cuts campaigners a break in that they aren’t needed to have any associate-or professional-position Cisco credentials to qualify for the CCIE. On the other hand, you need to not only pass a traditional computer-grounded test but also sit for an eight-hour lab test hosted at a Cisco CCIE lab position.
Yes, the lab test involves working with real Cisco gear and working on real-world internetworking problems. This is one reason why the CCIE is similar to a largely valued credential — it’s virtually insolvable to study your way to this credential. The CCIE lab test costs $1,600 per attempt, and you’re responsible for your trip and charges to and from the lab position. Cisco also offers a Mobile CCIE Labs option for campaigners who don’t live near a CCIE lab position.
Why it’s hard Number of examinations needed; the overall difficulty of the examinations. Cisco has two entry-position networking certs Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). People who hold one or both of those certs and who want to gain further confirmation of their Cisco internetworking moxie frequently turn to one of the professional-position titles. Like the CCIE, the CCNP comes in numerous “ flavors” — actually, the veritably same specializations as Cisco offers for the CCIE. To use CCNP Routing and Switching, as an example, you need to pass the following three examinations:
● Enforcing Cisco IP Routing (ROUTE)
● Enforcing Cisco IP Switched Networks ( SWITCH)
● Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks (TSHOOT)
These examinations are fabulous in their difficult position. Not only is the subject matter itself violent, but also Cisco includes several simulation particulars that bear you to perform router, switch and firewall configuration in a simulated “ live” network terrain. The TSHOOT test uses the case-study format, taking you to suppose and act like a Cisco network mastermind or results in adviser.
Why it’s hard Number of examinations; industry experience demand. The CWNE is the only seller-neutral title on this list. This title and its affiliated credentials are hosted by an association called Certified Wireless Network Professionals (CWNP). Confusingly, the group also hosts certifications with the same name (minus an S at the end of “ Professionals”) and initials.
At any rate, the CWNE is their top-tier certification, and its conditions are consequently strict. First, you need to formerly hold one or further of the following CWNP certifications:
● Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP)
● Certified Wireless Analysis Professional (CWAP)
● Certified Wireless Design Professional (CWDP)
As you might anticipate, any of the former professional-position titles require you formerly hold the Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) cert. In addition, the CWNE requires proven industry experience. Specifically, you must submit substantiation of at least three times of enterprise wi-fi perpetration experience, as well as give essays to describe three representative systems. You also need to gain three professional signatures of that experience. All these accouterments are reviewed by the CWNE Board of Counsels.
You may ejaculate, “Hey, doesn’t the CWNE present a‘ funk and egg’ problem? I want certification to get into the wi-fi assiduity full-time!” My response is that moment we’re concerned with advanced-position certification Unless you formerly retain at least three times of full-time experience, you shouldn’t consider this title in the first place.
Why it’s hard All-day lab practical needed in addition to a written test Juniper Networks is a Goliath in the internetworking space and is frequently spoken of in the same breath as Cisco. Like Cisco, Juniper Networks offers their expert-position certifications along the following specialization tracks:
● Data Center
● Enterprise Routing and Switching
● Junos Security
● Service Provider Routing and Switching
The Enterprise Routing and Switching Expert (JNCIE-ENT) credential have conditions that are maybe distrustfully analogous to those of Cisco’s CCIE. “Reproduction is the sincerest form of overpraise,” anyone? Yes, to earn your JNCIE-ENT, you need to pass both a traditional computer-based test as well as an eight-hour lab test at named Juniper Networks testing centers. As of this jotting, the lab test costs $1,400, which again is close to the Cisco CCIE lab test cost. Eventually, no associate-or professional-position Juniper Networks certification is needed for you to pursue the JNCIE.
Why it’s hard Precious training class demand. You can not escape server virtualization currently, and I suppose that’s a good thing for the industry and for our careers. Given that VMware is a request leader in the virtualization space, it makes sense why you may want to attain one or further VMware Certified Professional (VCP) credentials. The VCP6.5-DCV certification has two prerequisites for taking the factual DCV test:
● Passing a foundation- position test (vSphere 6 Foundations or vSphere6.5 Foundations)
● Attending a VMware- handed training course
The training demand represents quite a chain for some campaigners. How numerous of us have employers who would excuse us for five days to attend an educator-led class?
In (kindly of) a concession to busy working professionals, VMware does offer some of its courses in an on-demand, computer-based training terrain. Note that these courses are precious. For example, as of this writing the Configure VMware vSphere Install, Configure, Manage (V6.5) – On-Demand course costs $4,125 for a one-month access subscription.
Why it’s hard Deep knowledge base needed, both of Ethernet networking and the tool itself. Wireshark is a “ go-to” tool for utmost networking professionals. What better way to ameliorate your effectiveness with the tool and validate your skillset than to certify? The WCNA is Wireshark University’s only credential, but I consider it advanced because to be successful you must demonstrate the following:
● Deep knowledge of network protocol analysis
● Expert- position familiarity with Wireshark and all its capabilities
What’s cool is that you can sit this test in an online proctored interpretation, so you could feasibly certify from the comfort of your work or home office. Or bedroom, if you’re so inclined.
Well, there you have it! Honestly, further, many of my elderly associates in IT fall into the trap of believing networking certifications inapplicable to their career. My counter to that pitfall is the following points to consider:
- Anything you can do to “future-proof” your IT career is a good thing.
Some professional engagements (contract work with your government, for example) might bear one or further certifications.
- IT is moving faster than ever. Why not give yourself an incitement to keep current by studying for and earning an expert-position credential?
As I mentioned on the morning of this piece, I encourage you to study the certification page for the seller (s) from whom you want to seek certification. Pay particular attention to their test expiration and recertification policy. Currently, utmost certification sellers bear periodic recertification (generally every three times) in order to ensure you’re keeping your skills current. IT certification test medication requires strategy. In ending, I encourage you to have a look at the free Microsoft Virtual Academe course I designed “Learning Microsoft Certifications Test Prep.” Although I presented that course for Microsoft, I submissively submit that all the cert fix advice I give is applicable to any seller’s (or seller-neutral) certifications program.