There are many reasons to pursue a certification in the IT industry. It can help prove that you have a certain level of expertise and knowledge in your field, which leads to better job positions and a higher salary. It also helps you refresh your computer knowledge from time to time.
One popular certification program is the CompTIA Network+. It focuses on technical skills such as network troubleshooting, installation, configuration and routing protocols, and security practices. If you are looking for a job in the networking field as a computer technician or a network analyst, you could greatly benefit from this cert.
In this short guide, we’ll answer some common questions about what it means to have a Network+ certification and what you can do to get certified. (MyComputerCareer can certainly help with that!)
CompTIA is short for the Computing Technology Industry Association. They are a non-profit organization that offers many different certifications in the tech field, including Network+. CompTIA is best known for its A+ certification, which focuses on hardware and software development, installation, and troubleshooting skills and is a golden standard among entry-level IT professionals. Both the A+ and the Network+ belong in the CompTIA core certs group.
This organization offers additional exams in network security, cybersecurity, cloud computing, operating systems, and data management.
According to CompTIA itself, millions of IT professionals are its certificate holders. Potential employers like to see these certs in resumes, as they are a testament to a candidate’s dedication to the field and self-improvement.
Skills You Will Learn
It comes as no surprise that the CompTIA Network+ exam is all about computer networking technologies. While preparing for this exam, you will learn about the differences between LAN (local area networks) and WAN (wide area networks), how to configure basic network devices, and various types of topologies, including ring networks. You will also learn about IPvV addressing and subnetting as well as Internet connectivity topics such as DNS (Domain Name System), DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), IPSec (Internet Protocol Security), and more.
The essential knowledge you will acquire is based around:
- Infrastructure – Identifying and enabling the physical network cabling, as well as storage and essential network device technologies of basic network infrastructures.
- Networking Concepts – Understanding the basics of networking, including protocols and domains, and implementing them appropriately.
- Network Operations – Using best practices to maintain network components, ensure business continuity, and implement new policies.
- Network Security – Knowing how to secure networks with firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) as well as encryption methods such as WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). Identify network vulnerabilities and take steps to eliminate them.
- Network Troubleshooting – Using appropriate tools to troubleshoot network issues, provide support, and improve connectivity and performance.
Network+ Exam Details
First and foremost, you need to be aware that CompTIA regularly updates its certification exams. The information technology industry is so fast-paced that exam creators have no choice but to continually inject new relevant knowledge and technologies into their materials.
The Network+ exam is no exception. The current version (N10-007) of this CompTIA cert was updated in March 2018. Each CompTIA exam cycle lasts approximately three years, meaning you can expect the N10-007 version of the Network+ to retire either in late 2021 or early 2022.
There is still no available information on the exact exam objectives of the N10-008 version that is coming after this one. However, experts don’t expect them to change all that much.
The CompTIA certification exam retirement doesn’t happen abruptly. There will be a six months period where you will be able to choose which test (the 007 or the 008) you prefer to sit for. This means you still have time to prepare for the 007. Here are some exam details you should know in advance:
- The maximum number of questions is 90.
- The three main types of questions are multiple-choice questions (both single and multiple answers), performance-based questions, and drag and drop questions.
- The test lasts for 90 minutes.
- The score scale is 100-900. The passing score for CompTIA Network+ is 720.
- This CompTIA certification is available in English, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, and German.
- The Network+ is a mid-level certification. The recommended experience includes at least 9 to 12 months of experience working in computer networking and the CompTIA A+ certification. (This isn’t mandatory; if you don’t have networking experience, and even if you haven’t passed the A+, you can still take the Network+. It’s just that you might have more ground to cover before you acquire a solid understanding of the material. Some basic computer skills are still highly advised.)
Vendor Neutral Exam
One of the main advantages of this CompTIA training is that it is job-role based. It focuses on specific knowledge and practical skills so the applicant knows they are ready for employment and actual practical use of what they learned.
As such, the Network+ is a vendor-neutral exam. This means that the exam doesn’t focus on any one vendor (such as Cisco CCENT, Microsoft MTA/Networking Fundamentals, and similar vendor-specific certifications). It is more centered around what’s required in computer networking and covers multiple products and solutions so that you are familiar with all of them.
The benefits of this are that you won’t depend on any single technology. The CompTIA Network+ prepares you for work no matter what type of products you encounter (hardware or software). It is also a plus in the eyes of potential employers because they won’t have to worry about whether you will know how to handle their network systems.
CompTIA is a world-renowned organization that certifies computer professionals in all sorts of subfields. Among these, the Network+ exam is an industry-recognized certification that provides expertise in computer networking.
As a Network+ certification holder, you will acquire the skills to design, build and troubleshoot network configurations. You will be able to work with the foundational concepts of computer networking and with different types of software and hardware components related to networks. What’s more, the Network+ is vendor-neutral training, meaning you won’t depend on one manufacturer – you will learn how to work with them all.
The exam consists of up to 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions that you will have 90 minutes to answer. The questions can also be of the drag and drop type.
This CompTIA certification should be more than enough to help you land an entry-level job in this IT field. (A job as a network administrator, network technician, network support specialist, etc.) You can choose whether you want to stay on that level or continue learning and climbing the networking career ladder through passing more demanding CompTIA exams.
If you need any help in your certification training and would like to know more on how you can become CompTIA certified, please reach out to MyComputerCareer. We will be glad to provide you with the right resources to excel in your IT career!