CompTIA is a non-profit organization that aims to advance the global IT workforce. They offer certifications in computer hardware, software, networking, cybersecurity, and more. The CompTIA A+ certification is one of the most popular IT certifications in the world – the organization itself declares that more than 1 million IT professionals are A+ certificate holders!
The CompTIA Network+ certification is for those interested in computer networking and want to learn about network configuration and administration, installation of small business networks, maintenance of wired and wireless networks, and more. A Network+ cert holder can qualify for numerous career paths, including the position of a network support specialist, help desk technician, system engineer, and similar.
This short guide will dig a little deeper into the topic of CompTIA Network+ and the potential careers that one can have with this core credential.
What Can I Do with a CompTIA Network+ Certification?
Here are typical roles you can hope to fill with this CompTIA cert in your resume:
- Network administrator: someone responsible for the basic network infrastructure of a company, including managing servers and network devices.
- Network technician (and network field technician or field service technician): installs wireless networks in homes or small businesses; may also offer customer support to ensure that systems are functioning correctly.
- Help desk technician: provides technical assistance over the phone, email, chat, etc., when customers have questions about networking devices and software.
- System engineer: works in a larger company on network design, implementation, and maintenance; also manages servers and network services for internal and external clients.
- Network analyst: responsible for monitoring the network performance or maintaining data integrity on that same network; may also be asked to make recommendations about which technologies should be used by companies based on their needs.
- IS consultant: provides advice or services to help companies decide on what type of technology should be used for a specific purpose; may also recommend which software licenses are best and how these technologies can work together.
- Computer technician: troubleshoots problems with computers, printers, networks, internet connections, etc.; installs new hardware in the case of broken items and deals with related customer requests or complaints.
Each one of these job titles could be categorized as an entry-level position. To climb the career ladder, you would need to expand your core knowledge base and technical skills. This could be achieved through attending more training courses and obtaining advanced certifications. (Both CompTIA and not.)
What Skills Should a Good Network Specialist Have?
In the computer networking field, especially if you are in touch with customers (in a helpdesk role, for example), soft skills are just as necessary as the hard skills you have.
- Hard Skills
Networking practitioners with the Network+ know the basics of networking, such as designing, implementing, and troubleshooting wired and wireless networks. They should also be able to identify network architecture and media, cabling types, topologies, virtualized networks (such as SANs), cloud computing concepts such as serverless computing or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions, and more.
- Soft Skills
A good networking professional should be a patient person who never gives up, has good problem-solving skills and careful attention to detail, and is a team player with excellent written and oral communication skills. If you’re working in tech support, you must showcase a good understanding of the networking issues the customer is facing and how you can help solve them. You also need to have at least a basic knowledge of project management principles.
Most (if not all) of the hard skills you will learn by passing the Network+ certification exam. However, you also need to develop the soft skills that will contribute to the upward trajectory in your network career path.
Do I Need a College Degree to Work in the IT Field?
One of the most popular questions asked is whether the CompTIA certs are worth it. Is a college degree still required even if you are certified?
Fortunately, in the IT industry, the answer is an overwhelming no; a college degree is not required. The reason for this is simple – the information technology world is too fast-paced. By the time you get a degree, the job market could look vastly different. New technologies crop up, and existing ones become obsolete in a blink of an eye; hands-on experience and practice are just as valuable as learning from textbooks.
The only thing you might need for most entry-level jobs in IT is relevant and valid certifications (such as CompTIA ones), regardless of whether or not you have a college degree. CompTIA says that 96% of hiring managers look for IT certifications on their candidates’ resumes as part of the screening or hiring criteria.
Of course, a degree, a bit of practical networking experience beforehand, or an internship or two behind you are bound to help – but plenty of CompTIA cert holders have landed their first IT jobs with only their CompTIA credentials on their resumes.
Is Employment Guaranteed?
A CompTIA certification is an excellent way to get your foot in the door of the IT industry. But there are always risks that come with any career decision – and opportunities may not be as plentiful or easily found as you expected them to be.
After you acquire a CompTIA certification, employment is not guaranteed. If a trainer or educational program is promising a job position right after you pass your exam, you should be wary of it. It may just be a false promise to get you to sign up for their training course.
At the same time, IT certifications are one of the best ways to increase your chances of getting a job in the IT industry.
According to the BLS, “Computer and information technology occupations are projected to grow 11 percent from 2019-2029.” This is higher than most other occupational categories. But it’s also important to note that this includes opportunities outside of networking – like software development or a career in cybersecurity.
With the IT industry being one of the fastest-growing globally, it is natural that job seekers are flocking to this sector. Both the salaries and the demand for qualified professionals is high. It means that if you have a CompTIA Network+ certification, you are more likely to find an IT job than someone without this certificate.
With a focus on hard skills and practical experience, the networking professions could be sought after by anyone in the industry. The Network+ core cert promises a stable career with entry-level IT jobs such as a network analyst, networking technician, help desk technician, network administrator, systems engineer, and more.
If you’re interested in such a job role, please contact MyComputerCareer. We will provide you with any of the information and advice that we can to get started.
The future of IT is bright, so don’t miss out on the opportunity!