“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” — John C. Maxwell
Scrolling through online forums about certification has told me a lot about what is on the minds of people wanting to certify. Those starting down the certification path usually have the question of what certification will best help them achieve their career goals. In that vein of thinking, I’m going to tell you how to choose between the CompTIA Network+ certification and Cisco's CCNA certification.
What does each certification offer?
Network+ is a CompTIA certification, but it is vendor neutral. This means that the skills learned with this certification can be used across all platforms and technologies. When you complete the Network+ certification, you are verifying to potential employers that you can “design, configure, manage and troubleshoot any wired and wireless devices.” This certification is considered a foundational certification but is trusted worldwide.
CCNA is also considered a beginner certification, but is more challenging than the Network+ certification. CCNA dives deeper into networking subjects than the Network+. CCNA is a Cisco-specific certification and teaches you how to operate on Cisco technologies. This may seem problematic, but the skills and knowledge you gain working on Cisco systems are transferable to many other technologies.
Which certification should I choose?
Network+ provides a great foundational knowledge of networking. You should choose Network+ over CCNA if you A) don’t have any prior networking work experience, B) have some prior networking knowledge but need to expand skills, or C) are looking for a help desk position. If you fall into these categories, then Network+ is likely the certification for you.
You should choose CCNA over Network+ if you A) already have a few years of networking experience, or B) want to advance your career in a networking position. If these seem to fit your situation more than the Networking+ criteria, then CCNA should be your choice.
Where do I start?
Once you have decided which of these certifications fits your situation the best, it’s important that you find the right training program. You can sign-up for a 7-day free trial of TestOut training to see whether our top-caliber simulation-based training is right for you.
Both of these certifications are great stepping stones to a career in networking. Make your choice, and begin training today.
About the Author — Jake Slater is the social media manager for GoCertify and a graduate of Brigham Young University. If Jake had to choose between LeBron winning Le Championship for the second year in a row and Golden State hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy for the second time in three years, then he'd probably choose LeBron. Because Golden State still has more titles, and Cleveland has suffered enough.
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