There is no denying that computers and networks are the driving forces of the modern world. No matter what new technologies emerge, whether it is cloud computing or big data or any other technology, they are ultimately powered by networks. Therefore, data networking is and has been, a hot field for quite some time now, which is not likely to change in the future.
So, how can you prepare yourself for computer networking? Of course through training programs and certification in networking courses.
For years, professionals in IT have targeted certifications as a valuable resource for validating knowledge and skills. If you are a job seeker or keen to upgrade your career, certifications are a great way to prove your knowledge and skills to recruiters. They successfully generate an interest in your profile and easily make a mark on your employers.
However, achieving an IT certification may not be a cakewalk and can seem to be a tedious and time-consuming process. Therefore, choosing the right certification for networking to enhance your career is a crucial decision before you begin your certification journey.
Top Certification Courses in Networking Available in the IT Market
The certification courses in computer networking have the benefit of covering all the basic computer science topics while you develop an expertise in the way they interact and connect to one another. Computer networking has many different applications, from analysis to support positions, so there is a lot you can do in your organization if you have a certification in networking.
For professionals who are seeking a career in computer networking, like any discipline in IT, training and certification are critical. The key to a successful career in networking is a combination of classroom training and industry certifications.
To help you choose the most suitable certification for you, we have enlisted some of the top certification courses in computer networking:
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) – Datacenter
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) – Datacenter is a popular professional level certification offered by Cisco Systems. It typically focuses on network infrastructure inside the data center. With technology innovations increasingly focusing inward, to the core of the datacenter, this certification program has become very popular among network professionals to master datacenter technologies.
To become CCNP Datacenter certified, a network administrator is required to clear four examinations. Two of the exams are mandatory and test the professional’s knowledge of Unified Computing System and datacenter Cisco Nexus switches.
After successfully clearing the first two exams, the candidate can choose two exams from another set of four exams, according to his preference, that would test his expertise of working in network design or network operations and troubleshooting.
The aforementioned four exams cover topics including the integration between Cisco’s Unified Computing System and other virtualization solutions such as Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix. They also deal with the design and troubleshooting of Cisco’s Fabric switches in data centers.
Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) is the most desirable expert-level certification for network engineers. It is considered to be a prestigious certification in the IT industry that validates the commitment and hard work traits of a professional. Since its introduction in 1993, CCIE has facilitated many network administrators to prove their high-level networking skills.
The certification has proven to be very rewarding for network professionals since decades and it engenders new opportunities for network administrators in the IT job market.
Earning the CCIE certification can become extremely hard as it requires passing an onerous eight-hour lab examination which is considered one of the toughest exams in the IT industry. Individuals, who attain the certification, are also required to renew their CCIE certifications every two years by appearing for CCIE written exam in order to keep the certification active.
Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate or Specialist (JNCIA/JNCIS)
Juniper certification generally emphasizes the knowledge of Junos, the operating system of the Juniper Networks that has a hand-in-glove fit with Juniper’s range of networking hardware. Junos was released in 1998 and is very similar to the open-source Unix OS FreeBSD. Though its roots lie in FreeBSD, Junos has been regularly modified and upgraded by Juniper Networks since its inception.
JNCIA is the first rung on the Juniper certification ladder and basically has three tracks, namely, Enterprise Routing & Switching, Security, and Service Provider Routing & Switching. However, JNCIA is not a prerequisite for JNCIS certification. If you have already got a solid grasp of IT networking, you can directly go for JNCIS certification, which offers the three tracks as in JNCIA in addition to two product technology tracks specific to Firewall/VPN and QFabric.
VMware Certified Professional 6 – Network Virtualization (VCP6-NV)
As we know, VMware is an industry-leading automation and virtualization company that focuses on cloud infrastructure, computer networking, and storage virtualization. VMware Certified Professional 6 – Network Virtualization (VCP6-NV) is one of the highly prized certifications in networking.
It is a professional level certification that imparts knowledge on VMware’s network virtualization product “VMware NSX” and enables infrastructure administrators to separate IT systems and end-users from the network physical hardware.
To earn the VCP6-NV certification, professionals are required to clear two exams that test their knowledge and expertise in VMware vSphere and VMware NSX products respectively. Both the exams focus on VMware technologies as well as how to deploy and troubleshoot the products.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
According to Gartner IaaS Magic Quadrant, Amazon Web Services is the market leader for cloud computing for the 5th consecutive year. In 2013, Amazon launched its AWS certification program to equip IT professionals with the skills to support AWS clients.
As cloud computing and networking are becoming more intertwined day by day, this certification is an excellent transitional step for a network engineer transitioning from physical networks to virtual ones.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification is intended for individuals who work in supporting cloud-based distributed systems. The certification covers fault tolerant, and scalable systems on AWS. This certification in networking is valuable for IT professionals who work for customers that are currently or planning to host their IT systems on AWS.
To become an AWS Certified Solutions Architect, candidates must possess programming skills that are mandatory for network engineers who design and operate automated network infrastructures. Amazon also offers a professional level certification that covers these concepts more comprehensively.
Network+, a vendor-neutral certification for networking, introduces network administrators to various network technologies. This is an entry-level certification and validates the knowledge and skills of network administrators in dealing with network infrastructure. Being vendor-neutral, this certification is designed to provide the basic skills needed to design, and operate any network.
The Network+ certification, offered by CompTIA, remains valid for three years. Network administrators usually acquire this certification at the onset of their career and then build on it to achieve more expert levels certifications. This certification is particularly desirable for anyone looking to begin their career in networking.
Network+ opens up various entry-level job opportunities for aspiring network professionals. Additionally, IT giants like Microsoft, Novell, Cisco, and HP recognize CompTIA Network+ as part of their certification tracks.
Network certifications are a great way to go for IT professionals. To begin or enhance your career in the field of computer networking, explore the different certification options available to you and choose the right program that would drive you to success.
There is no denying that computer networking professionals are high in demand. After all, virtually every business, regardless of their type or size, utilizes computers, and of course, most of them incorporate networks.
So, why delay anymore? Enroll for the most suitable certification course in networking and choose to work as a network administrator, engineer, analyst, technician, or even as a computer network instructor.