What Is CompTIA Network+?

Taylor Karl
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What Is CompTIA Network+? 933 0

CompTIA Network+: Everything You Need To Know

 

A Complete Guide to CompTIA Network+

 

The demand for network engineers has never been higher. Businesses and consumers alike rely on digital infrastructure more and more each day. Several key factors drive the demand for network engineers, including the rapid increase of digital devices such as smartphones, wearables, and AI assistants such as Alexa and Siri.  

 

 This increased connectivity requires more trained IT professionals who know how to manage and maintain these networks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the need for network engineers will grow five percent by 2029, much faster than most occupations.

 

If you're interested in taking advantage of this demand for networking professionals, the CompTIANetwork+ certification is an excellent way to bolster your resume and take the next step in your career. IT professionals, network technicians, network administrators, or anyone interested in pursuing a career in networking would benefit from this credential. 

 

What is CompTIA?

CompTIA, short for the Computing Technology Industry Association, is one of the world's leading associations representing the international technology community. It was established in 1982 in the United States with the goal of offering resources, support, and certifications to IT professionals and organizations. CompTIA helps workers across the Information Technology spectrum navigate and excel in the ever-evolving world of technology.

 

It has developed several specialized certifications that assure employers that prospective or current IT employees have solid foundation skills in PC maintenance, networking and cloud technology, or security. Today, CompTIA certifications are recognized and respected worldwide and are considered benchmarks to gauge an individual's expertise and qualifications in specific IT domains.

 

CompTIA has five IT certification categories that test different knowledge standards—from entry-level to expert. They are divided into the following: Core, Infrastructure, Cybersecurity, Data and Analytics, and Additional Professional.

 

Understanding CompTIA Network+

For those aspiring to a career in networking, the CompTIA Network+ exam objectives delve deep into the intricacies of networking, covering topics such as network architecture, protocols, cabling, security, and more. The Official CompTIA® Network+ certification will teach you the core principles of installing, configuring, and troubleshooting network technologies. It's an essential first step to help you move your career in network administration forward.

 

CompTIA Network+ is widely considered the first certification IT professionals should earn if they want to work in network administration and support. Earning this IT credential requires completing the CompTIA Network+ exam, the details of which we get into below.  

 

CompTIA structures its certifications into different categories or tracks to help IT professionals and organizations choose the most relevant certificate for their career goals and areas of expertise. Network+, along with CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Security+, is an excellent certification to gain the foundational knowledge and skills required for a successful career in IT. 

 

CompTIA A+ is another entry-level certification that covers the installation, configuration and maintenance of PC operating systems and hardware components. Those certified in A+ support core technologies from security to cloud computing to data management have proven they can perform critical IT support tasks in real-world scenarios. 

 

Security+ teaches IT professionals to implement basic security services on any computer network. CompTIA Security+ is generally considered the first security certification IT professionals should earn, as the knowledge acquired in this course provides a springboard to intermediate-level cybersecurity jobs and advanced IT security certifications.

 

Overall, Network+ is an essential starting point for anyone interested in an IT career. The knowledge covered in Network+ can make it easier to obtain other, more advanced certifications down the line.

 

Who is the Network+ Certification for?

The Network+ certification is ideal for IT professionals, network technicians, network administrators, and others. It is one of the top networking-focused certifications offered in the IT industry, thanks to how it demonstrates an understanding of fundamental networking concepts.

 

Because Network+ is considered an entry-level credential, there are no prerequisites and requirements. It is designed to be accessible to individuals relatively new to networking and IT. However, to obtain the certification, you have to pass the Network+ exam. To do that, you must have a solid understanding of networking topics, including network technologies, protocols, security, troubleshooting, and more. Of course, while it's not required, practical hands-on experience with networking equipment and technologies complements theoretical knowledge gained through CompTIA Network+.

 

Many businesses have a mix of different networking equipment from various vendors. Someone with Network+ often has an advantage working in this type of environment because of their vendor-neutral training. Still, the foundational understanding of networking gained in Network+ will position you to progress more quickly to vendor-specific certifications, such as CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate Security).

 

What Jobs Can I Get 

Network+ is aimed at IT professionals with job roles specialized in networking. Those include network administrator, network technician, network installer, help desk technician, and IT cable installer. This CompTIA certification is also a stepping stone towards more advanced certificates. A typical student taking the CompTIA Network+ should have basic Windows® and Linux® user skills and a foundational understanding of computer and networking concepts. Keep in mind that a person's salary will vary based on their employer, experience, job title and duties. 

 

Here are just a few job positions held by those with the Network+ certification and their median salaries:

 

  • Network Administrator: average $66,882 annually
  • Network Support Specialists: average $53,530 annually 
  • Network Analyst: average $65,527 annually

 

Exam Details and Format

The CompTIA Network+ exam is 90 minutes long and has, at most, 90 questions. These include a combination of multiple-choice questions, drag-and-drop activities and performance-based items. Questions cover the following topics:  

 

  • OSI and TCP/IP Models.
  • Properties of network traffic.
  • Installing and configuring switched networks.
  • Configuring IP networks.
  • Installing and configuring routed networks.
  • Configuring and monitoring ports and protocols.
  • Explaining application and storage issues.
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting networks.
  • Explaining attacks and mitigations.
  • Installing and configuring security devices.
  • Explaining authentication and access controls.
  • Deploying and troubleshooting cabling solutions.
  • Implementing and troubleshooting wireless technologies.
  • Compare and contrast WAN technologies.
  • Using remote access methods.
  • Identifying site policies and best practices.

 

To pass this exam, you will have to earn a passing score of at least 720. Note: You don’t need to have on-the-job experience to have acquired any other CompTIA certifications before taking Network+. However, CompTIA does advise that completing at least 9 to 12 months of networking experience will make it significantly easier to pass the first time. 

 

Benefits of Earning CompTIA Network+ Certification

CompTIA Network+ certifications are updated regularly to align with current industry standards and technologies. As such, it offers professionals a well-rounded understanding of networking concepts, making them versatile in various IT roles. 

 

The certification positions individuals for roles related to small to medium-sized networks, which are prevalent in many organizations. Having the Network+ certification signals to potential employers your commitment to staying updated with industry standards and technologies, thereby enhancing your competitiveness in the job market. In fact, some networking jobs require candidates to have the Network+ certification. 

 

By completing the CompTIA Network+ certification, you gain invaluable skills in networking fundamentals, including: 

 

  • Troubleshooting
  • Security awareness
  • Familiarity with networking models (e.g., OSI and TCP/IP), 
  • IP addressing, 
  • Subnetting 

 

These are considered impactful skills in real-world networking scenarios. Other benefits of getting Network+ include:

 

  • Enhanced job opportunities and roles one can qualify for.
  • Higher salary and better job security.
  • Recognition and validation of one's networking knowledge and skills.
  • The ability to fulfill specific job requirements.

 

Finally, Network+ will set you up with the knowledge you need should you pursue more advanced and specialized IT certifications.

 

Conclusion

CompTIA Network+ is a pillar of the IT industry. It can lead to career opportunities, help you diversify your skills, and prepare you for more advanced certifications. This certification is suitable for a variety of IT professionals. IT technicians and support specialists, as well as network and system administrators, can all benefit from the Network+ concepts. Those working in IT security will gain a better understanding of network security principles. 

 

This widely recognized and respected credential will validate your networking skills and knowledge. Whether you are already in the IT field or are looking to join it, consider pursuing CompTIA Network+ and take the next step in your career.

 

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