So you have studied hard and prepared for the Network + exam, along with earning your Network+ Certification; the certificate arrives in the mail and you receive that extremely-important small blue-and-white card with your name and CompTIA ID number on it.
Where do you go from this point?
One aspect of the Network+ is its merchant independent universality. Unlike earning a CCNA or MCSE, earning a Network+ certification certifies you to work as a network technician in multiple platforms; this certification is not vendor-specific, but rather, vendor-neutral. International organizations including the Merchant Marines prefer the Network+ over the MCSE for this reason. As a Network+ certified technician, you should be prepared to work on (at a basic level in the field of network support). You will service most types of networks. This exam covers the generalities of networking and not so much specific information about certain types of networks.
More immediate than being ready to work on multiple networking platforms, however, is the ability to work in multiple job functions. The Network+ Exam certifies you as a “CompTIA Certified Networking Technician,” but “help-desk specialist” is certainly not the only position open to you as a Network+ technician. Actually, there are many paths open to you, as we explore below.
This path is of course the most obvious, but there are many opportunities for advancement. Of course, there are many industry certifications that are vendor-specific available to you. In fact, Network+ counts as a credit towards some of these certifications. As a technician, you will generally be involved in troubleshooting network issues (like you will have to do on the exam!) as well as “installing” network equipment.
The network+ opens the door to jobs in the security field, which is perhaps one of the fastest growing fields of expertise in the information technology industry. Several certifications are available in the Security field, including the CompTIA Security+ certification. ‘Networking is the most integral component of information security Today. Network knowledge is a requirement to be a proficient information security specialist.
Several certifications, such as MCSA/MCSE and CCNA, have been designated specifically as “Administration” certifications. You are highly encouraged to pursue these additional vender specific courses. However, with the Network + in your resume, employers are confident that you truly have the background to handle all assigned job tasks. A network administrator is typically charged with the duty of managing day-to-day network issues, attempting to troubleshoot these issues, and maintaining a high quality of service throughout the network. The network administrator also takes flak for “what goes wrong with the network,” but is paid handsomely for this burden in many cases.
One of the best aspects of getting any certification is that it almost automatically qualifies you to at least train others in your particular discipline. A certification adds credibility to your claims of knowledge, perhaps the most important qualification for any trainer or teacher. One of the most rewarding careers following certification is not to be a tech or administrator, but rather, a trainer for future Network+ students.
Networking is invariably connected to the web services industry (especially the web and data hosting industry); your knowledge of networking can therefore be useful to a web services firm. Many web hosting companies require “live” help-desk technicians to assist with customers’ connection issues, while others need technicians to assist them with their own networking issues.
Here are some other career paths, just to name a few:
Web/network systems development (PHP, CGI/Perl, Java)
Networking forensics (often linked with information security)
Networking equipment purchasing/sales specialist
Systems Analyst (speed, bottle-necks)
Beyond the aforementioned tracks, there are still other valuable career paths available to you as a Network+ technician that you may not even consider viable options. Allow me to introduce a small personal anecdote. A friend of mine got laid off a few years back from a large corporation that will remain nameless for now.
He was Network+ certified as well as CCNA certified, and also had a great deal of experience working at the company he worked for. Yet, he took a job as a grocery store clerk at the local chain store. Today, he works at “Corporate” as one of the senior network analysts and frequently recommends networking solutions for older stores that have not been fully integrated into the company’s supply chain system. So, what seemed to be a menial offer proved to be a gateway to an even more rewarding career than the one he had prior. The point is this: never let what seems to be a “menial” job detract you from participating in what could potentially be a rewarding opportunity.
ABCO Technology offers courses in the key fields of network certification. Job placement assistance is available to all graduates who successfully pass certification exams. Call our campus today. You can reach us by phone between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday at: (310) 216-3067.
ABCO Technology is located at 11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE 588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
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