IT Employment

General discussion


What cert is best to learn network support?

By Tom_in_NJ ·
I am a former PC/LAN Tech with four years' experience who has taken a job as Network Admin. Mine is a one-man shop supporting 3 servers (soon to be 4) and 12 workstations.

My question is this: What is the best certification to enhance my knowledge of networking and servers? I've considered Network+ and the CCNA, but not sure which one is best to enhance my knowledge base. (I know that usually the knowledge precedes the cert, but I am the type of 'student' who can learn from a book and put it into practice.)

Oh yeah, I already have the A+.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

None..there is no substitute for experience

by Why Me Worry? In reply to What cert is best to lear ...

Don't fall into the false notion that having a "cert" will automatically make you look better in the eyes of other IT professionals or employers. There are many paper certs out there who lack the experience but think that a pretty piece of paper entitles them to something. I am not trying to be discouraging or negative, but a cert is no substitute for experience and I don't think there is a single school or course out there in which you will learn everything is such a short time. Also, do not get tempted into wasting your time and money on them so called "boot camps" as many of them are nothing more than paper cert mills out to take your money and rush you through way too much technical material in a short amount of time.

Collapse -

Experience Trumps Theory

by Synthetic In reply to What cert is best to lear ...

Guaranteed you will not meet many of the real world situations in any book, and you will find the theoretical fix often doesn't work, here, only experience and knowing where to find answers, and a willingness to screw up and learn from the occasion will be the best teachers. That said, I believe the N+ a better place to proceed for a well round, if not theoretical, networking education, less MS centric, and they just can't help but sell their products even in their training materials. After my A+, then N+, I went CNA, and I am currently working on my CNE. keep up with wireless and security as these are figuring more and more into any admin role.

Collapse -

Net+ and CCNA

by gralfus In reply to What cert is best to lear ...

For the sake of general knowledge of the various kinds of networks, protocols, and terminology, the Net+ is a good intro, and the CCNA will go into more detail (but will also focus on the router aspects since that is their business). You don't even really have to sit for the tests if you just want the knowledge. That said, they can help you get jobs in certain places, as long as you have the experience, which you are getting now.

Collapse -


by iMpulse In reply to Net+ and CCNA

I know this is not really a direct answer, but hear me out.
Network+ will teach you TCP/IP the OSI Model, genernal network topologies ect.

CCNA is more router and security based. Access controll lists, Frame relay infrastructor ect.

But when your asking to educate yourself for "Network Support" Both of these are a limited scope. Either certification can help you get a job in a specific network enviroment. But is not nessicarily the best approch to a genernal Network Support.

I took "Network and Internet Security Specalist" program from CDI over 1 year. Over the year I took (note all course material is off of cert study guides/books ect)
Network Operating Systems. Network+ A+, TCP/IP, Security+, MS Exchange, MS ADV Server 2000, Active Directory, MS ISA server, CCNA, Linux ect ect. I cannot say that my studies of Network+ gave me all of my knowledge, nor did the CCNA books. But it is a understanding of all the car componets that makes you a mechanic. Not just a course on breaks.

If your looking for respect from certification (for lack of a better word) go with CCNA/CCNE over Net+ If your looking to better yourself in general for "Network Support" Do not stop there.

Collapse -

Experience, Net+, AND CCNA

by jmgarvin In reply to Net+ and CCNA

You want them all. You should probably go ahead and get the certs, but remember that the cert isn't much more than a foot in the door. You also will probably need at least an AA and some experience. Cut your teeth on a crappy IT job and then move up after a couple of years.

Collapse -

I don't hear anyone mentioning CNE

by Why Me Worry? In reply to What cert is best to lear ...

Although Novell may not be as popular as many may think, one of the core tests needed to get my CNE was known as Networking Technologies, which is pretty much the same core stuff taught in Network+ and CCNA regarding the OSI model, TCP/IP, routing, different network topologies, and such. I know I went through a very grueling and rigorous program to obtain my CNE and while most MCSE candidates were still scratching their heads about binary arithmetic and how to subnet mask, I was already proficient. Personally, I think Novell's CNE program is far more difficult and rigorous than Microsoft's if you ask me.

Collapse -


by BHunsinger In reply to I don't hear anyone menti ...

When I got my mcse in NT, one of the requirements was a tcpip course. That course is no longer offered, (or good for certification, but the study materials were good and I bet are now cheaper than all get out. You might even find the practice tests out there somewhere to test yourself. But first, get the N+

Collapse -

To some extent correct

by The Savant In reply to I don't hear anyone menti ...

Obviously this reply is total opinion, but it's an opinion of someone who's gone through Microsoft's NT4, 2000, and 2003 curriculum as well as Novell's CNE5 and CNE6 programs.

Novell's training materials are more straight-forward as are the tests. You will stand to learn more easily with Novell's material and things will seem well-organized.

You can reliably expect to pass Novell's exams with Novell's training material alone.

Microsoft's training materials are rather verbose, not at all clear in many areas and oddly organized. While you can pass tests using just Microsoft's materials, you'll need experience to do so in most cases (excluding boot camps which should be outlawed since they kill cert credibility).

I think the reason for this is pretty basic. Novell takes the time to assume that the people using their material need to be trained and may not be technical. Microsoft, I'd hardly say that's the case with the exception of the MCDST material.

As far as comparing Novell certs to CCNA material. It's true you can learn a lot of general stuff from the CNE materials, but I'd not use them for infrastructure training. Read the INTRO and ICND books alone and you get way more value than the Networking Technologies material.


Collapse -

All of the above

by rcsoar4fun In reply to What cert is best to lear ...

I have been working on the CCNA for a while, and recently took the Network+. In addition I have been doing network stuff for about 5 years, very heavily for the past 2. The Network+ is a broad but thin view of networking stuff. I found a lot of it to be theory only, stuff you will never see in the real world. The CCNA is much more in depth and difficult. Having said that, the Net+ will get you started and prep you for the CCNA. Take some practice exams and see how you do on it.

The best tool you can have is a home network. Buy some cheap machines, switches and routers. I spent a few hundred dollars on my Cisco setup, which is 4 (2500 series)routers and a switch. It has more than payed for itself.


Collapse -

CCNA definitely over Network+

by nuttybreakz In reply to What cert is best to lear ...

Most of the stuff in Network+ is covered in CCNA in more detail anyway.

Related Discussions

Related Forums