CCNA Vs Network+ : Which Certification Is Right For You? - ITU Online

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CCNA vs Network+ : Which Certification is Right for You?

CCNA vs Network+ : Which Certification is Right for You?

CCNA vs Network+
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CCNA vs Network+

We frequently are asked to compare a CCNA vs Network+ certification. In the world of IT and networking, acquiring certifications is a great way to showcase your knowledge and expertise. Two of the most popular networking certifications are Cisco’s CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) and CompTIA’s Network+. Both certifications are highly regarded and can help you advance in your career. However, there are key differences between the two that you should consider before deciding which one to pursue. In this article, we will explore the differences between CCNA and Network+, and help you determine which certification is right for you.

CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)

Overview

The CCNA is a prestigious certification offered by Cisco, a global leader in networking technologies. This certification is designed for professionals seeking to develop a thorough understanding of networking concepts, as well as Cisco’s products and services. It encompasses a wide array of topics, including IP addressing, routing and switching, network security, and automation. As a more advanced certification, the CCNA is geared towards individuals with some level of networking experience who are looking to deepen their knowledge and expertise. Obtaining the CCNA certification not only validates your skills in managing and optimizing Cisco networks, but it also demonstrates your commitment to professional development and staying current in the ever-evolving world of networking technologies.

In addition to its comprehensive subject matter, the CCNA certification is also a gateway to more specialized Cisco certifications, such as the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE). As such, it serves as a foundational building block for professionals aspiring to advance their careers in networking and information technology. The CCNA certification is highly regarded by employers in the IT industry and is often listed as a preferred or required qualification in job postings for network-related positions.

Cisco CCNA 200-301

Cisco CCNA 200-301

The CCNA training is at the associate level, which is for junior network administrators. The 200-301 course validates Cisco skills and is thus valuable for both new IT professionals with some experience in networks as well as experienced network administrators.

Exam Details

The CCNA certification requires you to pass a single exam, the 200-301 CCNA. The exam consists of 60-70 questions and has a duration of 120 minutes. The questions are a mix of multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, and simulation-based questions. The passing score for the exam is not publicly disclosed by Cisco.

Career Opportunities

The CCNA certification is highly regarded in the IT industry and can lead to various job opportunities, such as Network Engineer, Network Administrator, or Network Support Specialist. It is also a prerequisite for more advanced Cisco certifications, such as the CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional).

Network+

Overview

The Network+ certification is offered by CompTIA, a non-profit organization that provides a wide range of IT certifications. It is a foundational certification designed to equip individuals with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to establish a career in networking. The certification covers essential networking concepts, such as network architecture, network operations, and network security. It also includes topics related to troubleshooting, industry standards, and networking protocols. As a vendor-neutral certification, the Network+ provides a broad and well-rounded introduction to the world of networking, without focusing on any specific vendor’s equipment or technologies.

The Network+ certification is ideal for individuals who are new to networking or those with some experience looking to validate their skills with a recognized credential. It is a popular choice for IT professionals starting their careers, as well as those seeking to transition into network-related roles from other areas of information technology. Additionally, the Network+ certification serves as a stepping stone to more advanced certifications, such as CompTIA Security+ or CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+), making it a valuable addition to any IT professional’s resume.

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Exam Details

The Network+ certification requires you to pass a single exam, the N10-008. The exam consists of 90 questions and has a duration of 90 minutes. The questions are multiple-choice and performance-based. The passing score for the exam is 720 out of 900.

Career Opportunities

The Network+ certification can lead to various entry-level job opportunities, such as Help Desk Technician, Network Support Specialist, or Network Technician. It is also a stepping stone to more advanced certifications, such as CompTIA Security+ or CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+).

Difficulty Level : CCNA vs Network+: Comparison

The CCNA and Network+ certifications are targeted at different levels of expertise, which is reflected in the difficulty level of the exams and the content covered.

Network+

The Network+ is considered to be an entry-level certification. It provides a foundational knowledge of networking concepts and is designed for those who are relatively new to the field. The exam covers a broad range of basic topics, including network architecture, network operations, network security, and troubleshooting. While the exam is challenging and requires a solid understanding of the topics covered, it is designed to be accessible to those with a basic knowledge of networking concepts and some practical experience. CompTIA recommends that candidates have at least nine months of networking experience before taking the Network+ exam, although this is not a requirement.

CCNA

On the other hand, the CCNA is considered to be an associate-level certification and is more advanced than the Network+. It covers a wider range of topics and delves deeper into certain areas, such as IP addressing, routing and switching, network security, and automation. The exam includes more complex questions, including simulation-based questions that require candidates to demonstrate their ability to configure and troubleshoot networks. Cisco recommends that candidates have at least one year of networking experience before taking the CCNA exam, although, again, this is not a requirement.

In summary, the CCNA is generally considered to be more difficult than the Network+ due to the depth of knowledge required, the complexity of the topics covered, and the format of the exam. However, it is important to note that both exams are challenging in their own right and require a solid understanding of networking concepts and practical experience to pass.

Vendor-Specific vs Vendor-Neutral

The CCNA is a vendor-specific certification, which means it focuses on Cisco equipment and technologies. On the other hand, the Network+ is a vendor-neutral certification, which means it covers networking concepts that are applicable to any vendor’s equipment.

Exam Cost

The cost of the CCNA exam is $300, while the Network+ exam costs $338. However, it’s important to consider that the cost of training materials and practice exams may vary.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for either the CCNA or the Network+ certification. However, Cisco recommends having at least one year of networking experience before taking the CCNA exam. CompTIA recommends having at least nine months of networking experience before taking the Network+ exam.

Recertification

The CCNA certification is valid for three years, after which you will need to recertify by passing the same exam or a higher-level Cisco exam. The Network+ certification is also valid for three years, but you can recertify by earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

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Conclusion

Both the CCNA and Network+ certifications are valuable and can help you advance in your IT career. The right certification for you depends on your career goals and your level of experience. If you are new to networking and want to gain a foundational understanding of networking concepts, the Network+ may be the right choice for you. If you already have some networking experience and want to deepen your knowledge and expertise, the CCNA may be a better fit. Ultimately, the decision should be based on your individual circumstances and career aspirations.

Frequently Asked Questions About CCNA vs Network+

What is the main difference between the CCNA and Network+ certifications?

The main difference between the two is that CCNA is a vendor-specific certification offered by Cisco, focusing on Cisco equipment and technologies, whereas Network+ is a vendor-neutral certification offered by CompTIA, covering general networking concepts applicable to any vendor’s equipment.

Which certification should I get first, CCNA or Network+?

It depends on your career goals and current level of expertise. If you are new to networking and want a foundational understanding of networking concepts, Network+ may be a better starting point. If you already have some networking experience and want to deepen your knowledge, particularly in Cisco technologies, then CCNA may be more appropriate.

Is CCNA harder than Network+?

Generally, CCNA is considered to be more difficult than Network+ due to the depth of knowledge required, the complexity of the topics covered, and the format of the exam. However, both exams are challenging in their own right and require a solid understanding of networking concepts and practical experience to pass.

Can I get a job with just a Network+ certification?

Yes, the Network+ certification can lead to various entry-level job opportunities, such as Help Desk Technician, Network Support Specialist, or Network Technician. However, the is always beneficial to have additional certifications and practical experience to enhance your job prospects.

Do I need to renew my CCNA or Network+ certification?

Yes, both certifications have a validity period. The CCNA certification is valid for three years, and the Network+ certification is also valid for three years. You will need to recertify by passing the same or higher-level exam for CCNA or by earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for Network+.

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