About CompTIA Network+ Certification
Networking is one of the most important domains in today’s IT industry. If you are quite new to this field and want to take your career to the next level, it is recommended that you get the relevant certification to boost your resume. Among all the options available, there is one that you should really consider earning since it’s in high demand. This is CompTIA Network+. This certificate ensures that the applicants’ understanding of networking concepts, both theoretical and practical, is sufficient. One of the hallmarks of this certification over others is that it’s vendor-neutral. This means that your expertise is not limited to a particular manufacturer or product but covers this knowledge area as a whole.
CompTIA Network+ Certification: Prerequisites
The CompTIA Network+ certification doesn’t have any prerequisites. But the candidates are recommended to first obtain the A+ certificate and have 9-12 months of work experience in a networking role. The obligatory requirement for getting certified is passing a single exam, known under the codename N10-007.
CompTIA Network+ Certification: Exam Details
CompTIA N10-007 is a 90-minute test consisting of 90 questions. As you can see, you will have only 1 minute per each question, so try to keep an eye on the clock during the exam to complete all the questions. You will face several types of questions in your certification test, namely multiple choice, drag and drop, and performance-based.
The N10-007 exam is delivered through Pearson VUE, its official testing partner. You can take it as an online proctored exam or at one of the centers located worldwide. The test is available in English, Japanese, and German. Two more language versions of the exam – Spanish and Portuguese – are in development. You can schedule your session after paying the fee of $329. To get the CompTIA Network+ certificate, you need to score at least 720 points on a scale of 100-900.
To prepare for this certification exam, visit the vendor’s webpage where you will find a variety of useful training tools. You can sign up for the instructor-led course under the guidance of a seasoned expert or opt for self-paced materials such as study guides and video tutorials.
CompTIA Network+ Certification: Exam Topics
To achieve success in the exam for the CompTIA Network+ certificate, the test takers must be equipped with a wide range of skills. Numerous abilities measured in the N10-007 exam are combined in several topic groups. These are the following:
- Networking Concepts (23%)
- Infrastructure (18%)
- Network Security (17%)
- Network Troubleshooting & Tools (20%)
- Network Operations (22%)
The percentage in brackets stands for the number of questions related to each exam topic that will appear in the CompTIA N10-007 exam. Preparing for the certification test, you should allocate more time to the domains with higher weight as the questions from these sectors will be more widely represented in the exam content. Another thing that you need to bear in mind is that all these above-mentioned objectives contain more specific subtopics that are to be mastered before the test. Below we will have a closer look at what each domain consists of.
The first topic, Networking Concepts, combines one’s skills in explaining the purposes and uses of ports and protocols; explaining devices, applications, protocols and services at their appropriate OSI layers; explaining the concepts and characteristics of routing and switching; configuring the appropriate IP addressing components; comparing the characteristics of network topologies, types and technologies; implementing the appropriate wireless technologies and configurations; summarizing Cloud concepts and their purposes; and explaining the functions of network services.
The second domain, Infrastructure, encompasses the following skills: deploying the appropriate cabling solution; defining the appropriate placement of networking devices on a network; explaining the purposes and use cases for advanced networking devices; explaining the purposes of virtualization and network storage technologies; comparing WAN technologies.
Within the third subject area, Network Security, the candidates need to demonstrate their ability to use the relevant documentation and diagrams to manage a network; compare business continuity and disaster recovery concepts; explain common monitoring, scanning, as well as patching processes and summarize their expected outputs; use remote access methods; detect policies and best practices.
The Network Troubleshooting and Tools domain comprises of the questions that check the applicants’ competency in summarizing the purposes of physical security devices; explaining authentication and access controls; securing a basic wireless network; summarizing common networking attacks; implementing network device hardening; explaining common mitigation techniques and their purposes.
In the framework of the last topic, Network Operations, the test takers need to prove that they are capable of explaining the network troubleshooting methodology; using the appropriate hardware and software tools; troubleshooting common wired connectivity and performance issues; troubleshooting common wireless connectivity and performance issues; troubleshooting common network service issues.
CompTIA Network+ Certification: Job Opportunities for Certified Professionals
The CompTIA Network+ certification can bring numerous benefits for your professional growth. Having this certificate under your belt, you show to your potential employer that you have the requisite knowledge and skills for performing duties within any of the following roles:
- Computer Technician
- Network Field Technician
- System Engineer
- Network Analyst
- Junior Network Administrator
- Help Desk Technician
All of these positions are highly prestigious in the industry and offer decent salaries. For example, the average pay of the Computer Technicians can range from $29,000 to $63,000 per annum, according to PayScale.com. The average salary of the Help Desk Technicians amounts to $41,000 per year, while the annual income of the Junior Network Administrators is $49,000. Holding the position of System Engineer, you can earn from $59,000 to $126,000. So, as you can see, obtaining the CompTIA Network+ certification is lucrative not only in terms of boosting your expertise but also in terms of increasing your earning potential.