Anyone that wants to take on a new certification challenge is bound to wonder at some point, either before or during their studying process, what kind of work they will be able to get once fully certified. After all, nobody likes to think that they’re wasting their time.
The good news for Network+ certification-seekers is that there are plenty of options available. The Network+ has been around for a long time and received ANSI accreditation back in 2008, making it a valuable certification for entry-level IT practitioners. IT jobs are in good shape as far as the job market is concerned, and networking-related roles are in high demand.
How technical each role is will depend on the employer’s requirements, but one thing is for sure: starting out with a Network+ will certainly help you to progress with your IT career. The interconnected nature of modern-day enterprise environments means that demand is on the rise for capable IT professionals with an understanding of how these complex systems and communication models work.
In this article, we will look into the current job outlook for Network+ certification holders and how this cert can add value to your employability as a networking professional.
What Kind of Jobs Can I Get With the Network+ Certification?
The CompTIA Network+ is a fantastic certification because it covers such a wide array of general networking topics. These include general troubleshooting, infrastructure design and implementation, policy and compliance support and more. This means that the chances of intersection between roles is quite high in the job market when one looks at the available positions that would make use of a certified Network+ candidate.
Jobs that a Network+-certified candidate can expect to land are varied, because networking is a generic term in information technology that interacts with almost all systems in a company or organization. This means that a candidate can end up in many different kinds of roles, from customer-facing positions such as user support to second- and third-level helpdesk roles that deal with more complicated networking-related issues, design and installation teams that deal with customer hardware installations, management and decision-making roles and more.
It should be stated that some of these roles would require additional certification and sometimes even degrees that support the core job function of each role. But having said that, it’s useful to know that a large percentage of candidates that end up in high-level roles are also in possession of a Network+ certification.
Experience is also a major factor, especially for more senior, management-level roles. The combination of a Network+, additional certifications and education and experience makes a potent mixture and is sure to keep employers interested when they come across your CV or resume.
What Are the Most Common Network+ Job Titles and Descriptions?
Achieving your Network+ certification creates many opportunities for you as you carve a path for yourself in the IT landscape, which means that there are many different possible job titles that you can find yourself holding as after you have nailed your Network+. Payscale shows that CompTIA Network+ candidates can expect to land job titles which include:
A systems administrator role requires that candidates be responsible for maintaining, troubleshooting and operating a company’s networking environment and computer systems. This usually means that you are responsible for making sure that the systems that rely on the network are all functioning correctly, and that networking equipment such as routers and switches are administered correctly and kept in working order. The Network+ helps to build up your foundational knowledge about how the systems all interact with one another and will be one of many different certifications that you will acquire in your ascent to systems administration.
Keep all company hardware and applications running smoothly
Support and maintain company-wide software applications
Keep critical system patches and operating system updates in line with best practice
Administer and manage user profiles
This position is normally a little more hands-on than a System Administrator role, meaning that tasks such as cabling, patching, wiring and hardware installation features a little more prominently than merely maintaining the software side of systems on your network. Most modern equipment relies on using network-based technologies, so hardware such as biometric readers and CCTV could also fall under your responsibilities for installing and maintaining equipment on your network. The Network+ teaches a lot of infrastructure knowledge, so becoming a systems technician is a popular role for successful candidates.
Cabling, patching and rack installations
End-user computer issues such as network settings, cabling and configurations
Maintaining network applications and systems
Perform light administrative tasks such as user account creation user account unlocks
Believe it or not, becoming a network engineer is possible if you have the Network+ as a foundational certification. It will help you to grasp the basics of networking and will give you the basic knowledge that you need to get started. The Network+ is such a popular starting point for many tech professionals because it is vendor-neutral and teaches concepts rather than product- or brand-specific fundamentals.
Designing, managing, fault-finding and rolling out networks
Analyzing network performance, traffic and utilization
Plan and predict expansion and retraction of networks
Take an active role in cybersecurity
A network administrator is somebody within the IT department who has knowledge of and skills in advanced networking concepts such as routing, VLANs and intersite connections. Network administrators are responsible for maintaining network devices and configurations while ensuring that all connections remain active and stable. Network administrators work closely with service providers to ensure maximum uptime for all mission-critical systems and networks.
Installing and maintaining network hardware and software
Diagnose, troubleshoot and resolve connectivity problems
Network file permissions and access for users and applications
Maintain network performance for optimal performance and stability
What Kind of Salary Increase Can I Expect After Getting Network+-Certified?
The average bump in salary that you can expect will depend on what qualifications you already have, what experience you have managed to accumulate thus far and what your current role is at the moment. There are simply too many variables in play to answer definitively how much a Network+-certified candidate will make without taking these other factors into consideration.
Having said that however, information gathered in a recent article has shown that certified Network+ candidates who work as networking professionals with less than one year of experience can expect to earn a median annual salary of around $45,200, while a candidate with five years’ or more experience with the same qualification can earn around $74,000 per annum. Salaries that relate to the Network+ are relative to your experience and skills that you are able to provide to your employer, so it’s important not to see the cert as a springboard to launch you into another salary bracket entirely. But you can expect a healthy bump in pay if you can show your employers that you have achieved an internationally-accepted certification such as the Network+.
By leveraging your knowledge of systems and networks you can make a bright and prosperous future for yourself. The CompTIA Network+ is an excellent starting point for anyone that sees themselves as wanting to achieve greater things in their careers, with good earning potential and opportunities.
Getting certified has never been easier, as there are so many different ways for you to study and pass the exam. You can decide to take the self-study approach, instructor-led classes or intensive boot camp training for a competitive edge. You have fantastic options to help you to achieve the results that you want while adhering to your studying style and budget.
Whichever choice you make, one thing remains universal: the CompTIA Network+ is an excellent place for IT professionals to learn the basics of networking. Getting this certification will ensure that you develop a foundational understanding of how networks operate, giving you essential knowledge in your future endeavors.