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Businesses are always the early adopters of technology. They lead the way in introducing new technology to consumers. And like most technology careers, networking is a rapidly expanding field where employer demand outstrips qualified employee supply. Quite simply, networking is a phrase used to explain how computers (and other office equipment) interact with each other. In more technical terms, it is the linking together of computer devices with hardware and software which supports data that leads to communication.
If you like working with computers, being in charge, diagnosing and fixing problems, a career as a network support specialist will appeal to you. Network Support Specialists configure, support and maintain the network systems of an organization. They must be network hardware and software experts.
Network technicians are the go-to professionals for the technology that keeps business running. Imagine no email, no ability to access files remotely and the inability to have a secure and functioning company intranet. These are a few of the things taken for granted in today’s business world that would not be possible without network specialists.
Network Specialists are also referred to as Network Engineers, Hardware Engineers, Network Techs and Computer Technicians, among other titles. Also, on a less serious note, the person at the office that spends a lot of time in that funny closet with the weird cords and strange racks, he or she is a networking person.
Getting certified as a network specialist means that you are qualified to design, configure, repair and maintain an entire computer network. A network specialist is crucial to a company’s bottom line because how a company’s technological infrastructure works is critical to employee productivity and data retention, disbursement and security.
A+/Network+ Certification is a foundational certification and is probably the most common in the industry. It offers entry level to mid-level knowledge in PC hardware and operating systems. This course is a building block to more advanced certifications like the following.
CCNA is an acronym for Cisco Certified Network Associate. They are experts in the installation, operation, configuration and design of Cisco hardware and software, which includes LAN, WAN, VLAN and dial-access services for smaller networks. The CCNA is the main certification to have as a networking professional.
Two new classes being offered are CCNA Security and CCNA Voice. Both classes take a further look into networks, in regards to security and voice, respectively. CCNA Security trains students how to recognize a network security threat, and what proper actions are required. CCNA Voice familiarizes students with VoIP and other technologies.
CCENT is an instructive class that prepares students for associate level certifications (such as CCNA and CCDA). CCENT provides basic networking information needed by any IT worker. Upon completion of CCENT, certified persons will be able to install, manage, secure and troubleshoot a simple branch network.
Some other Cisco network certifications include: CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate), CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional), CCDP (Cisco Certified Design Professional Certification) and CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert).
Many network specialists often go on to manage large staffs and oversee diverse, complex technological projects as an organization grows and expands.