8 Network Certifications That Will Set You Apart From the Rest

If you’ve been in networking for a few years, and already have acquired the traditional network certifications, it may be time to expand your horizons with certificates in specialized areas.

There’s no doubt that certifications such as the CompTIA Network+ and Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching are the exams that burgeoning network administrators seek to obtain first. But, you probably already knew that. Instead of covering the typical certifications that everyone else has, this slideshow will detail eight certifications that will prove that you've got the "X-factor" that sets your skill set apart from the others.

It must be pointed out that I believe a solid foundation in traditional fundamentals is important. That’s why, year after year, the same network certifications make the list of the “hottest” IT certifications available. That said, if you’ve been in networking for a few years, and already have acquired the traditional network certifications, it may be time to expand your horizons. Within the field of enterprise networking, there are plenty of different niche areas with which to focus on. Much of your decision on what area of networking to focus on will likely revolve around two factors. First is what part of networking is in-demand as it relates to your current job – or the job you wish to have someday. The other is what area of networking interests you the most.

Certifications that focus on how to design, configure and manage virtualized networks and networks within data centers will help you land jobs in larger enterprises that maintain private data centers. These types of certifications are also useful if you work (or seek to work) for a cloud service provider (CSP). If your goal is to become a specialist in network troubleshooting of complex problems, a certification in a specific monitoring or troubleshooting tools can be incredibly valuable toward reaching your goals. Finally, if you want to spend more of your time working with specific network components such as security appliances, wireless technologies or network automation, a certification in one of these specific fields can help you to steer your career toward those targets.

Join us as I show you eight network certifications that will truly set you apart from the others and can potentially change the trajectory of your IT career to better suit your company – as well as your own personal interests.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Froehlich, President, West Gate Networks

President, West Gate Networks

As a highly experienced network architect and trusted IT consultant with worldwide contacts, particularly in the United States and Southeast Asia, Andrew Froehlich has nearly two decades of experience and possesses multiple industry certifications in the field of enterprise networking. Froehlich has participated in the design and maintenance of networks for State Farm Insurance, United Airlines, Chicago-area schools and the University of Chicago Medical Center. He is the founder and president of Loveland, Colo.-based West Gate Networks, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and data center build outs. The author of two Cisco certification study guides published by Sybex, he is a regular contributor to multiple enterprise IT related websites and trade journals with insights into rapidly changing developments in the IT industry.

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