Networking Certification Test Guide

Networking Certification Test Summary
What: Networking certifications are voluntary, but demonstrate to employers one’s commitment to the profession and to keeping up with changing technology.
Who: Anyone who works with the computer networks of organizations.
Where: Certification tests are offered at national testing centers, such as Pearson VUE and Prometric.
When: Certifications are offered year-round. Different levels of certification are offered depending on where one is in one’s career.
How: Testing is usually a combination of questions and demonstrations to evaluate one’s skill level.
Type: Exams are conducted on a computer.
Why: Certification helps networking professionals demonstrate their skill level.
Time: Exams vary in length.
Language: Many exams are offered in languages other than English, though it depends on the exam.
Preparation: Some certification agencies offer exam-specific preparation courses.
Cost: Varies.

By: Erin Hasinger, Tests.com


Networking is one of the top growing IT areas, and while networking certifications are typically voluntary (though some employers do require them), they are a sure-fire way to demonstrate to a prospective employer one’s commitment to the profession. Keeping certification current also ensures that networking pros stay up-to-date as technology continues to evolve.


Networking certifications are available in hundreds of different networking specialties. Anyone interested in a networking certification should consider their particular area of expertise and then seek out the appropriate certification agency. Some of the top networking certification organizations include Cisco, Novell and Microsoft. While this article cannot touch upon every possible networking certification exam, it will profile some of the most popular networking certification opportunities.


Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

The Cisco Certified Network Associate is a credential that demonstrates one’s ability to work with medium-sized route and switched networks, including installation, configuration, operation and troubleshooting. To earn the CCNA designation, candidates must either take the CCNA Single Exam (640-802) or Parts 1 and 2 of the Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Exam (640-822 and 640-816).


All three are 90-minute tests offered at Pearson Vue test centers. Cisco recommends test candidates take the Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 and 2 courses prior to sitting for any of the exams.


The CCNA designation is a prerequisite to many of Cisco’s more specialized certification exams, such as security, voice, wireless, routing and switching. Cisco also offers certifications at the professional, expert, architect and specialist levels.  


EMC Proven Professional Certification

EMC Information Intelligence Group offers four certification programs that help information technologists plan and manage content management infrastructures. Four certification tracks are available:


-    Associate EMCPA

-    Application Developer EMCApD

-    System Administration EMCSyA

-    Technology Architect EMCTA


The Associate EMCPA track offers an associate-level certification in content management foundations. The other three tracks also offer the associate-level certification in content management foundations, but also offer specialist-level certifications as well. The Application Developer EMCApD program offers certifications in content management server programming and content management web application programming. The System Administration EMCSyA track offers certifications in content management system administration, and the Technology Architect EMCTA track offers certifications in content management systems architecture and content management application architecture.


All of EMC’s certification exams are administered by Pearson VUE test centers. Each exam has a fee of $200.


Certified Wireless Network Administrator

CWNP Inc. offers the Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) certification, which is CWNP’s entry-level certification upon which more advanced certifications can be earned. CWNA is for wireless LAN certification. Candidates must pass the PW0-104 exam, which is offered at Pearson VUE test centers. The exam includes 60 questions which must be answered within 90 minutes. Candidates must score 70% to pass. The exam has a fee of $175.


Certified Novell Engineer NetWare 6 (CNE)

The CNE certification is for those who run corporate networks and helps validate one’s skills in planning, installation, configuration, troubleshooting and upgrading.  Five exams are required for certification, and each exam follows a corresponding course. Exams and courses cover:


1.      Foundations of Novell Networking: NetWare 6.5

2.      Novell Network Administration: NetWare 6.5

3.      Advanced Novell Network Administration: NetWare 6.5

4.      Novell eDirectory Design and Implementation: eDirectory 8.8

5.      Novell ZENworks Desktop Management


All exams are administered by Pearson VUE and generally include between 60 and 70 questions.

CompTIA Network+
CompTIA’s Network+ certification is an entry-level networking certification program that is designed for general networking applications. Certification helps to establish one’s competency in the installation, configuration, management and maintenance of basic network infrastructures.  The 90-minute exam includes 100 questions. Scores range from 100 to 900, and one must score 720 to pass. Exams are offered at Pearson VUE and Prometric test centers. The CompTIA Network+ exam fee is $295.

For more information on network certification exams and exam preparation, visit the Tests.com Networking Certifications Test Directory.

Sources: Cisco.com, Novell.com, CWNP.com, EMC.com, CompTIA.org