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30-Plus Certifications to Advance Your Networking Career

Updated Nov 10, 2023

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In IT careers, one of the broadest categories for IT certifications is networking. A networking certification can cover local wired and wireless IP network design, connectivity, routing, and administration, as well as mobile communications technologies like LTE and Mobile WiMAX.

Additional categories under the networking umbrella include data center networking, wide area network (WAN) connectivity and quality of service, and long-haul technologies like carrier Ethernet, fiber optics, and more. 

This guide will highlight the most popular local wired and wireless networking certifications.


To explore additional certifications, read our overview of Google Cloud certifications to consider in the areas of security, storage, engineering, cloud computing and developing.

Advice for starting a networking career

If you’re just starting a career in networking, we recommend pursuing one or more vendor-neutral, entry-level credentials, including the following:

  • CompTIA Network+
  • Any of the CWNP certifications
  • IPv6 Forum Silver Certified Engineer 

These credentials expose you to varied and highly valuable networking technologies and products and will be helpful when seeking a networking job.

After achieving one or more vendor-neutral credentials, consider vendor-specific certifications pertinent to your line of work. For example, if you work for a consulting firm that supports Cisco technologies, pursue applicable intermediate or professional certifications. Training costs for vendor-specific certifications are generally higher than vendor-neutral ones, so determine if your employer will cover part or all of the training costs and exam fees.


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Networking job types

For those just starting a career in networking, here are some positions and networking jobs to consider:

  • Network Specialist
  • Network Technician
  • Network Administrator
  • Network Analyst – Big data certifications can help with this career.
  • Network Manager – Consider hardware certifications if you pursue this career.
  • Network Engineer
  • Network Solutions Architect

As you develop your networking career further, you might decide to specialize in one or more areas of networking. At this point, the networking jobs you would be applying for might include the following:

There are also plenty of networking jobs in sales and consulting, so be sure to check these out:

  • Networking Sales Specialist – Consider sales certifications to enhance your skills in this career.
  • Networking Account Manager
  • Networking Consultant
  • Networking Program Manager

Max Freedman contributed to the writing and research in this article.

Ed Tittel
Contributing Writer at
Ed is a 30-year-plus veteran of the computing industry, who has worked as a programmer, a technical manager, a classroom instructor, a network consultant and a technical evangelist for companies that include Burroughs, Schlumberger, Novell, IBM/Tivoli and NetQoS. He has written and blogged for numerous publications, including Tom's Hardware, and is the author of over 140 computing books with a special emphasis on information security, Web markup languages and development tools, and Windows operating systems.
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