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Updated Dec 20, 2023

30-Plus Certifications to Advance Your Networking Career

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Ed Tittel, Business Operations Insider and Senior Writer

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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.

TipTip

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:

  • Network Security Specialist – Learn to help prevent and avoid network security threats. To boost your skills in this career, consider cybersecurity certifications.
  • Cloud Networking Architect – Several cloud certifications can help boost this career.
  • Networking Research and Development Specialist
  • Wireless Networking QA Engineer
  • Wireless Infrastructure and Mobility Specialist 
  • Mobility Solutions Architect
  • VoIP Engineer
  • Telecom Project Manager – Consider a project management certification for this career.
  • Data Center Networking Specialist

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.

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Ed Tittel, Business Operations Insider and Senior Writer
Ed Tittel is a technology consultant and author with decades of experience in engineering, software development, network design, technical marketing and more. He has done everything from developing APIs to creating and testing coding to network troubleshooting. His expertise has even been called upon in court cases involving internet technologies. Tittel, who has a degree in computer science and is a member of the IEEE Computer Society, has published hundreds of books, including "HTML for Dummies." He has also developed technology-related curriculum and training materials, showcasing his in-depth knowledge and setting the standard for what IT professionals need to know.
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