11 Certifications Every Network Engineer Needs to Succeed

Like many other career paths in technology, becoming a network engineer means being a student forever. With the development of technology you will have to keep up and prove that your experience is relevant. The easiest way to do this is to earn a certificate in support areas.

But not all additional technical certificates have the same value. Here are the 11 best certifications that every network engineer needs to succeed.

1. Wireshark Network Analyst

Wireshark is a powerful network analysis and a troubleshooting tool and it’s worth getting certified to prove your experience. The Wireshark Certified Network Analyst (WCNA) certificate is recognized in over 90 countries around the world.

The certificate is valid for three years after passing a written examination. You can expect the test to cover the four main areas of general functionality of Wireshark, TCP / IP network communications, and network security and troubleshooting.

2. CompTIA Network +

CompTIA Network + is an entry-level certificate, but still highly valued and respected in the field. This certificate confirms the technical skills you need to securely identify, maintain, and troubleshoot the types of networks that businesses often rely on.

The certificate is valid for three years from the date of the exam. You can easily renew your CompTIA Network + for an additional three years by continuing your CompTIA Network training.

3. AWS Certified Advanced Networking

Image Credit: Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

The AWS Advanced Networks Certificate focuses on training in relatively new technologies and networking concepts. It covers SDN, virtualization and cloud computing.

And more often than not, your employer will use one or more AWS services. If not, having these certificates makes you a valuable asset when they make the change.

Similarly, the certificate is only valid for three years, but you can maintain your certificate through the AWS re-certification process.

4. ONF certified SDN associate

Becoming an ONF Certified SDN Associate (OCSA) will open many doors for you. The entry-level test proves your knowledge and experience in the main network components in an SDN or software-defined network.

To become an OCSA, you will need to pass a written exam of 40 questions in 60 minutes. But the certificate is valid only for two years after the exam.

5. Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

A fellow holds a book with the Google logo

Google Certified Professional (GCP) Cloud Architect certification is similar to AWS network certifications. GCP migration means that you have the ability to design and plan a cloud architecture and manage the infrastructure of cloud solutions, while respecting basic security and privacy regulations.

The certificate is valid for only two years. However, the cloud skills it provides you with are in high demand in the technology industry,

6. Microsoft Technology Associate

The Microsoft Technology Assistant Certificate (MTA) covers many technology fundamentals. To earn an MTA certificate, you are expected to have solid experience in multiple programming languages– such as HTML5, Python and JavaScript – as well as experience in networking, operating systems, security and development.

The MTA is another entry-level certificate that can help you establish your career in technology. Fortunately, the certificate is valid for five years from the date of the exam.

7. Cisco Certified Network Associate


The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a general certificate for several individual certificates used by Cisco that it offered separately. Ongoing Cisco CNA Tests you basically network, IP connectivity and services, in addition to some basic knowledge of security and automation.

Similarly, you will need to take the CCNA exam again every three years. This is a comprehensive and beginner’s certificate that can help you start your career as a network engineer.

8. CompTIA Security +

Security plays a vital role in all networks, and sharpening your security knowledge can make you a better network engineer. CompTIA Security + is a global certificate that demonstrates that you have the necessary skills to perform security functions. In fact, this is one of the first certificates you need to earn.

Valid for three years, CompTIA Security + is an entry-level certificate that allows you to overlap your experience with security professionals and administrators, security consultants and security engineers.

9. Certified SolarWinds specialist

logo of solarwinds

The SolarWinds Certified Professional (SCP) certificate allows you to demonstrate your skills in managing networks and systems powered by SolarWinds. Obtaining a certificate ensures that your employer has the technical knowledge and skills needed to use and maintain network systems in general and SolarWinds in particular.

The certificate is valid for three years. But because SolarWinds is one of the world’s leading providers of IT, cloud, and networking solutions, you’ll have the chance to implement your SCP certificate well in no time.

Connected: What was the impact of the SolarWinds hack?

10. VMware Certified Professional – network virtualization

The VMware Certified Professional Certificate (VCP-NV) is one of the best certifications you can get to specialize in aspect of IT and network virtualization.

The VCP-NV certificate confirms your ability to install, configure, and administer virtual networks in your company, regardless of basic physical structure.

The certificate is only valid for two years, but this can be expected. Virtualization is still a relatively new field and a lot can change in two years that you may have to catch up.

11. Certified wireless network administrator

If specializing in a particular network provider like Amazon or Google is not your thing, then becoming a Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) is the way to go. This is another entry-level certificate that confirms your networking experience, but with a provider-neutral approach.

Valid for three years from the date of the exam, CWNA tests you in many types of wireless networks and communications, from RF technology and network design and management to network security and troubleshooting.

Where to start?

The world of technology is huge. Even if you try to narrow it down to network engineering, it’s still too big. When you start, it is impossible to know everything in the field – neither your employer nor the elderly expect you to.

Instead of choosing a certificate based on how glamorous it sounds, start by reviewing the job descriptions of your dream job. There you will probably find the skills and official certificates needed for the role. This should give you a good idea of ​​where to start.

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