CompTIA Network+ vs. CCNA: Why IT Pros Should Earn CompTIA Network+ First

Looking to land a job in computer networking? Your best move is to first get a vendor-neutral certification like CompTIA Network+ and then move onto vendor-specific certifications.

An IT pro looks at her phone and compares CompTIA Network+ to CCNAThere are several IT networking certifications on the market, and CompTIA Network+ and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) are two of the most popular. While CCNA covers select networking skills as they relate to Cisco routers, it can’t beat CompTIA Network+ for comprehensive networking skills that can be applied in a multi-vendor environment.

Before choosing a vendor-specific networking certification like CCNA, IT pros should consider the benefits of earning CompTIA Network+, a vendor-neutral certification that will give them the knowledge and tools to create the IT career they want most.

4 reasons CompTIA Network+ outshines other certifications for people looking to start their IT career.

Check Out This Infographic!

CompTIA Network+ Broadens IT Pros’ Networking Capabilities 

IT pros, especially those who want to build a computer networking career, must make it their mission to broaden their knowledge of networking topics. They can do so by earning a vendor-neutral certification, such as CompTIA Network+. CompTIA Network+ prepares candidates to work with any tool or product, regardless of vendor, which makes an individual’s computer networking capabilities limitless.

On the other hand, CCNA limits a candidate’s knowledge to just one vendor by training candidates to work with Cisco’s tools and products exclusively.

For the best career results, IT pros should first earn a vendor-neutral certification like CompTIA Network+ and later stack vendor-specific IT networking certifications onto it. 

CompTIA Network+ Prepares Candidates for Specific Job Roles

IT pros hoping to land a specific type of networking job require training that prepares them for the role they want to assume. CompTIA Network+ does this, covering the skills needed for specific job roles, whereas CCNA covers the skills needed to work on Cisco products, regardless of role.

This means that if a hiring manager wanted to quickly onboard a new network support specialist or network administrator, for example, someone with CompTIA Network+ may have a leg up on someone with CCNA because they know and possess the skills needed for the job and can apply those skills to any equipment.

CompTIA Network+ provides deep knowledge of computer networking and ensures IT pros have all the skills they need to function effectively in the following roles: 

IT professionals who want to get into networking as quickly as possible and feel confident in their ability to take on any of the roles listed above should pursue CompTIA Network+.

Why Most Employers Will Prefer CompTIA Network+

CompTIA Network+ prepares candidates to assume specific job roles and broadens their networking capabilities, although this will tip the scales in their favor. It is because employers trust CompTIA Network+. Because CCNA has very recently been revamped, employers don’t know what to expect from certified technicians. This may dissuade them from hiring CCNA practitioners.  

CCNA Leaves Out the Essential Business Skills Employers Are Looking For

Today’s workplace is changing quickly. Digital transformation is a top priority for many companies, and hiring managers are looking for job candidates who have practical business skills that will help them add value to their company. In addition to providing multi-vendor networking skills, CompTIA Network+ teaches business skills that are in high demand, including the following:

  • Change management
  • Incident management
  • Cloud management
  • Troubleshooting

Conversely, the new CCNA provides candidates with technical skills alone. It doesn’t pair candidates with the vital business skills that CompTIA Network+ does, which will not serve them well when looking for jobs. 

CompTIA Network+ Benefits Job Candidates and Enterprises

To say CompTIA Network+ is a boon to IT pros is an understatement. It gives them the knowledge to resolve major or minor networking issues regardless of vendor or tool. But it is also beneficial for enterprises.

Because those who have earned the IT networking certification understanding complex computer networking topics, it stands to reason that they will be more efficient and make fewer mistakes than candidates with a vendor-specific networking certification. This equals cost savings for enterprises.  

Why Candidates Should Not Rule Out the New CCNA Certification

The made-over CCNA certification can’t beat CompTIA Network+ in imparting the fundamentals of networking as well as business skills for today’s workplace, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable or should be disregarded.

IT pros should pursue any vendor-specific certification they are interested in, but it is advisable that they do so after earning a foundational vendor-neutral networking certification like CompTIA Network+. When IT pros earn certifications in an order where they can build upon what they’ve previously learned, they set themselves up for IT career success.

Entry-Level IT Pros Need Vendor-Neutral Certifications

Entry-level IT pros who are just getting started in the industry and want to specialize in computer networking will do themselves a disservice by jumping ahead to get a vendor-specific IT certification before a vendor-neutral one. Diving deep into computer networking topics rather than skimming the surface will provide the foundational knowledge needed for a successful IT career.

Want to learn more about CompTIA Network+? Download the exam objectives to see what’s covered.

Read More from the CompTIA Blog

Leave a Comment