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What is an IT Networking Specialist?

IT Networking Specialist analyze, troubleshoot and evaluate computer network problems. More advanced IT pros may be responsible for building and designing communication networks as well. They play an important role in maintaining an organization’s network and keeping them safe and secure through both hardware configuration and end-user training. Network specialists and administrators are responsible for day-to-day operations and network architects and engineers design and build local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Intranets. Depending on the size of the company, these roles may be combined.

Experience LevelBeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
Median annual salary*   
Job Postings*
23239
56666
28555
Number of certificates available at each level
5

CompTIA A+

CompTIA Network+

CompTIA Security+

Microsoft

Cisco

11

CompTIA Server+

CompTIA Linux+

CompTIA Project+

CompTIA Cloud Essentials+

Microsoft

Cisco

Redhat

VMWare

AWS

Google

IBM

8

CompTIA Cloud+

Microsoft

Cisco

Redhat

VMWare

AWS

Google

IBM

Experience LevelBeginnerIntermediateAdvanced

* Burning Glass Technologies. (2019). Labor Insights.

Required skills at this level
  • Make data easily accessible to those who need it
  • Connect devices to the network and ensure they function properly and securely
  • Ensure a secure transfer of data over internal and external networks
  • Back up network data
  • Evaluate and optimize network performance
  • Document network support activities
  • Provide end-user support

IT Networking Specialist Certifications

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Step 1

CompTIA Certifications

Certifications like CompTIA Network+ are recommended to succeed as an IT Networking Professional. Adding CompTIA Linux+ and Server+ will also help you begin your career in this field.

CompTIA A+
CompTIA A+

A+ is the starting point for a career in IT. The performance-based exams certify foundational IT skills across a variety of devices and operating systems.

Learn more Example questions
CompTIA A+
CompTIA A+ Certification

The table below lists the domains measured by the full examination and the extent to which they are represented.

Domain and percentage of examination

Core 1 (220-1001)

1.0  Mobile Devices 14%
2.0  Networking 20%
3.0  Hardware 27%
4.0  Virtualization and Cloud Computing 12%
5.0  Hardware and Network Troubleshooting 27%
Total 100%

Core 2 (220-1002)

1.0  Operating Systems 27%
2.0  Security 24%
3.0  Software Troubleshooting 26%
4.0  Operational Procedures 23%
Total 100%

Example Questions

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You have been frequenting a local coffee shop with your Android tablet. While you are there, you use the free WiFi connection. With concern over the security of your browsing, you decide to take action. Which technology would address your concern the best?

A. VPN B. Antivirus C. Private IP D. WPA2

You need to configure a SOHO (Small Office Home Office) network to be easily discovered by guest users. Which feature should be configured?

A. DNS (Domain Name System) B. DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) C. SSID (Service Set Identifier) D. MAC (Media Access Control) Filtering

An ordinary office environment needs computers that have multiple user account settings where each user is allocated private data storage. What type of workstations would you build for this environment?

A. Build a virtualization workstation. B. Build a thin client. C. Build a thick client. D. Build a CAM workstation.

A support ticket has been assigned to you stating that the Engineers are complaining that their Computer Aided Design (CAD) application is displaying poorly. What do you do to upgrade these PCs and solve this problem?

A. Install more RAM. B. Install higher-end video cards. C. Install faster CPUs. D. Install Solid State Drives (SSDs).

You need to setup a few virtual workstations for a network test lab. You have a computer to use as the host machine, however, it does not have an operating system installed. What is the easiest and quickest solution to configure the host system?

A. Install a type-2 hypervisor on the host machine and then install the guest operating systems. B. Install one of the guest operating systems to act as both the host and a guest operating system. C. Install a type-1 hypervisor on the host machine and then install the guest operating systems. D. Install Microsoft Virtual PC as it is free, and then install the guest operating systems.

How can you fix a touchpad that is too sensitive, causing a ghost cursor and jumping about when typing?

A. Turn NumLock off on the external keyboard. B. Configure the input options. C. Replace the touchpad. D. Revert to an older driver version.
CompTIA Security+
CompTIA Security+

Security+ provides a global benchmark for best practices in IT network and operational security, one of the fastest-growing fields in IT.

Learn more Example questions
CompTIA Security+
CompTIA Security+ Certification

The table below lists the domains measured by the full examination and the extent to which they are represented.

Domain and percentage of examination

1.0  Threats, Attacks and Vulnerabilities 21%
2.0  Technologies and Tools 22%
3.0  Architecture and Design 15%
4.0  Identity and Access Management 16%
5.0  Risk Management 14%
6.0  Cryptography and PKI 12%
Total 100%

Example Questions

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An attacker impersonates a member of the cleaning crew for a company's building, and requests an employee to hold the door open while the impersonator brings in a cleaning cart. The employee fell victim to what type of attack?

A. A lunchtime attack B. Shoulder surfing C. Piggy backing D. Dumpster diving

The DMZ (demilitarized zone) has a new virtual firewall server. A user reported that Internet websites are viewable, but no longer has a connection to an FTP (file transfer protocol) site. Which of the following is most likely the cause of the disconnection?

A. The user does not have access to the FTP site. B. A network cable disconnected from the server. C. The Firewall implicitly denied access to the FTP site. D. The ACL still requires setting up.

A user has multiple documents to review, regarding a device from an authorized government vendor, with approval to use the documents. While attempting to send the documents to a personal email, to review later at home, the email returned with a message saying it failed to send. What is most likely the cause of this? (Select two)

A. Based on policy, the employee cannot use personal email. B. The DLP system flagged an incident. C. The antivirus software flagged the documents. D. The attachment file size is too large.

After exploiting a vulnerability during testing, an administrator released a Security Update as a patch for Microsoft Internet Explorer. How should the administrator proceed in applying the patch?

A. Apply the patch directly to production. B. Apply the Security Update to the staging environment and test the system functionality. C. Wait for the quarterly update before patching the vulnerability. D. Apply the patch to the sandbox environment and test functionality.

Fingerprint scanning is one of the most straightforward methods of biometric identification. Which of these concerns are most pertinent to the use of this technology?(Select two)

A. Ease of spoofing B. Surfaces must be clean and dry C. Revocability of credentials D. High expense of installation

Key strength is based on length and randomness. One way to strengthen a key is to add a nonce or an Initialization Vector (IV). The same is true for passwords, which can be strengthened by adding a salt to a hashed password value. Evaluate the following to identify the statements that are true about nonces, IVs, and salts.(Select two)

A. The value of a nonce is hidden. B. A salt could be a counter value. C. Use of a salt ensures identical plaintexts produce different ciphertexts. D. Use of an initialization vector ensures identical plaintexts produce different ciphertexts.
Step 2

Partner Certifications

CompTIA certifications establish a baseline foundation of skills that you can build upon with other vendor or technology-specific certifications.

Microsoft (MTA, MSCA, MSCE)

Assess skills in using Microsoft technologies including Azure, Dynamics 365, Windows, Microsoft 365 and SQL Server. Within each technology grouping certifications are awarded across three levels:

Fundamental
Associate
Expert

Cisco (CCT, CCNA, CCIE)

Validates networking skills using Cisco equipment and technologies. Cisco organizes their certifications across 5 levels:

Entry (CCT)
Associate (CCNA)
Professional (CCNP)
Expert (CCIE)
Architect (CCAr)

* Burning Glass Technologies. (2019). Labor Insights.

Required skills at this level
  • Configure security settings to ensure the right people can get in and the wrong ones cannot
  • Analyze and report security breaches or attempted breaches
  • Troubleshoot the network to identify connectivity issues using diagnostic tools
  • Configure WAN or LAN routers or related equipment
  • Document network support activities
  • Provide end-user support
  • Manage and train beginner networking professionals

IT Networking Specialist Certifications

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Step 1

CompTIA Certifications

In addition to the recommended CompTIA Network+ and Security+, earning CompTIA Linux+ and Server+ can help you advance your career as an IT Networking Professional.

CompTIA Project+
CompTIA Project+

Project+ gives technical and non-technical professionals the basic concepts to successfully manage small- to medium-sized projects.

Learn more Example questions
CompTIA Project+
CompTIA Project+ Certification

The table below lists the domains measured by the full examination and the extent to which they are represented.

Domain and percentage of examination

Core 1 (220-1001)

1.0  Project Basics 36%
2.0  Project Constraints 17%
3.0  Communication and Change Management 26%
4.0  Project Tools and Documentation 21%
Total 100%

Example Questions

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You began a project on May 1 and the target completion date is December 15. On November 1 the client instructed you to stop work on the project immediately because they no longer need the project’s deliverables. You are to permanently archive everything you have done to this point. Should you now move to the close phase activities of the project management process?

A. No because the original scope of work was not completed. B. Yes because the project is considered complete. C. Yes because it is after November 1. D. No because the client may change their mind and re-open the project at a later date.

You have taken over a project from another project manager and are concerned that the consultant working on the project may leave before the project is completed. Which risk response strategy should you employ?

A .Exploit the risk B. Mitigate the risk C. Accept the risk but have a contingency D. Accept the risk without a contingency

You are working on a new purchasing system project and you are having difficulty finalizing the requirements with the purchasing department. You send a meeting notice to the purchasing manager and two purchasing clerks for a 15-minute meeting tomorrow in your online meeting software with an agenda of finalizing the requirements. What type of meeting is this?

A. In-person impromptu B. Virtual impromptu C. In-person scheduled D. Virtual scheduled

What is the difference between a merger and an acquisition? In a merger the companies are equals but in an acquisition the acquiring company is in control.

A. In a merger two companies become one but in an acquisition they stay separate companies. B. In an acquisition the companies are equals but in a merger one company is in control. C. In an acquisition two companies become one but in a merger they stay separate companies.

You are working on a project to upgrade the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system which includes a purchasing system and a new sales system. The project will take nearly a year and two months prior to implementation management approves the hiring of consultants to help complete the project. This is an example of what type of change?

A. Requirements change B. Risk event C. Quality change D. Resource change

The bridge over the Troubled Waters stream project will involve Public Works Dept. staff and several vendors. The project manager needs the communication plan to be complete and to be understandable by all. Which of the following should be included in a communication plan?

A. A list of stakeholders B. The stakeholder management strategy C. Definitions of communication terms D. An issue log
CompTIA Cloud Essentials+
CompTIA Cloud Essentials+

Cloud Essentials+ certifies the knowledge and skills need to make sound decisions about cloud technologies and their business impact.

Learn more Example questions
CompTIA A+
CompTIA Cloud Essentials+ Certification

The table below lists the domains measured by the full examination and the extent to which they are represented.

Domain and percentage of examination

1.0  Server Architecture 12%
2.0  Server Administration 24%
3.0  Storage 12%
4.0  Security 13%
5.0  Networking 10%
6.0  Disaster Recovery 9%
7.0  Troubleshooting 20%
Total 100%

Example Questions

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A database administrator needs to add more storage to a server that continuously displays memory errors at peak hours of the day. The current setup allows the DBA to increase this manually. Which of the following characteristics of cloud computing does this represent?

A. Pay-as-you-go B. Resource pooling C. Self-service D. Scalability

The IT team is having a disagreement on whether to use block storage or file storage for a network attached storage implementation. What negatives of block storage might the team mention in favor of file storage?

A. Cost B. Performance C. Availability D. Accessibility

A large company plans a migration to the cloud. In order to accommodate all interested parties during the planning phase, what does the company establish?

A. Key stakeholders B. Point of contact C. Documentation and diagrams D. Current and future requirements

The cloud Service Level Agreement (SLA) authorizes the processing of data in the US-West region. Management wants to ensure a disaster recovery plan is in place per the company's security plan so the customers have 99.999% accessibility to products and services from the website. What are the best options to consider? (Select all that apply)

A. Run load balanced servers in two different zones. B. Replicate data to another zone. C. Replicate data to a multi-regional location. D. Store data in a mult-regional storage solution.

A new business startup is looking to rapidly provide easy access to construction services online, to reach a large number of customers in the shortest amount of time. All current employees are experts in the field of construction, but none of them are IT-savvy. Why would this company choose a Cloud Managed Service Provider (MSP), rather than a basic Cloud Service Provider (CSP), when starting up services for the first time?

A. CSP does not include trained employees. B. MSP does not bill on a per-user basis. C. CSP does not include migration tools. D. MSP includes cloud infrastructure.

Which option relates to a catalog of virtual machine configurations?

A. Data ownership B. Risk register C. Data portability D. Asset inventory
CompTIA Linux+
CompTIA Linux+

Linux+ is an internationally recognized credential validating baseline competencies required for Linux administrators.

Learn more Example questions
CompTIA Linux+
CompTIA Linux+ Certification

The table below lists the domains measured by the full examination and the extent to which they are represented.

Domain and percentage of examination

1.0  Hardware and System Configuration 21%
2.0  Systems Operation and Maintenance 26%
3.0  Security 19%
4.0  Linux Troubleshooting and Diagnostics 20%
5.0  Automation and Scripting 14%
Total 100%

Example Questions

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You wish to view currently loaded kernel modules and their usage details. Which command will help you view this information?

A. modinfo B. rmmod C. lsmod D. insmod

You are implementing print management in a Linux environment. Which of the following would you use as a print server?

A. lpr B. lsusb C. CUPS D. udevadm

Vim is a modal editor and its different modes decide its functionality. Which one of the below is NOT one of the four Vim modes?

A. insert B. gedit C. execute D. visual

You deploy a public key infrastructure (PKI) in your organization. Which of the following components must be kept in a highly secure system where the risk of it being stolen is low?

A. Public key B. Private key C. Digital signature D. Self-signed certificate

You have just used the lprm 4 command. What type of problem are you trying to remedy?

A. Printing B. Memory C. Storage D. Keyboard

You are writing a Bash script and would like to connect multiple values together for evaluation. What type of operator should you use in this script?

A. Arithmetic B. String C. Comparison D. Logical
CompTIA Server+
CompTIA Server+

Server+ confirms the technical knowledge and skills required to support and secure server hardware and software.

Learn more Example questions
CompTIA Server+
CompTIA Server+ Certification

The table below lists the domains measured by the full examination and the extent to which they are represented.

Domain and percentage of examination

1.0  Server Architecture 12%
2.0  Server Administration 24%
3.0  Storage 12%
4.0  Security 13%
5.0  Networking 10%
6.0  Disaster Recover 9%
7.0  Troubleshooting 20%
Total 100%

Example Questions

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Which form factor is measured in increments such as 1U, 2U and 4U?

A. Tower B. Rack mount C. Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) D. Blade

Which management method uses a dedicated channel to manage servers and network devices typically using a network connection that is physically separated from the production network?

A. Server management plan B. In-band management C. Out-of-band (OOB) management D. Secure Shell (SSH)

Which statement is true regarding solid state drives (SSDs)?

A. Solid state devices contain moving parts and tend to be less reliable than magnetic drives. B. Solid state devices contain no moving parts and tend to be more reliable than magnetic drives. C. Solid state drives are extremely fast because these devices store information on a magnetic coated media that is rotated under a read/write head. D. Solid state drives are fine for end users but should never be used in servers.

How can you prevent attackers from connecting universal serial bus (USB) drives to the server?

A. Setting a basic input/output system (BIOS) password B. Disable unneeded hardware and physical ports and devices C. Disabling Wake on LAN D. Setting up the boot order

Which is a feature of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)?

A. Addresses are formatted with dotted decimal notation. B. It uses broadcast addresses. C. An address is 32 bits long. D. An address is 128 bits long.

What type of analysis will help you determine the effect of a disruption to the business?

A. Disaster recovery plan B. Business continuity plan (BCP) C. Continuity of Operations (COOP) D. Business impact
Step 2

Partner Certifications

CompTIA certifications establish a baseline foundation of skills that you can build upon with other vendor or technology-specific certifications.

Microsoft (MTA, MSCA, MSCE)

Assess skills in using Microsoft technologies including Azure, Dynamics 365, Windows, Microsoft 365 and SQL Server. Within each technology grouping certifications are awarded across three levels:

Fundamental
Associate
Expert

Cisco (CCT, CCNA, CCIE)

Validates networking skills using Cisco equipment and technologies. Cisco organizes their certifications across 5 levels:

Entry (CCT)
Associate (CCNA)
Professional (CCNP)
Expert (CCIE)
Architect (CCAr)

RedHat

Cover the entire Red Hat technology portfolio, validating skills needed to take on projects utilizing Red Hat technology. Red Hat certifies skills across 3 core levels:

Administrator (RHCSA)
Engineer (RHCE)
Architect (RHCA)

VMWare

Validate the critical skills required to integrate and manage VMWare virtualization technologies used in the data center, at the network level, and in the cloud. VMWare certifies across 4 levels:

Associate (VCA)
Professional (VCP)
Advanced Professional (VCAP)
Expert (VCDX)

AWS

AWS Certification validates expertise needed to deliver on cloud initiatives using AWS. Options are available based on role, Solutions Architect, Operations, or Developer and by level:

Foundational
Associate
Professional

Google Cloud

Validate expertise in transforming businesses using Google Cloud technology. Google Cloud organizes certifications around roles --notably Engineers, Architects, Data Engineers, and Developers -- and levels:

Associate
Professional

IBM

Prove proficiency in the latest IBM technology and solutions. They validate skills needed to perform role-related tasks and activities at a specified level of competence.

* Burning Glass Technologies. (2019). Labor Insights.

Job Titles
Required skills at this level
  • Design, deploy, manage and troubleshoot networks
  • Analyze network traffic and predict growth to determine future needs
  • Present plans to leadership
  • Understand cybersecurity and how it affects networks
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest technologies to determine the best options for the organization
  • Provide end-user support
  • Manage and train team

IT Networking Specialist Certifications

2-IT-network New Copy copy 2
CERT MAP-itnetwork-MOBILE
Step 1

CompTIA Certifications

In addition to the recommended CompTIA Network+, Linux+ and Server+, earning CompTIA Cloud+ and Project+ can help you advance your career as an IT Networking Professional.

CompTIA Cloud+
CompTIA Cloud+

Cloud+ gives technical and non-technical professionals the basic concepts to successfully manage small- to medium-sized projects.

Learn more
Step 2

Partner Certifications

CompTIA certifications establish a baseline foundation of skills that you can build upon with other vendor or technology-specific certifications.

Microsoft (MTA, MSCA, MSCE)

Assess skills in using Microsoft technologies including Azure, Dynamics 365, Windows, Microsoft 365 and SQL Server. Within each technology grouping certifications are awarded across three levels:

Fundamental
Associate
Expert

Cisco (CCT, CCNA, CCIE)

Validates networking skills using Cisco equipment and technologies. Cisco organizes their certifications across 5 levels:

Entry (CCT)
Associate (CCNA)
Professional (CCNP)
Expert (CCIE)
Architect (CCAr)

RedHat

Cover the entire Red Hat technology portfolio, validating skills needed to take on projects utilizing Red Hat technology. Red Hat certifies skills across 3 core levels:

Administrator (RHCSA)
Engineer (RHCE)
Architect (RHCA)

VMWare

Validate the critical skills required to integrate and manage VMWare virtualization technologies used in the data center, at the network level, and in the cloud. VMWare certifies across 4 levels:

Associate (VCA)
Professional (VCP)
Advanced Professional (VCAP)
Expert (VCDX)

AWS

AWS Certification validates expertise needed to deliver on cloud initiatives using AWS. Options are available based on role, Solutions Architect, Operations, or Developer and by level:

Foundational
Associate
Professional

Google Cloud

Validate expertise in transforming businesses using Google Cloud technology. Google Cloud organizes certifications around roles --notably Engineers, Architects, Data Engineers, and Developers -- and levels:

Associate
Professional

IBM

Prove proficiency in the latest IBM technology and solutions. They validate skills needed to perform role-related tasks and activities at a specified level of competence.

CompTIA Learning and Training

CompTIA offers everything you need to prepare for your certification exam. Explore training developed by CompTIA with options that fit various learning styles and timelines. Whether you prefer self-study or classroom training, CompTIA has you covered.

View Training by Certification

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