Certification Survey Extra: Effective computer networking certification prep
Certification Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Certification Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Certification Survey data.
Almost nobody rolls out of bed in the morning, decides to get a certification, and walks out of the testing center that night having accomplished their not-so-long-held goal. Passing a certification exam nearly always means at least some degree of time spent preparing for that exam.
Some certification candidates have built up their knowledge and skills on the job and maybe only need a brief refresher on key terms before sitting for the exam. Others might be entering the field for the first time and must plan a regimen of deep study across several months in order to emerge from the testing center with a certification in hand.
According to our recently completed Computer Networking Certification Survey, 42 percent of certified networking professionals were required to hold one or more networking certifications in order to accept their current job. So certification is a major consideration for quite a few people who work in the industry.
So there’s a high likelihood that you’ll need a certification at some point to keep your computer networking career afloat. And most individuals are likely to need the benefit of at least some level of effective computer networking certification prep. That being the case, what is the best place to turn?
We put that question to certified networking professionals, and the following table reflects their opinions. This data shows what people who have earned at least one networking cert feel are the best approaches to effective computer networking certification prep:
|Method of Preparation / Effectiveness of That Method||Excellent||Very Good||Good||Fair||Poor||Does Not Apply|
|Self-Study Books||31.3 percent||34 percent||21.3 percent||4 percent||2.7 percent||6.7 percent|
|Practice Exams||32 percent||27.3 percent||23.3 percent||6 percent||2.7 percent||8.7 percent|
|Instructor-Led Training at Training Center||15.3 percent||23.3 percent||13.3 percent||5.3 percent||No responses||24.7 percent|
|Vendor-Authorized Boot Camp||10.7 percent||15.3 percent||6.7 percent||3.3 percent||0.7 percent||63.3 percent|
|Computer-Based Training or Simulations||23.3 percent||24 percent||23.3 percent||6 percent||2.7 percent||20.7 percent|
|Community or Technical College Courses||12.7 percent||11.3 percent||12.7 percent||7.3 percent||0.7 percent||55.3 percent|
|Online University Courses or MOOCs||10 percent||21.3 percent||12.7 percent||7.3 percent||No responses||48.7 percent|
|Product Documentation||12 percent||6.7 percent||40.7 percent||18.7 percent||3.3 percent||8.7 percent|
|Internet Mailing List or Forums||6.7 percent||10.7 percent||16.1 percent||16.1 percent||5.4 percent||45 percent|
|On-the-Job Training||25.3 percent||24.7 percent||24.7 percent||8.7 percent||1.3 percent||15.3 percent|
|Brain Dumps||6 percent||12 percent||12 percent||6 percent||6.7 percent||57.3 percent|
2018 Survey Data
Self-study books and practice exams rule the roost, which is a pretty common outcome when we ask this question. And it would appear that brain dumps and boot camps are likewise steered clear of by most, whether for reasons of cost, ethics, or out of other concerns.
One interesting thing to note is that nearly everybody who responded uses product documentation is their mix of study aids, but only 18 percent of respondents rate it either very good (6.7 percent) or excellent (12 percent). It is rated “good” by a notable percentage (40.7 percent) of respondents, so there’s clearly something to be said for reading the manual.