CompTIA to Upgrade Network+ Certification in 2005

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The Computing Technology Industry Association’s (CompTIA) Network+ certification will be upgraded in 2005 to cover technological advancements and changes in job tasks, company officials announced last week.

Network+, which currently has approximately 135,000 holders worldwide, validates skills equivalent to nine months of practical networking experience and also shows candidates how to install, configure and troubleshoot the latest basic networking hardware peripherals and protocols. It prepares the technician for career advancement, as well. For example, CompTIA Network+ is listed as an elective in the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) certification track.


The exam, which was last updated late in 2001, was altered based on input provided by more than 2,000 network experts, said Kris Madura, CompTIA’s certification program manager.


“Basically, we spoke to network administrators and asked them, ‘How critical is that task?’ or ‘How relevant is that knowledge?’” she said. Consequently, several parts of the exam that pertain to older technologies have been omitted, while sections on newer ones, such as wireless networks, have been added. Additionally, the four CompTIA Network+ domains–media and topologies, protocols and standards, network implementation, and network support–have been modified in the 2005 exam to reflect changes in job roles.


The objectives of the 2005 certification exam have been posted online for review by courseware developers, curriculum planners and instructors. Those who have studied or are studying the current exam objectives should register to take the exam soon. “Candidates shouldn’t feel like they have to go out and change what they’re doing tomorrow,” Madura said.


While CompTIA does not actively encourage recertification, it may be worthwhile for longtime Network+ holders to go through the program again. “CompTIA certifications are intended to be a starting point or stepping-stone,” said Madura, and added that CompTIA-certified professionals generally pursue vendor-specific certifications afterward. “Having said that, it’s not a bad idea to recertify if you got [Network+] five years ago.”


For more information on CompTIA’s Network+ upgrade, visit

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