Reader Mail

Occasionally, readers send us e-mails about the things we write. They also ask questions about certification, training and other career development resources. We always enjoy hearing from you, and we appreciate the fact that you rely on us for advice, guidance and information about your field.

I got two messages in the past few weeks that I wanted to address in this space. The first was fairly clear-cut: “How should one get started in obtaining a certification in networking?”

The answer, though, is not as straightforward as the question. A few factors have to be considered before diving into the networking credentials space.

First, what kind of networking do you want to go into? Are you interested in local area networks (LANs) such as Ethernets, or are the metropolitan area networks (MANs) found on college campuses, sprawling corporate headquarters and large cities more your cup of tea? Do you want to work with traditional wired networks, or are you fascinated by wireless technologies?

Your area of focus should influence the certification path you take.

Another factor to consider is your employer or potential employer. What technologies are predominant in the organization’s IT environment? If there is a preponderance of, say, Cisco solutions, then a good place to start probably would be the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) program.

On the other hand, if there’s a diverse mix of products from multiple vendors, you might want to opt for the vendor-neutral…



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