Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Comp TIA Network+ certifications are both valuable for your IT career. These certifications allow IT professionals to excel in their industry and show employers their dedication and commitment to the IT sector. But there is always a coma prion between Net+ and CCNA.
Both courses benefit IT professionals, but they are not the same. Each class requires a different skill set, which is why more senior IT professionals usually acquire both certifications.
You have to choose the right certification first to save your time and effort and proceed to others later. Let’s start by understanding what these entail.
What Is CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) Certification?
Cisco is a networking, cloud, and security solution company that needs no introduction. They have a profound name in the IT industry. The company hosts an entry-level CCNA certification which verifies and tests the core understanding of networking principles.
The CNCA exam syllabus is divided into the following five sections:
- Network Fundamentals
- Network Access
- IP Connectivity
- IP Services
- Security Fundamentals
- Automation and Programmability
You should carefully examine the CCNA exam syllabus for all the topics under those headings, but please do not that these serve as a guide, and Cisco reserves the right to question you on other topics.
Note also that Cisco expects you to have around 18 months of experience before attempting the exam, so you should already have a strong foundation in networking protocols and services.
What Is Comp TIA Network+ Certification?
CompTIA Network+ is a vendor-neutral certification that validates the skills and knowledge of network IT technicians. It covers a wide range of topics related to networking, including network design, implementation, management, and security.
The CompTIA Network+ exam covers the following topics:
- Networking concepts and infrastructure
- Network security
- Troubleshooting and tools for networks
- Network architecture
- Network operations
- Industry practices, standards, and theory
Holding a CompTIA Network+ certification demonstrates to employers that an individual has a good understanding of networking concepts and can competently manage, maintain, troubleshoot, install, operate and configure basic network infrastructure.
Net+ & CCNA – Difficulty Level of the Exam
CompTIA Network+ is generally considered less difficult than (CCNA). Network+ is a vendor-neutral certification that covers basic networking concepts and technologies, while CCNA is a Cisco-specific certification that covers more advanced concepts and technologies. Neither vendor publishes their exam failure rate, but it’s around 50% for both, with some students requiring up to four attempts to pass!
Both certifications require a certain level of knowledge and experience in networking, but CCNA is typically considered more challenging due to its focus on Cisco-specific technologies and its operating system command line.
CCNA focuses on real-world problems that allow IT professionals to get an adequate understanding of the Cisco equipment installation and maintain the quality of their brand. Candidates need months of hands-on training or work in realistic environments to meet the test criteria.
In contrast to CCNA, Network + is a vendor-neutral certification, meaning you should have more general knowledge of networks than a specified vendor. It also includes having hands-on experience with various equipment and IT infrastructures.
Comparing the difficulty level of both tests, we can say that CCNA is more complex than Network+ as it requires more understanding of Cisco equipment, frameworks, IOS commands, and relative setup settings. In addition, CCNA test candidates should also have hands-on knowledge of Cisco network architecture and considerable hands-on experience either on live equipment or Ciscos Packet Tracer network simulation software.
Network+ Requires A Shorter Timeframe for Preparation
The Comp TIA Network+ certification is recognized in more than 120 countries. Moreover, as discussed above, the Network+ exam is general. It includes an extensive range of topics. So, preparing for the test may require some time.
However, compared to CCNA, the Network+ requires less time because it is less complex and does not focus primality on Cisco equipment. Most Network+ preparation courses come in a 45-hour duration, while CCNA courses can come in three parts (theory, labs and practice tests), and each part can be 45 hours long. It can take thrice the time required for Network+.
The following factors can determine your perpetration time for Comp TIA Network+ certification.
- The time duration of your network training course
- Your previous IT experiences
- The time you dedicate to studying
- Your experience with Networks
- Type of classes/training you already have
Performance Based Questions are Easier on Network+ than on CCNA
Performance-based questions (PBQS) are integral to the IT and cybersecurity exams. However, in Comp TIA Network+, most performance-based questions are multi-step, meaning you have to complete more than one task to reach the correct answer.
However, the PBQs in Network+ is less challenging because they have general questions, unlike CCNA’s Cisco-specific ones. You can also expect drag-and-drop PBQs instead of actual configuration questions.
For CCNA PBQs, you will need to troubleshoot with commands and execute configuration. The only way forward to the test is to know the commands. In contrast, in Network+, you have the choice of speculating the question.
Experience Needed to Clear CCNA Exam
There is no official recommendation from Cisco for the CCNA exam. However, they recommend having at least one year of experience with their equipment and technology. Many CCNA-certified professionals have worked as network engineers, support technicians, and administrators. Moreover, Cisco also recommends having some prior knowledge of IP addressing and network fundamentals.
In addition, you should also pass the CCNA exam:
- 200-301 Exam Cisco CCNA
Following are the major differences between CCNA and Network+ certifications.
|Comp TIA Network+||Cisco CCNA|
|Overview||Comp TIA is a vendor-neutral IT exam designed to test the skills and expertise of IT professional||CISCO conducts the CCNA exam. The purpose of this exam is to test skills, knowledge, and expertise specific to Cisco hardware and software|
|Course Level||Basic networking course||Intermediate networking course|
|Exam Elements||· Network equipment|
· Network procedures
· Network Perimeter
· Network Diagnostics & Analytics Database
· Communication theories and network
|· Network access|
· IP-based services
· Security fundamentals
· Network essentials
· IP connectivity
· Digitalization and programming system
|Number of questions||90 questions based on general IT||50-60 questions related to Cisco|
|Exam duration||1 hour and 30 minutes||2 hours|
Is Network+ Enough to get a job?
Yes, Network+ certification allows you to get a good career path. You can work as a network support specialist, system engineer, help desk technician, and many other occupations.
What is the Salary of a CCNA Certified Person?
CCNA-certified professionals can earn considerably more than many other occupations. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of CCNA-certified IT professionals is nearly $90,000/year, while the top 2% earn $137,000 to $146,500.
How many times can you take Network+ Exam?
After your first attempt, you can take a second attempt without any waiting period. However, you must wait 14 calendar days for the third and onward attempts.
How Long Are Network+ & CCNA Certifications Valid For?
Comp TIA Network+ is valid for three years and effective from the date you pass your certification exam. On the other hand, the CCNA has a similar time frame. It is valid for three years and effective from the day you pass your exam.
Choosing between Net+ vs. CCNA won’t be easy. It all boils down to the fact that Network+ is vendor-neutral and covers a more general curriculum, whereas CCNA is Cisco product specific.
So it’d be best to consider your career aspirations and how you plan to use the certification.
If you are sure that you want to pursue both to gain expertise, knowledge, and skills, start with Comp TIA Network+ because it takes less time and requires less effort than CCNA. Once you have gained the expertise and knowledge of Cisco equipment, you can attempt CCNA. You can have both certifications at different times and enjoy high-paying jobs and excellent career growth.
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