Certifications can be integral to a career in networking. Here's a look at the most common and timely training programs, along with links to follow for more in-depth information.
Cisco Certified Network Associate
The basic entry-level certification for the Cisco certified professional program aimed at junior network administrators.
Cisco Certified Network Professional
An intermediate-level certification in the Cisco certified professional program aimed at full-time network or system administrators, or those who work with local and/or wide-area network infrastructure.
CWNP is the Certified Wireless Networking Professional, the overall name for the family of wireless certifications from Planet3Wireless an entry-level certification for network administrators who implement or maintain wireless networks as part of an overall networking environment.
Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert
CCIE is Cisco's premium networking certification and includes a written exam and a long one-day lab exam (aka practicum in other program's terminology) that is widely regarded as one of the toughest, most demanding exams around a senior level certification for expert networking professionals who design, build, implement, maintain, and/or troubleshoot complex enterprise- or global-level networking infrastructures.
Furthermore, CCIEs may specialize in routing and switching, communications and services, security, or voice systems and technologies.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional
A high intermediate to senior level information security certification, the CISSP is one of the best recognized information security certs, and the most frequently mentioned credential in job postings and classified ads this credential aims to identify people with broad practical working knowledge of all key topics, tools, and technologies in the field, with at least three or four years of relevant work experience in the field (three for college degree holders, four for others).
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer
An MCSE is someone who has passed exams about the Microsoft Windows operating system, related desktop systems, networking, and Microsoft's BackOffice server products. The MCSE program is the most popular of a set of training programs that Microsoft calls the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP).
The Network+ program from CompTIA is an entry-level networking certification. It is geared toward those with nine months field experience in network administration and support, and covers media and topologies, protocols and standards, network implementation and network support.
Certified Novell Administrator
The CNA certifies its graduates to provide administration of an installed Novell networking product -- NetWare 6, NetWare5, NetWare 4.11 (InternetWare) or GroupWise. They are qualified to support software users in a variety of work environments, including professional offices and small businesses, workgroups or departments, and corporate information services (IS).
Certified Novell Engineer
The CNE qualifies graduates to administer Novell's NetWare 5 or 6. CNAs perform planning, installation, configuration, troubleshooting and upgrade services for networks running the NetWare operating system.