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Cert for networking specialist

What certifications are required for becoming a Networking Specialist? What skills are required/needed? Or if there is any requirements needed for this job?
There really aren't any clear-cut certifications required to become a networking specialist, per se. That said, the most useful credentials would probably include some or all of the following, depending on the environment at use at some prospective employer's location(s):

1. entry-level:   Network+ and i-Net+ (CompTIA)

2. mid-level:     level 1 Linux certs (Sair/GNU, LPI, Linux+ - CompTIA)
                  Sun Solaris System Administrator
                  entry-level Microsoft: MCSA
                  entry-level Novell: CNA

3. senior-level:  Level 2 & 3 Linux Certs (Sair/GNU, LPI, Red Hat RHCE)
                  senior-level Microsoft: MCSE
                  senior-level Novell: CNE, MCNE
                  Sun Solaris Network Administrator

Beyond that, you could look into more advanced security or protocol analysis certifications, all of which could help to advance a senior network administrator to a higher career position.

As to your other question about the history of network specialists, since I don't honestly recognize that designation as a meaningful or specific certification per se, I can only say that as soon as networks became broadly available in the early to mid 1980s, IT professionals began to specialize in those topics. The first certifications in this area about which I'm aware date back to 1986 (Novell, 3Com, and Sytek) but none of them has ever been called "Network Specialist"--at least, not to my knowledge.

Good luck & hope this information helps,

This was last published in October 2002

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