Why people go for Network+ before CCNA?

This article was written by Chris and first appeared on his blog christechjourney.wordpress.com

This week, I tweeted about my career goals and I got some interesting comments about people’s goals (tweet link). I can see that a lot of you are choosing to go for Network+ before CCNA, I asked why to some of you, and here I will try to summarize what I got:

First of all, N+ provides foundations/general network fundamentals for Neutral Vendors- that can be a very good point if your goal is to work with different vendors (list of every networking hardware vendor)- and the CCNA is specific to Cisco Material. CCNA provides principal Network fundamentals but with more depth into Cisco materials (specific Cisco commands, for example, you will not learn that in N+, but you will learn Subnetting, for example, in both certificates because that is universal).

By comparing the two blueprints, you can see that CCNA details many in-depth non-cisco topics: IPv6, Interface issues, etc. Check it out:

Network+ Topics
CCNA Topics

You can download the blueprints here for more information about the topics:BluePrint N+DownloadBluePrint CCNADownload

I got a comment from Carl (@cfzellers4 on Twitter) and I want to share with you his words:

He doesn’t suggest any order, but he said that the way he would lay out a Zero to Certified ~ Networking ~ plan would be like:

  1. CompTIA ITF+
  2. CompTIA N+
  3. JNCIA-Junos (*Optional*)
  4. Cisco CCT R/S
  5. Cisco CCNA

This is the pathway he would choose if he had to start over, but not a specific pathway.

A lot choose to go into N+ at first because it’s a general entry-level for Networking, and Cisco more a Specialization, but keep in mind that the new CCNA is an entry-level as well.

Besides N+ and CCNA, the new DEVNETAS and CyberOps are both entry-level as well. After my CCNA, I plan to get those two certificates in this order.

Keep in mind that Cisco is the leader on the market but it’s not the only vendor. They are many out there, but if you want to choose the CCNA, are motivated and passionate, go for it. You are on the right track.

Don’t forget, if you’re studying, for whatever IT certification, you can get support on our discord channel ~ It’s All About the Journey! ~, Reach me on Twitter, and of course, listen ~ The Art of Network Engineering Podcast ~.

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