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Six Hot Networking Certifications for 2018

Citrix Certified Associate – Networking (CCA – N)


These six credentials will help you sharpen your skills and be ready to compete for top jobs.The CCA – N credential replaces the now-retired Citrix Certified Administrator for Access Gateway certification. This certification is valuable because the NetScaler Gateway is used extensively on Citrix networks. Being rather complex, implementing the NetScaler requires a sound understanding of networking fundamentals.


The CCA – N demonstrates knowledge and skills in environment assessment and NetScaler design and implementation for remote access to application, desktops and data. The exam tests a candidate’s ability to ensure high availability of data, to audit, secure and troubleshoot network deployments and to achieve integration with other vendors’ products.


To earn the CCA – N, you need to pass the Implementing Citrix NetScaler 12.x Essentials and App and Desktops Solutions Exam. The CCA – N is valid for three years. Exam prep options include recommended training and exam prep guides. More extensive details on exam prep are available at Citrix.


Juniper Networks Certified Expert Enterprise Routing and Switching (JNCIE – ENT)


Juniper Networks is a router, firewall, and networking solutions vendor that focuses mainly on data center environments. Juniper’s network operating system for security, routing and switching Junos OS runs on many of its devices.


Juniper certifications are intended to train networking professionals to maintain Juniper hardware and software solutions. The Junos-based certification is available in Data Center, Enterprise Routing and Switching, Service Provider Routing and Switching, and Junos Security specializations at Associate, Specialist, Professional, and Expert levels.


The Enterprise Routing and Switching track is for professionals who install and maintain Juniper technology-based networks equipped with LAN and WAN routers and switches at small, medium, and large enterprises. The JNCIE – ENT credential is the most advanced level in the Enterprise Routing and Switching track and demonstrates an in-depth knowledge of networking technology and expertise in Juniper Networks enterprise routing and switching platforms.


To earn the JNCIE –ENT, you must first earn a valid JNCIP – ENT certification and then pass an eight-hour practical lab exam comprising real-world situations. The JNCIE – ENT is valid for three years.


To prepare for this exam, you may opt for the five-day JNCIE Enterprise Bootcamp. If you don’t have five days to spare, self-study through Junos Documentation and other materials is another option. Click here for a deeper-dive on exam contents and other details.


Wireshark Certified Network Analyst (WCNA)


The WCNA is currently one of the more popular non-Cisco networking credentials. It validates a candidate’s ability to analyze network traffic using Wireshark and optimize network communication, troubleshoot and secure networks based on network sniffing and traffic analysis. The WCNA is offered by the Wireshark University founded by Gerald Combs.


Candidates must pass a two-hour exam consisting of 100 questions to earn the WCNA. Exam preparation options include self-paced online training, instructor-led courses, customized training and books. These can be accessed through Wireshark Training. Some very solid practice tests are available here.


The WCNA is valid for three years, but WCNA holders will need to complete 20 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits each year. These credits are based on activities linked to WCNA exam objectives, such as studying an exam prep book.


Certification will help you stand out


When it comes to landing a networking position, relevant experience is almost certain to be your most important qualification. Experienced professionals who also have a certification, however, can have an edge over people with similar experience but without valid certification.


Certifications are useful in getting past HR people who often sort a heap of applications based on keywords. If you’re going to work for a reseller or want to be an instructor, certification is often required and it is advisable to select a certification based on your experience, career goals and interests.



Reena Ghosh is an independent ghostwriter who writes promotional, developmental and explanatory content for individuals and businesses. She came to professional writing with work experience in financial services operations and corporate communication. Reena speaks three languages and hopes to learn Sanskrit.