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Six Hot Networking Certifications for 2019

A new year has arrived! If you have a serious professional interest in networking, then you can make a big impact on your career outlook by focusing on one of these six certifications in 2019.

Five Cisco certs and one Google credential are on our 2019 "must" list.As we plunge headlong into 2019, a network engineer must keep abreast of the ever-changing landscape of networking certifications. But what makes a good certification? How does your average engineer know they will be getting their money’s worth, or even which certification to pursue?


What follows is a detailed list of six top networking certifications for 2019 that will help any network engineer stay relevant into 2020.


First on the list is the Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching credential from Cisco. A few years back, Cisco broke out this core certification into key areas of focus, and the most important key area is Routing and Switching. The only people not likely to benefit from a healthy serving of CCNA are the ones who already have it.


CCNA Routing and Switching covers the basic skills necessary to function as a core network engineer. While this certification is considered fundamental knowledge, it's recommended for anyone that wants to call themselves a network engineer.


The CCNA Routing and Switching exam tests a candidate's knowledge and skills related to network fundamentals, LAN switching technologies, IPv4 and IPv6 routing technologies, WAN technologies, infrastructure services, infrastructure security, and infrastructure management. To receive the certification designation of a CCNA, you must pass 2 exams at $165 each.


This is a very small price to pay for the prestige and benefits that come with having the CCNA initials attached to your name. You not only get the job you deserve, but Cisco offers a steep discount to companies that employ Cisco certified techs.


In fact, if we shift our view a little higher up the certification chain, Cisco actually penalizes companies that lose Cisco-certified employees, by taking away discounts and discontinuing partnership agreements. Cisco-certified professionals are in demand and there is a healthy and growing job market for techs at every level of the Cisco certification pyramid.


Next on our list of six is a Google Cloud Certification — Professional Cloud Architect, to be exact. Recently it has been my distinct honor to be part of an organization that uses the Google Cloud platform to its fullest extent. My group houses its docs, sheets, data, and everything in between in the Google Cloud.


I am sure that this certification is in my near future, along with the knowledge it brings. A solid understanding of cloud architecture prepares certified individuals to fully build and administer a Google Cloud solution for any company.


It’s just $200 to sit for the exam, and it’s well worth that small cost to be able to have this credential under your belt. The Professional Cloud Architect certification also touches on security and compliance in the cloud, so it's a good segue into what you should get next.


Cisco exam 210-260 covers a variety of security-related topics and the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Security credential validates associate-level knowledge and skills required to secure Cisco networks.


By grabbing a CCNA Security certification, a network professional demonstrates that he or she has the skills required to develop a security infrastructure, recognize threats and vulnerabilities to networks, and mitigate security threats.


The CCNA Security curriculum emphasizes core security technologies, including the installation, troubleshooting, and monitoring of network devices that maintain integrity, confidentiality, and availability of data and devices. You’ll also prove your competency in the technologies that Cisco uses in its security structure.


Let’s face it, cybersecurity is going to be critical no matter where technology goes in the future, and the onslaught of bad actors crashing the internet party is not slowing down. With all of the renewed and constant threats, one needs to be prepared.


CCNA Security is the base level certification required to prepare one for such an onslaught. Do not get caught in today’s environment without a security credential. It not only makes you more marketable to the general public but will allow you to focus on a cybersecurity market that is, in my opinion, largely untapped.


When Microsoft’s MCSE certification tier was brand new, you had a select number of individuals who got the certification and were true wizards when it came to systems engineering. Once the ball got rolling, everybody and their brother were going to a “guaranteed pass” MCSE boot camp.


While I do think that CCNA Security, and the security field in general, are drifting toward this “problem,” this is nonetheless a worthwhile certification, and one that will set you ahead of the pack.