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Six Niche Networking Certifications

Let's take a look at the world of computer networking certifications, and see which certs some people may be overlooking.Exam preparations include e-learning programs and classes from the SolarWinds Academy, and exam study guides. There is also a SolarWinds community, support group, library, and other resources on THWACK.


Additional information is available online.


Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA)


Wireless communications technologies have advanced rapidly, enabling access to real-time data. The demand for wireless keeps increasing, driven by growth in the range of high-performance digital devices and the demand for data. There is a growing market for network professionals that have a solid understanding of wireless technologies.


The CWNA certification from the CWNP program is designed for network professionals looking to develop a thorough understanding of wireless technologies and how a WLAN works. This vendor-neutral credential demonstrates the holder’s ability to install, maintain, and troubleshoot wireless network in small business as well as enterprise environments.


No prerequisites are specified. However, a Certified Wireless Specialist (CWS) or Certified Wireless Technician (CWT) certification is recommended.


You can earn the CWNA by passing the CWNA exam with a passing score of at least 70 percent. The exam covers a range of wireless topics, including Radio Frequency (RF) Technologies, 802.11 network architecture, troubleshooting, and wireless LAN security, to name some.


The first step in preparing for the exam is to read through the exam objectives. Preparation options include the Official CWNA Certification Self-Study Kit, e-learning sessions, and training classes. For additional study, candidates may refer to vendor guides and whitepapers covering BYOD and 802.11ac.


The CWNA is valid for 3 years. To recertify, you need to either retake the current CWNA exam or pass the CWSP, or CWDP, or CWAP exam before your CWNA expires.


VMware Certified Professional – Network Virtualization (VCP-NV 2019)


The VCP-NV 2019 certifies the holder’s expertise in installing, configuring, and managing the VMware NSX platform. This credential is suitable for those interested in specializing in network virtualization. If you haven’t earned any VCP certifications, you will need to acquire experience in NSX technologies, or attend one of the training courses specified by VMware, or pass one of the specified foundation exams.


To qualify as a VCP-NV 2019 professional, you will have to fulfil one of the prerequisites listed and pass one of the Professional Network Virtualization exams.


Certification for Network Automation: Cisco Network Programmability Developer Specialist


This certification is suitable for programmers as well as network administrators who want to learn how to develop network applications for Cisco programmable environments. The credential demonstrates the holder’s knowledge of programming basics, Cisco Software Development Kits (SDKs), including One Platform Kit (onePK), Open Daylight Controller (ODL), and Application Policy Infrastructure Controllers (APICs), APIs, and network controllers and protocols.


Aspirants need to be able to code using Python, C, or another language in an open environment. To earn this certification, you must pass the 300-560 NPDEV exam. The certification is valid for 2 years.


Preparation options include self-study materials, practice exams, self-paced e-learning, instructor-led classes, the NPDEV course, Cisco Learning Library, study groups, and the Cisco Virtual Internet Routing Lab Personal Edition (VIRL PE).


To recertify, candidates must pass the current version of the specified exam, or the CCIE written exam, or the CCDE written exam, or the CCDE practical exam.


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Other notable niche certifications for networking professionals include JNCIE-ENT, and credentials offered by Extreme Networks, Citrix, F5, HPE, and Avaya. The EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) will help you to advance your network security skills.



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.