Do you intend to build your profession in IT? Do you have a fondness for networking? Are you searching for a highly paid career but are you unsure how and where to start? Receiving an international accreditation is an important step that you must consider in this case

Many IT and cybersecurity learners enquire about the key differentiators between the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associates) and CompTIA Network+ (Computing Technology Industry Association) and time and again deliberate if they should take the CCNA before taking Network+ or vice versa. In this article, we will look at CCNA versus Network+. Which one would you take first, and whether you should consider both anyway?

Aspirants planning to sit for both the CCNA and CompTIA Network+ should first consider Network+, as the test is more general and involves less preparation.

Let’s discuss why you must consider taking the Network+ before appearing for the CCNA exam.

  1. The CompTIA Network+ Needs Lesser Knowledge Compared To CCNA

The Network+ and Cisco CCNA indeed have very similar exams since both have overlapping content. However, the CCNA involves aspirants to comprehend and master more content in preparing for the exam.

For example, the CompTIA Network+ does cover quite a stuff of networking content that is also applicable on the CCNA, such as the subnetting and OSI model concepts. In addition, CCNA also necessitates a solid understanding of the structure of Cisco devices, which will require aspirants to learn loads of Cisco IOS commands (Internetwork Operating System) and should be comfortable to apply them in multiple scenarios.

It means that the Cisco CCNA examinee will have to gather more knowledge than what is already covered in the Network+ to have a possibility at clearing the CCNA exam.

  1. The Network+ Has a Smaller Timeframe For Study.

Preparation for teaching both classes is very similar. What differentiates CCNA versus Network+ is the class length.  

Most institutions/academies will cover the Network+ course in about 45 hours, whereas the CCNA is substantially longer in duration, usually covered in three distinct 45-hour courses each. It implies that a college instructor takes three times as long to finish CCNA than CompTIA. 

You may now be curious to know what gets covered in all of those additional course hours. These extra hours include the configuration and troubleshooting labs in the CCNA training, and these labs include the use of the Cisco operating system, IOS.

Having a solid command of the IOS operating system is very important for anyone that desires to take the Cisco CCNA exam. You cannot clear the CCNA test without knowing the IOS commands that are important for the exam, so adequate experience is necessary for CCNA test takers.

  1. Performance Driven Questions are Relatively Easier on Network+ Than CCNA

One worry that many candidates have is efficaciously steering through the performance-based questions that are mostly included in Cybersecurity and IT exams.

One challenge of CompTIA Network+ Performance Based Questions (PBQs) is that most of them are multi-step questions, which means that you are required to finish two or more tasks to get the correct answer. Several test takers get the answers incorrect, as they do not go through the entire question, assuming that they solved the question whereas they still had more to do.

Although the Network+ PBQs can be perplexing, they are likely to be unchallenging than those on the CCNA, mainly because the PBQs on the Network+ are general in nature. 

Many of the Network+ PBQs provides drag and drop options and not actual configuration.

In the case of Cisco CCNA, it requires you to execute configuration and troubleshoot using commands. There is no way forward if you don't know the commands, whereas on the Network+ you still have an option to speculate if you are not sure how to proceed.

Also Read: Top 24 Most Popular CCNA Interview Questions And Answers

  1. Experience is Mandatory in the case of CCNA

It is quite possible, though not recommended, to clear the Network+ exam without much tangible experience. Test takers can clear the Network+ exam merely by studying books, with no real-world or actual lab experience.

Unlike Network+, clearing the CCNA exam without work or lab experience is nearly impossible.

Comparative Chart between CCNA versus Network+ 

CompTIA Network+

Cisco Certified Network Associate

Broadens an IT Professional Capability to Support Any Equipment: Candidates are prepared to work with any product or tool, irrespective of vendor. Individual’s networking abilities are vast in this case.

Emphasizes the Skills Required for Cisco: Prepare candidates to toil with Cisco’s products and tools exclusively, which restricts their networking capabilities.

Prepares IT Professionals for Specific Job Roles: Learners are provided with sound knowledge of networking and teaches networking skills required for specific job profiles: Network Support Specialist, Network Administrator, Network Field Engineer, Help Desk Technician, System Engineer.

Prepares a Learner to Support Vendor Solutions: It covers basic networking skills that are related to Cisco products and not tied to specific job roles.

Trusted Endorsement of Skills: Network+ is highly valued and respected by recruiters. It is designed such that it gives IT professionals the required skills that they need to work on any product.

New Method to Validate Skills: Employers are unaware of the CCNA revamp, which was developed mainly to support Cisco hardware, and may not exactly know what to expect from these certified professionals.

Provides Essential Business Skills In Addition To Technical Skills: In addition to ensuring IT professionals possess relevant, multi-vendor networking skills, CompTIA Network+ also delivers business skills necessitated by today’s workplace.

Offers Technical Skills Only: The new revamped CCNA provides technical skills alone to the candidates. It doesn’t train them with business skills.

 

Should You Consider Net+ or CCNA, or Both Net+ and CCNA?

Your mind sometimes battles between CCNA versus Network+ however, if your goal is to become a network technician or network administrator, both the Network+ and Cisco CCNA certifications will help your career, even with those employers that do not use Cisco equipment. 

Most IT professionals may not need to do both certifications, but having both is better in comparison to having just one.

How Soon Should You Consider Appearing for the CCNA Exam?

IT professionals who obtain the Network+ certification successfully can continue their groundwork toward the CCNA exam and earn the certificate within 60 – 90 days, supposing they have access to simulation software or lab content and equipment.

Additional Read: Top 5 CompTIA Certification Courses to Pursue in 2021

Another Option: Network+ and Security+

While network managers may decide to get certificates in Network+ and CCNA, however professionals aspiring for a carrier in cybersecurity may get more benefit if they complete the Network+ certification followed by the Security+. Here the aspiring candidate will have to choose between CCNA versus Security+

Completion of the Security+ will help you with cybersecurity-related jobs.

Conclusion: CCNA versus Network+

The decision to get CompTIA certification is one of the intelligent investments you could make. This accreditation will help you comprehend how to quickly find different solutions out of networking infrastructures. This certification helps you develop fundamental knowledge of networking technologies and provides you the opportunity to work in various roles. So, why not opt for this certificate then?

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Armin Vans
Anvesha Jain has a great variety of knowledge in the education industry with more than 3 years of experience. He has also done work with many educational institutes as a Career counsellor. He also likes to write blogs on different topics like education and career guidance

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