Is CompTIA Network+ N10-008 & N10-009 Worth it?

Is CompTIA Network+ (N10-009) Worth Your Time and Money?

The CompTIA Network+ certification is a popular entry-level credential in the IT industry, recognized for its vendor-neutral approach and focus on fundamental networking skills. But is it worth the time and investment in 2024? This article dives into the details of the Network+ certification, exploring its relevance in today’s evolving IT landscape. We’ll examine the types of jobs you can get with this certification, the potential salary increase, and how it compares to other certifications like Cisco’s CCNA. Whether you’re a network technician or looking to enhance your existing skillset, this article will help you determine if Network+ is the right certification to advance your career. 

CompTIA Network+ Certification Overview

The CompTIA Network+ certification is a respected starting point for anyone entering the IT field. It’s vendor-neutral, meaning it covers general networking skills applicable to a wide range of technologies, not just one company’s products. This certification demonstrates your ability to design, maintain, and troubleshoot networks, making you a valuable asset in any IT infrastructure role.

Who Should Consider CompTIA Tech+ Certification?

If you’re thinking about a career in networking, the CompTIA Network+ certification is a great place to start, especially if you’re new to IT. It’s like a crash course in networking basics, covering everything you need to know to get your foot in the door of any IT job that involves networks.

Already working in IT but want to focus on networking? Network+ can be your stepping stone to more specialized roles. It’s like a sampler platter of different networking areas, from cloud computing to security, so you can see what piques your interest.

Recent grads can also benefit from Network+ as it adds a valuable credential to your resume, showing potential employers that you’re serious about your career and committed to learning.

And for those already working in entry-level IT positions, Network+ can open up opportunities for advancement into higher-paying roles like network administrator or systems engineer.

But, if you’re already a networking pro looking to specialize in a specific vendor’s technology, Network+ might not be the most valuable use of your time. Instead, you might consider something like the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification.

Ultimately, Network+ is a practical choice for anyone who wants to learn the ropes of networking, prepare for more specialized certs, or simply level up their career in the ever-growing IT world.

Does CompTIA Network+ Require Prior Experience?

You don’t need prior experience to take the CompTIA Network+ exam, as there are no formal prerequisites. However, having a background in the field can be beneficial. CompTIA recommends that candidates hold the CompTIA A+ certification and have at least nine months of networking experience to better prepare for the exam’s content and expectations.

Network+ Certification Exam Overview

The CompTIA Network+ certification exam is designed to validate the skills and knowledge required of an IT professional to deploy wired and wireless devices, maintain network documentation, configure network services, understand data center and cloud concepts, monitor network activity, implement security, and troubleshoot network infrastructure. The exam consists of a maximum of 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions, with a duration of 90 minutes. 

Parameter Comptia Netwok+ Exam
Exam Codes N10-009
Launch Date 20-Jun-24
Number of Questions Maximum of 90 questions
Type of Questions Multiple choice and performance-based
Length of Test 90 Minutes
Passing Score 720 (on a scale of 100-900)
Recommended Experience CompTIA A+ certification and a minimum of 9-12 months of hands-on experience working in a junior network administrator/network support technician job role.
Languages English initially, with Japanese, German, Portuguese, and Spanish to follow
Retirement Generally three years after launch
DoD 8140 Approved Work Roles Technical Support Specialist, Network Operations Specialist, System Administrator
Testing Provider Pearson VUE (Testing Centers, Online Testing)

Exam Objectives (Domains)

The CompTIA Network+ N10-009 exam covers five domains. To prepare for the exam, you should closely review these domains and their exam percentages. The CompTIA Network+ N10-009 exam objectives will give you a better idea of what to expect and prepare for.

Number Domain Name Percentage of Examination
1 Networking Concepts 23%
2 Network Implementation 20%
3 Network Operations 19%
4 Network Security 14%
5 Network Troubleshooting 24%

Network+ N10-008 vs N10-009: What's Changed and What's New

The CompTIA Network+ N10-009 exam is a major upgrade from its predecessor, the N10-008. It’s designed to keep up with the ever-changing world of network technology.

So, what’s new in N10-009?

Modern Tech is King: The N10-009 dives deeper into cutting-edge technologies like software-defined networking (SDN), network function virtualization (NFV), and cloud solutions. These are the backbone of today’s networks. You’ll also learn about the latest Wi-Fi standards and advanced security practices like Zero Trust Architecture.

Security Gets a Boost: Security is a big deal in networking, and the N10-009 reflects that. It goes beyond the basics, exploring network segmentation, defense in-depth strategies, and the latest cyber threats. You’ll even tackle security issues in cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Streamlined and Focused: While the N10-009 still covers a lot of ground, it cuts out some of the older, less relevant topics from the N10-008. You’ll spend less time on things like ISDN and frame relay and more time on the skills you actually need for today’s jobs.

Emphasis on Troubleshooting: The N10-009 takes troubleshooting to the next level. You’ll learn how to use the latest tools and techniques to diagnose and fix problems in both physical and virtual networks.

Speaking the Lingo: Some of the terminology has been updated to match what you’ll hear in the real world. For example, “man-in-the-middle attacks” are now called “on-path attacks.”

These changes help prepare candidates not just for the test but for their future roles in various IT and networking positions.

Should I Pursue CompTIA A+ Before Network+?

This answer depends on your existing knowledge and career goals. Here’s the breakdown to help you decide better:

You should get your A+ certification first if:  If you’re new to IT and need to fill in knowledge gaps for the Network+ exam, consider getting your A+ certification first. It covers fundamental IT concepts and troubleshooting skills, providing a solid base for further learning. 

You could consider skipping the A+ certification if: On the other hand, if you already have prior IT experience or knowledge and are comfortable with computer hardware, software, and basic networking concepts, you may not need the A+ certification.

If you’re still unsureI recommend reviewing the exam objectives for both certifications. Take a closer look and identify any knowledge gaps you need to fill before tackling the Network+ exam. If you feel confident in your understanding of the basics, you can likely skip the A+. Ultimately, the decision rests on your individual knowledge and career aspirations. Consider your long-term goals and the specific requirements of the positions you’re interested in.

How Difficult is the CompTIA Network+ Certification?

The CompTIA Network+ certification is a step up in difficulty, especially if you’re new to networking. It’s designed to test both your knowledge and practical understanding of how networks operate. Don’t be discouraged, though! It’s absolutely doable, even if this is your first time working directly with networks.

If you’re starting from scratch, it’s definitely going to take some dedicated study and practice to get familiar with all the concepts. But if you’ve tinkered with networks at home or have some basic IT experience, you’ll probably find it less daunting.

A good way to assess your current knowledge is to review the exam objectives and maybe try a few practice tests. That way, you’ll have a better idea of where you stand and what areas you need to focus on.

How Long Does It Take to Prepare for CompTIA Network+ Certification?

The time it takes to get ready for the CompTIA Network+ certification really depends on you. If you’ve tinkered with computers and networks before or taken some IT classes, you might be able to prep in about a month. But if networking is totally new to you or you like to really know your stuff, it could take two or three months of steady studying. This means setting aside a couple of hours each day to learn the material, maybe using a textbook, some online videos, practice tests, and even trying things out on a real network. The key is to make sure you’re comfortable with all the topics on the exam and do some practice tests to see if you’re ready before taking the real thing.

Jobs You Can Get with CompTIA Network+

The CompTIA Network+ certification is widely recognized in the IT industry and can open doors to various roles focused on IT infrastructure, especially in network management and troubleshooting. Here are some potential job paths that often seek or favor candidates with a Network+ certification:

  1. Network Field Technician
  2. Junior Network Administrator
  3. Network Engineer
  4. Help Desk Technician
  5. Network Support Specialist
  6. Network Analyst

CompTIA Network+ Salaries: What to Expect?

As of May 19, 2024, salary information collected from ZipRecruiter shows that, on average, a Network+ certified professional in the United States earns around $73,938 per year. That translates to about $35.55 per hour, $1,421 per week, or $6,161 per month. The salary range for Network+ holders varies considerably, from $52,000 on the lower end to $91,000 on the higher end. And if you’re among the top earners, you could rake in as much as $123,500 annually. That’s a pretty wide range, but it’s great news for ambitious job seekers! It means there’s plenty of room for growth as you gain experience and expertise.

Remember, these are just averages, and your salary will ultimately depend on several factors, including your experience, skills, and the specific company you work for. Location also plays a significant role, with some areas offering higher salaries than others. But with a Network+ certification in your toolkit, you’ll be well-positioned to negotiate a competitive salary and enjoy a promising future in the IT industry.

The Market Demand for CompTIA Network+ Certification

The IT world is constantly evolving, and it can be challenging for job seekers to figure out which certifications will give them a leg up. If you’re eyeing the Network+ certification, you might wonder how far it’ll take you.

Let me tell you, Network+ is respected in the industry and can definitely open doors. If you’re aiming for a career as a network technician or administrator, this is the one to go for. Employers are always looking for people with these specialized skills. But it’s not a golden ticket to a job; it will make your resume stand out.

Remember, certifications alone can’t guarantee you a job. They work best when paired with real-world experience or a degree. So, if you’re serious about landing your dream IT job, consider adding more certifications or education to your toolkit. It’s all about making yourself stand out from the crowd. 

To help you understand the job demand for Network+, I have reviewed the most popular recruitment platforms and compiled data on open positions for Network+ as of May 26, 2024. Here is a table showing a side-by-side comparison with A+ and Security+:

Platform Network+ A+ Security+
LinkedIn 3,895 30,255 59,247
Indeed 5,207 7,319 4,000
SimplyHired 4,178 3,824 3,569

Disclaimer: The data in this table is a snapshot in time and may vary depending on your location, industry, and the current job market conditions.

Is Network+ Worth It?

Yes, CompTIA Network+ is worth it. It provides a solid foundation in networking concepts and can be a stepping stone to more advanced certifications like the CCNA. Here’s why it’s valuable:

  1. Vendor-neutral: The Network+ certification covers networking principles applicable to a wide range of vendors and technologies, providing you with a broader understanding of the field.
  2. Industry recognition: It is a well-respected certification within the IT industry and can significantly enhance your resume in the eyes of potential employers.
  3. Career advancement: The Network+ can open doors to entry-level networking positions or help you progress in your current role. It also demonstrates your commitment to professional growth.
  4. High Job Demand: The Network+ certification is in high demand, which can help you land your first job in the networking field.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to start or advance a career in networking, the CompTIA Network+ certification is undoubtedly a valuable asset. It equips you with essential knowledge, enhances your professional credibility, and opens doors to various job opportunities.

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