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Best Computer Networking Certifications For 2017

Best Computer Networking Certifications For 2017

IT pros skilled in the many areas of networking remain in high demand in today's job market. Those who are serious about their careers should consider one or more of these best-of-breed networking certifications to set themselves apart from the competition.

Credit: ShutterstockCredit: ShutterstockWhen it comes to the care and feeding of modern networks, there's quite a list of tools and technologies that qualified IT professionals must master — especially those who aspire to work as network administrators.

In addition to the servers and clients that make up the endpoints in such environments, there's a lot of network infrastructure to worry about. This includes switches and routers (both physical and virtual), plus a raft of appliances and services, such as unified threat management (UTM), next-generation firewalls (NGFS), WAN optimization, spam and email filtering, content filtering, and a whole lot more.

Wrapping your head around all these certification options and specialties can be challenging, but knowing where to start can help. We looked at five networking certifications (in no particular order) that we consider to be leaders in the field of networking for 2017. We also performed an informal job board survey that reveals the number of job posts across the U.S. in which our featured certifications were mentioned on a given day.

Job Board Search Results

SimplyHiredIndeedLinkedIn Jobs
Cisco CCIE2,0702,3171,62712,49618,510
Cisco CCNP4,5735,0653,38421,80034,822
CompTIA Network+2,9283,285
Juniper JNCIE-ENT19922412830
Wireshark WCNA*404229

* Searches using only "Wireshark" as a search term resulted in a total of 5,833 job listings.

The featured certifications represent all major tiers of networking job roles, from the entry level (Network+) to the expert level (CCIE). A person just starting out in networking, most likely as a technician or junior administrator, can expect to make about $45,000. Mid-tier network administrators and engineers make an average of $63,500 to $80,500, and CCIEs average around $110,000.