best 11 network certifications for a network engineer

The Top 11 Network Engineering Certifications to Propel Your Career

The value of certifications for a network engineer.

Obtaining a certification is crucial for network a engineer. Certifications validate your skills and knowledge and signal your dedication to continued professional development. They also enable you to stay current with the latest technological advancements, making you more desirable to prospective employers. A certification makes you more likely to secure top-tier job roles and earn a higher salary than non-certified peers. In a fast-paced and ever-evolving field like networking, being certified can give you an edge over others.

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

The CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification is a critical accreditation for network engineers. As a globally recognized certification, it serves as a testament to your expertise in handling Cisco networking systems—one of the most widely deployed technologies across organizations worldwide. As a CCNA-certified professional, you demonstrate your proficiency in various areas such as network fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity and services, and security fundamentals.

This broad-based knowledge makes you highly valuable in the eyes of employers, enhancing your employability and career prospects. The CCNA also provides a robust foundation for further specialization, allowing you to branch out into areas such as cybersecurity, wireless networking, or data center operations. This flexibility can be a significant career booster, offering numerous opportunities for growth and progression. But perhaps the most compelling reason to pursue the CCNA certification is the recognition it brings. By achieving this certification, you distinguish yourself as a dedicated professional committed to staying updated with the latest networking technologies, thus gaining respect and credibility in your field. The CCNA may be your first step in networking certification, but it is indeed a significant stride towards a more promising and rewarding career.

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

The Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification is an advanced-level credential that signifies the holder’s vast knowledge and skills in networking. This certification caters to those network engineers who aspire to attain a higher level of expertise in their field, thereby increasing their chances of career advancement. The CCNP certification is designed to validate a professional’s ability to plan, implement, verify, and troubleshoot local and wide-area enterprise networks.

As a CCNP-certified specialist, you are equipped with the skills necessary to work collaboratively with specialists on advanced security, voice, wireless, and video solutions. CCNP training covers a wide range of topics, including routing and switching protocols, LAN and WAN design, network security, network management, and data center integration. This extensive coverage makes CCNP-certified professionals highly sought after by employers globally.

The certification also offers a choice of specializations, allowing you to align your accreditation with your career ambitions. By attaining the CCNP certification, not only do you showcase your advanced knowledge and skills, but you also demonstrate a high level of commitment to your professional development, thereby gaining more credibility in your field. Hence, the CCNP certification can significantly enhance your employability and earning potential.

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)

The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) is a prestigious certification that distinguishes the cream of the crop within the network engineering field. Taking your skills from the realm of the professional to the expert level, this certification signifies a mastery of intricate networking concepts. The CCIE stands as a testament to a network engineer’s in-depth understanding of how various network infrastructures operate together in a harmonious and efficient manner. 

With the CCIE, you will be recognized globally for your technical proficiency, and organizations worldwide will value your ability to handle complex network solutions. This certification is not just a badge of honor but a passport to higher-level roles within the networking industry. It covers vast areas like troubleshooting, configuring, and maintaining diverse network systems, which broadens your competency spectrum significantly.

Not only does it elevate your professional standing, but the CCIE also comes with enhanced earning potential. It’s a well-known fact within the industry that CCIE-certified professionals command one of the highest salaries. Furthermore, the rigor and depth of the CCIE certification process ensure that you stay updated with the latest trends and technological advancements in networking.

In summary, the CCIE certification is a genuine game-changer for network engineers. It equips you with unmatched technical skills, opens doors to greater professional opportunities, and sets a solid career trajectory toward leadership roles in the IT sector.

Juniper Networks Certified Associate (JNCIA)

The Juniper Networks Certified Associate (JNCIA) is another valuable stepping stone for network engineers. It takes pride in its focus on Juniper Networks technology, an industry leader in networking solutions.

The JNCIA certification validates your fundamental understanding of networking and Juniper Networks’ devices and software. This solid foundation allows you to build and refine your skills as you move up to more specialized and complex areas of network engineering. It’s an excellent choice for beginners in the field, paving the way for more advanced certifications within the Juniper Network track. 

What sets the JNCIA apart is its practical approach to network troubleshooting and problem-solving, arming you with hands-on skills that are instantly applicable in a working environment. With a JNCIA certification, employers trust your ability to configure, operate, and troubleshoot networks within Juniper’s infrastructure. This trust often translates into opportunities for roles that are both technically challenging and professionally rewarding. 

Moreover, the JNCIA certification is recognized globally, making it a valuable asset in an increasingly interconnected world. By showing you understand the ins and outs of Juniper Networks, JNCIA certification helps you stand out in a competitive job market. In essence, the JNCIA certification is a worthy investment that can kickstart your journey as a network engineer, opening doors to opportunities and paving a clear path for growth in the networking field.

CompTIA Network+

The CompTIA Network+ certification holds significant value for network engineers, acting as a global benchmark for best practices in IT network and operational security. A universally recognized qualification, it equips you with the skills necessary for troubleshooting, configuring, and managing networks, making it a stepping-stone to a career in IT infrastructure.

Network+ makes sure you have the knowledge and skills to design and implement functional networks, configure, manage, and maintain essential network devices, and use devices like switches and routers to segment network traffic and create resilient networks. Plus, you’ll gain an understanding of network security, standards, and protocols.

Unlike other certifications, the CompTIA Network+ covers a wide breadth of networking concepts, providing a more rounded perspective. This broad knowledge base is often highly sought after by employers across industries, enhancing job prospects and potentially leading to higher salaries.

In addition, earning the Network+ certification can also pave the way for more specialized certifications, allowing for further professional growth. Whether you’re a novice in the networking field or an experienced professional seeking to validate your skills, the CompTIA Network+ certification is a worthwhile investment in your professional development. 

In conclusion, CompTIA Network+ is not just a certification; it’s a symbol of competency and reliability in the networking field, which can significantly boost your career prospects.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is a globally recognized credential that validates an IT professional’s expertise in managing and securing an organization’s IT infrastructure. The CISSP certification can be an invaluable asset for network engineers, enhancing their career prospects and credibility.

As cybersecurity concerns continue to rise, businesses are increasingly seeking professionals who can protect their networks from threats. A CISSP certification signifies a network engineer’s ability to implement robust security measures, manage vulnerabilities, and ensure compliance with industry standards – crucial skills in today’s digital landscape.

Moreover, the CISSP certification offers a comprehensive understanding of security theory and management principles, which can be applied across various domains, from access control to software development. This wide-ranging knowledge can enable network engineers to make more informed decisions and contribute significantly to their organization’s overall security strategy.

Additionally, the CISSP certification is often associated with higher salaries and improved job opportunities. According to the Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, CISSP-certified professionals are among the highest earners in the IT field.

In summary, obtaining a CISSP certification can significantly boost a network engineer’s career, demonstrating their commitment to professional growth, their understanding of complex security issues, and their ability to manage and protect an organization’s IT infrastructure effectively.

Aruba Certified Professional (ACP)

The Aruba Certified Professional (ACP) certification is another notable credential that can significantly enhance a network engineer’s career. Aruba, a HPE company, is a provider of next-generation networking solutions for enterprises. The ACP certification attests to a network engineer’s proficiency in building mobile-first network solutions.

The ACP certification provides a comprehensive understanding of Aruba’s product portfolio and the underlying technology. This includes knowledge of wireless LAN (WLAN) design, device provisioning, and network management, which are critical skills for any network engineer navigating the evolving IT landscape.

An ACP-certified network engineer is not only capable of designing and implementing Aruba solutions but can also optimize network performance and ensure network security. With the growing prevalence of mobile and IoT devices, businesses are increasingly seeking professionals who can manage these complex environments, making the ACP certification increasingly valuable.

In addition to opening up new job opportunities, ACP certification can lead to higher salaries. As per PayScale, network engineers with an ACP certification earn an average salary of $83,000, demonstrating the tangible financial benefits of this credential. All in all, the ACP certification offers network engineers a definitive edge in the competitive IT job market, facilitating career growth and progression.

Wireshark Certified Network Analyst (WCNA)

The Wireshark Certified Network Analyst (WCNA) certification is a valuable addition to a network engineer’s toolkit. Designed for professionals who seek to demonstrate their expertise in network analysis and troubleshoot network-related issues, the WCNA covers an array of essential subjects, including network security, maintenance, and optimization.

Wireshark, as the world’s foremost network protocol analyzer, is an industry-standard tool employed by numerous organizations to diagnose network problems and investigate security incidents. Thus, a WCNA certification attests to an engineer’s proficiency in using this crucial software, boosting their professional credibility.

Not only does the WCNA certification equip network engineers with the knowledge to optimize network performance, but it also helps them understand the intricacies of network communication, making issue resolution more efficient. The certification is also widely recognized in the industry and can significantly enhance job prospects, as employers value this demonstration of both skills and commitment.

Moreover, the WCNA certification helps a network engineer stay abreast of the latest advancements in network technology, as it requires recertification every three years. This continuous learning ensures that engineers can adapt to evolving network environments, keeping their skills relevant and their knowledge up-to-date.

In conclusion, the WCNA certification is a worthwhile investment for network engineers. It signals technical competency, commitment to ongoing professional development, and a deep understanding of network analysis and troubleshooting.

Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP)

The Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP) is a globally recognized certification that speaks volumes about a network engineer’s expertise in wireless technology. It’s a strategic investment for those looking to broaden their skill set and enhance their career prospects. The CWNP certification focuses on the design, implementation, security, and troubleshooting of wireless networks, offering a well-rounded understanding of the nuances of wireless technology.

A CWNP-certified engineer can efficiently manage and optimize wireless LANs, which is an integral part of most modern business infrastructures. The certification not only boosts credibility but also increases the engineer’s visibility in a crowded job market, as employers often seek certified professionals who can hit the ground running.

Continuous learning is a quintessential part of the CWNP certification. To maintain the certification, network engineers must recertify every three years, ensuring they stay abreast of ever-evolving wireless technology trends. This commitment to ongoing professional development signals a proactive and dedicated mindset to potential employers.

Furthermore, the CWNP certification often leads to a higher earning potential. As the demand for wireless technology grows, so does the need for skilled professionals who can manage these networks. By obtaining the CWNP certification, network engineers can position themselves as sought-after professionals in a rapidly growing industry, opening doors to new opportunities and increased salaries. In a nutshell, the CWNP certification can be a game-changer for network engineers, offering them a competitive edge and future-proofing their careers.

Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) – Networking Fundamentals

The Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) – Networking Fundamentals certification serves as a valuable asset for network engineers, particularly those starting their careers or seeking to solidify their foundational knowledge. This certification lays the groundwork for key networking concepts, such as understanding network hardware, protocols, and services. By being MTA certified, an engineer demonstrates their grasp of these crucial elements that form the backbone of any network infrastructure.

Moreover, as this certification is offered by Microsoft, it carries significant weight and recognition in the industry, thus enhancing the engineer’s credibility. The MTA – Networking Fundamentals certification also provides a stepping stone for higher-level Microsoft certifications, offering a clear progression path for continuous professional development.

Importantly, the knowledge gained from this certification is not tied to a specific job role and is applicable across various positions in the IT field. This versatility increases employability, as it equips the engineer with a broad understanding of network fundamentals, making them a valuable asset to potential employers.

Lastly, the MTA – Networking Fundamentals certification involves a commitment to learning, mirroring a proactive attitude towards skill enhancement. This continuous learning mindset is often sought after by employers, as it indicates a dedication to staying up-to-date with the latest technologies and industry trends. Therefore, obtaining the MTA – Networking Fundamentals certification can be a beneficial move for network engineers by not only enhancing their knowledge but also increasing their marketability in the IT sector.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Advanced Networking

The AWS Certified Advanced Networking certification is an elite qualification that is highly valued in the IT industry. This certification showcases an engineer’s ability to design and implement complex network architectures on AWS, which is widely used across organizations globally. These skills are in high demand due to the growing reliance on cloud technologies. AWS, being a leading cloud service provider, commands considerable respect; thus, having this certification gives a network engineer an edge in the competitive job market.

This certification also presents an opportunity to delve deep into security and compliance aspects, a vital consideration in today’s cyber threat landscape. Additionally, it opens up a wide array of job roles, from Cloud Network Engineer to Network Architect, improving employability and career prospects. Furthermore, the AWS certification process promotes a culture of continuous learning and upskilling, aligning with the rapid evolution of technology. 

Overall, obtaining the AWS Certified Advanced Networking certification not only enhances the network engineer’s knowledge base but also significantly boosts their professional credibility. Whether you’re looking to broaden your skill set, increase your earning potential, or open the door to new opportunities, the AWS Certified Advanced Networking certification could be a game-changer.

Google Professional Cloud Network Engineer

The Google Professional Cloud Network Engineer certification is another highly recognized credential in the IT industry. It validates an engineer’s skills in implementing and managing network architectures in Google Cloud. The increasing adoption of Google Cloud services by businesses worldwide underscores the relevance of this certification. It’s also a testament to the engineer’s proficiency in leveraging Google Cloud’s unique features to optimize network performance and security.

Obtaining this certification proves that an engineer can design, plan, and orchestrate Google Cloud’s auto-scaling, load balancing, and connectivity capabilities, among others. This expertise is incredibly valuable in the current IT landscape, where efficiency, scalability, and security are paramount. The certification also covers critical areas such as hybrid connectivity, network security design, and network troubleshooting, making it comprehensive and highly practical.

Moreover, Google’s certification process fosters a learning environment that keeps pace with the fast-moving cloud technology sphere. This continuous learning ensures that certified engineers stay current with evolving best practices and emerging technologies. From a career standpoint, this certification can pave the way for roles such as Cloud Network Engineer and Network Architect, potentially leading to career advancement and higher earning potential.

In summary, the Google Professional Cloud Network Engineer certification is an excellent investment for network engineers wanting to enhance their expertise, expand their career opportunities, and stay relevant in the dynamic world of cloud technology.


To wrap up, these 11 network engineer certifications offer a wide array of options for anyone seeking to advance their career in network engineering. They range from foundational certifications to more specialized ones, covering all aspects of the field, from installation and troubleshooting to designing complex network environments.

Each of these certifications has its unique benefits and focus areas, but all of them share a common goal: equipping network engineers with the competencies needed to thrive in this fast-paced and continually evolving field. As the demand for skilled network engineers continues to grow, these certifications can serve as crucial stepping stones, enhancing your credibility, expanding your career opportunities, and ensuring you stay at the forefront of network technology trends. Choose the one that aligns best with your career goals, and start your certification journey today.

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