Network certifications come in many forms. There are quite a few different forms of an online network certification that you can pursue, or you can go to a brick-and-mortar school. Online learning is generally more popular these days due to the convenience aspect it offers. There is more to this where network certifications are concerned, however.
There are network certifications that are general and there are ones that are specific. In the latter cases, the certifications are generally applicable to one particular manufacturer’s products. You might, for example, get a certification from a router company to work on their hardware. The other types are more general. You can think of it as learning how to be a mechanic versus learning how to be a mechanic at one particular dealer’s shop. The former case gives you rounded skills and the latter more specific skills.
Some people pursue an online network certification as a foundational set of skills that enable them to get employment at many different businesses. If they need to get another certification down the line, they already have the basic knowledge required to ensure that they understand the hardware and what they have to learn about it. This is a great strategy, in fact.
Sometimes, a network certification will not end up in you getting more specialized training and it’s your general knowledge that will make you money. No matter what equipment happens to be on a network, computer networking functions on some standardized concepts and protocols. Knowing these allows you to see beyond the hardware and to see if the basic IT infrastructure is sound. This is a great skill to have at any business and it enables you to seek employment from just about anyone.
Network certifications sometimes work out very well for people who already have jobs. For instance, if you work at a help desk right now, getting a network certification may allow you to advance to network support or to the actual department that takes care of your employer’s own networks. This is a great way to explore new employment opportunities and, sometimes, to get a lot more money for what you do.
If you’re considering an online network certification, talk to your employer. Sometimes, they’ll offer to pick up part of the tab so that they get an employee with better training on staff, which shows how educating yourself can benefit many different people in your life, including your employer!