CREDENTIALS: Certified Network Engineer

By Loretta W. Prencipe, InfoWorld |  Business

From Microsoft to Novell, many vendors have developed system-specific network
certifications. As the number of certified professionals increases, some question
certification's value.

The basics

Certification basics:

Certification is a two-part process consisting of training and testing.

Who offers training:

Commercial technical training providers, technical colleges, community colleges and
universities, and technical associations provide training; some public school systems
now offer computer network training for high school students.

Who offers testing:

Technical training facilities, independent certification testing providers, online
testing centers

Recertification or skills upgrade certification may require testing.

Costs:

Costs vary by provider for both training and testing. Financing is available.

Training tuition - From $800 for certification upgrade training to $8,000 and
higher for full preparation

Certification testing costs - $100-300. Some certifications require several tests.
Test vouchers may be included with some training programs. Practice exams cost
extra.

Sample courses:

Courses vary by vendor system

LAN topologies -- token ring, Windows 2000 NetWare 4.11 -- installation and
configuration

Vital statistics

Who has a network engineering certification?

2000 InfoWorld Compensation Survey respondents - 27%

Breakdown of respondents:

CTOs - 7.4%, CIOs - 17%, Middle IT management - 29.2%, LAN managers - 67.2%

What people are saying

I think that the Cisco certification [for Cisco certified network professionals]
has more respect than other certifications. With other certifications, you don't need
job experience to pass the exams like you do with Cisco certifications, and recruiters
know that.

-- Barbara Collura, founder of ITinfusion, a placement firm specializing in network
engineers, in Herndon, Va.

Web resources

Certification Magazine -www.certmag.com

The online version of this magazine provides a link to system-specific
certifications and testing centers.

Source: 2000 Infoworld Compensation Survey

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