Certifications for Networking Jobs: Network Professional Association and Planet3 Wireless - dummies

Certifications for Networking Jobs: Network Professional Association and Planet3 Wireless

By Peter H. Gregory, Bill Hughes

If you are seeking a networking job, any certifications you can add to your repertoire will only help. Check out the options offered by the Network Professional Association and Planet3 Wireless.

Network Professional Association

Network Professional Association (NPA) is a nonprofit association for computer network professionals that offers the Certified Network Professional (CNP) Program. The primary goal of NPA is to raise the awareness of technical people working in networking as a profession by setting standards for ethics, training, and performance.

This approach is slightly different than the vendor-specific and the third-party certification programs in that no moral judgments are associated with the other certifications. They are purely technical.

The Network Processionals Association, on the other hand, may have issues with a CNP who designs a network to trade in blood diamonds and speed the burning of the Amazon rainforest while taking bribes from vendors and spying on its critics. Certainly, all the organizations mentioned in this chapter would have concerns, but the technical certifications are independent of any ethical judgments.

Planet3 Wireless

Planet3 Wireless is an organization that certifies wireless LAN professionals. Their certification focus on 802.11 wireless LANs. The certifications, in approximate order of easiest to hardest, include:

  • Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA): A basic course for individuals who will administer enterprise-class wireless LANs. CWNA is a prerequisite for the other certifications.

  • Certified Wireless Technology Specialist (CWTS): A more in-depth certification than CWNA.

  • Certified Wireless Analysis Professional (CWAP): Training on how to analyze, troubleshoot, and optimize an enterprise wireless LAN. Offered after you master the previous two certifications.

  • Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP): The certification to keep pesky hackers from entering the corporate network.

  • Certified Wireless Network Expert (CWNE): The top certification for 802.11 wireless LANs. It requires extensive experience operating wireless LANs in the corporate environment plus the previous four certifications and documented expertise.

  • Certified Wireless Network Trainer (CWNT): If you are so smart, you should teach the class, but not before you earn this certification.