itContracting Chris Byrne talks pre-screening

Ask the IT Recruiter: Network Administration Certification

By Chris Byrne

Whether you are new to IT Networking or an experienced Network Engineer, becoming certified is crucial to your IT career trajectory.

It’s time to hear what itContracting‘s Senior IT Recruiter, Chris Byrne, has to say on the key IT Networking industry certifications.

Firstly, gaining certain certifications will help you to learn fast and test/validate your knowledge. If you are in an IT Desktop Support position for example, and looking to specialise in IT Networking or move into the Network side of things, getting certified will demonstrate your knowledge to your Network Manager and they may start giving you some/more responsibility in this area. The more helpful that you are and the more that you prove yourself to your Network Manager the more likely they will be to assign you additional responsibility with their corporate network.

If you are an experienced hands-on IT Network Engineer, gaining certification will allow you to validate and backup your knowledge and experience to a recognised standard. Certification can be extremely useful when negotiating in your annual review. It can also be very important when looking for your next position in your current company or with a new company. The certification could give you the edge that you need over other potential candidates with similar experience. Certain positions or hiring manager often insist on candidates being certified.

Our advice to candidates is to usually start with the Cisco CCNA certification. This is probably the most recognised certification in the area of corporate or enterprise networking and is globally recognised.

You could start off with the CompTIA Network+. However, I would suggest that you skip this if you have IT experience already. I would usually recommend the Comptia A+ or N+ certification to people that are starting off with no IT experience at all.

How Do I Get Certified in IT Networking?

There are a few options available to IT professionals including self-study and official vendor courses. Some vendors will insist that you complete the official course before they will allow you to sit the exam. If you are in a good long term position with a company that understands the value of certification, they will most likely support you by covering the cost of the courses and the certification. Unfortunately, not every company can or will offer this so you may have to invest in these yourself if you can. Think of it as a career investment.

IT Networking Vendor Certification Overview

As certifications change and retire frequently, I feel that is is best to link to the vendor sites directly rather than outline a long list of certifications that may not be relevant down the road.

Remember when taking on exams to do it in small steps, one exam at a time. Don’t try to do too much all at once. Eventually these will add up over time.

Here is the list of the most common vendor certifications that we get asked for by our clients:





Where can I Get Trained & Certified?



itContracting is part of Evros Technology Group, Ireland’s leading Managed Service support company and has one of the most extensive partnership networks in Ireland including globally recognised brands and providers of industry-leading niche technologies. Some of the Evros partners include Microsoft, VMware, HPE, Dell, Citrix, Cisco, and Veeam.

Are you looking for it contract work or a permanent IT position? Contact Ireland’s leading IT recruitment agency, itContracting.


Career Advice, Recruitment