6 Network Certifications for Your IT Career in 2024

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

A network certification may set you up with the skills and knowledge needed to progress in an IT network career.

[Featured image] An network support specialist studies for a network certification on a computer with two monitors.

Network certifications are credentials you can earn to demonstrate your ability to work with networks in the information technology (IT) field. They can be vendor-specific—focusing on the technology from one company, like Cisco or Microsoft—or vendor-neutral, meaning the things you learn should be applicable across different networking technologies.

The IT industry has a strong presence in the Indian economy. About 7.5 per cent of the India’s gross domestic product is associated with IT, and, as of 2021,  nearly one-fifth of all international IT spending is attributed to India [1]. Gaining an internationally recognised network certification is a great way to showcase your skills and enter this expanding industry. 


Network certifications: Should you get one?

Though certifications are often not required, they can be a good way for employers to validate your skill level. Network certifications can help enhance your resume and help you gain the skills you need to succeed in an IT role. If you’re getting started in IT and are still deciding which IT path to take, consider an entry-level IT certification or an introductory course such as Google’s Technical Support Fundamentals.

Those with network certifications can become network technicians, administrators, engineers, architects, or other network-related professionals. Knowledge of networks can also be useful for some system administration positions.

*All salary conversions are sourced from the US Treasury Reporting Rates of Exchange. Exchange rate is current as of June 30, 2023.

Network certifications

1. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Widely regarded as a staple network certification, the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is an associate-level (early career) credential. It covers a wide range of networking fundamentals. Cisco is one of the largest companies in the networking industry, making this credential highly relevant. Cisco also offers entry (CCT), professional (CCNP), and expert-level certifications (CCDE). 

  • Cost: ₹24,626 (300 USD)

  • Requirements: Requires one exam. No prerequisites, though at least one year of experience working with Cisco solutions is recommended.

  • What’s being tested: Network access, IP connectivity, IP services, security, automation, and programmability

2. CompTIA Security+

The CompTIA Security+ certificate is an internationally accepted IT certificate that demonstrates relevant skills in network security. This is a baseline certification for those looking to take their first position in the IT industry. This certification tests the core knowledge needed to work in entry level positions and pursue more advanced certifications and roles.

  • Cost: ₹32,178 (392 USD)

  • Requirements: Requires one exam. No prerequisites, though CompTIA Network+ or two years of IT security experience is recommended

  • What’s being tested: Enterprise security, cloud infrastructure, governance principles, security threats

3. CompTIA Network+

Similar to the CompTIA Security+ certification, this is a vendor-neutral certification. The CompTIA Network+ certification tests your understanding of networking basics regardless of the company your networking technology may come from. CompTIA also offers the CompTIA A+ certification for those who are looking for entry-level IT jobs.

  • Cost: ₹29,387 (358 USD)

  • Requirements: Requires one exam. No prerequisites, though 9-12 months of networking experience or CompTIA A+ certification is recommended.

  • What’s being tested: Essential networking concepts; cabling, device, and storage technologies; managing networks; security; and troubleshooting methodology and tools

4. Juniper Networks Certified Associate - Junos (JNCIA-Junos)

The JNCIA-Junos is the associate-level certification for Juniper Networks technologies. It’s the first step required for those who want to take more advanced certifications from Juniper Networks in data centre technologies, enterprise routing, and switching, or service provider routing and switching. Oil India Limited recently selected Juniper Networks to upgrade its infrastructure, increasing the value of this certification in the country.

  • Cost: ₹16,417 (200 USD) 

  • Requirements: Requires one exam. No prerequisites.

  • What’s being tested: Junos OS fundamentals like software architecture and transit traffic processing, configuration basics, routing policy, and firewall filters

5. AWS Certified Advanced Networking - Specialty

Designed for more experienced networking professionals, this certification demonstrates expertise with Amazon’s AWS platform. The exam tests complex concepts, such as automation, security, architecting, and other network details.. As one of the largest cloud providers in India and globally, establishing knowledge of how to work with this network is a great way for IT professionals to expand their skills and grow their career opportunities.

  • Cost: ₹24,626 (300 USD)

  • Requirements: Requires one exam. This exam is designed for professionals with at least 5 years of experience.

  • What’s being tested: Advanced use of AWS systems, including security practices, consistency models, routing architecture, automation script development, intrusion detection systems, and more.

6. VMWare Certified Technical Associate - Network Virtualisation (VCTA-NV)

If you’re interested in virtualisation, getting the VCTA-NV certification can be a good way to get started with the essentials of the VMWare NSX network virtualisation platform. The certification will test your basic knowledge of NSX terminology, graphical user interfaces, and other core technical skills.

  • Cost: ₹10,261 (125 USD)

  • Requirements: Requires one exam. No prerequisites.

  • What’s being tested: Installing, configuring, and setup; performance-tuning, optimisation, and upgrades; fundamental architecture and technologies; planning and designing; troubleshooting

Keep learning on Coursera

If you’re interested in starting a career in IT, consider the Google IT Support Professional Certificate on Coursera. This program is designed ​​to help individuals with no previous experience find their first IT role. From there, you might choose to specialise in networks and become a network administrator, network engineer, or network architect.

Article sources

  1. Statista. “IT Industry in India, https://www.statista.com/topics/2256/it-industry-in-india/#dossierKeyfigures.” Accessed August 23, 2023.

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