5 Top Network Engineering Courses to Power Your Career

8 mins

In the network engineering sector, a fierce battle for talent is ensuing, and for networking...

In the network engineering sector, a fierce battle for talent is ensuing, and for networking professionals, finding ways to stand out against the competition is becoming increasingly crucial. Thankfully, there is one way candidates can attract attention from employers in this space, and that way is by completing network engineering courses. 

What are network engineering courses?

Networking certification courses are credentials that highlight your proficiency in IT network management. To get ahead of the game, a range of certifications are available to help you build your knowledge and experience whilst competitively positioning yourself for a potential job in this niche sector. These network engineer courses can vary from a specific vendor, such as Cisco or Microsoft, or non-vendor generalist courses that teach skills applicable to various networking technologies.

Although network engineering certifications are not necessarily essential, they are an excellent way of clearly demonstrating your level of expertise to employers, and they can be helpful in defining your path in the field. As technology continuously evolves, whether you are taking your first steps in the field or are a seasoned professional, regularly sharpening your skills is a good idea.

In this guide, we will explore five of the best certifications for network engineers available for your to enrol on today.

1. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Often regarded as a staple in the world of networking certification courses due to its provider, Cisco, one of the largest companies in the networking space, the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is an entry-to-mid-level course.

CCNA is awarded to delegates who demonstrate a basic knowledge of network engineering. As one of the best certifications for network engineers, aspiring candidates seeking to progress in the sector can use this qualification to prove to employers that they are versatile enough to optimise the latest networks used in modern tech. 

The CCNA course focuses on the fundamentals of networking, including:

  • Network access
  • IP connectivity
  • IP services
  • Security
  • Automation
  • Programmability

High-quality materials are available online, including video tutorials and study guides. The CCNA network engineer course culminates with the CCNA 200-301 exam, lasting 90 minutes and consisting of 120 questions with a required score of 800-850 out of 1,000 to pass.  

Once completed, the certification will last you three years and will allow you to bolster your chances of landing a position in one of the below network engineering jobs:

  • Network Administrator
  • Network Analyst
  • Help Desk Technician
  • Network Engineer
  • Network Technician
  • Network Security Analyst
  • Network Support Technician

Enrolling on the CCNA network engineer course is a fantastic way of advancing your career in the networking sector, providing you with a sense of accomplishment that could open the door to a broad spectrum of opportunities.

2. Google Certified Professional Cloud Network Engineer

Next on our list of the top 5 network engineering courses is the Google Certified Professional Cloud Network Engineer certification. This programme is one of the most popular online courses in networking, targeted at network engineers that use or aspire to use the Google Cloud as part of their profession. 

Google Cloud covers cloud computing, structured query language, and the future of computer systems from experts in the Google team. The course is for those who want to develop their skills in software-defined networking solutions in the cloud and are eager to manage cloud networking solutions to drive business objectives. By enrolling on the Google Certified Professional Cloud Network Engineer course, you will be exposed to knowledge in the following areas:

  • Implementing VPCs (Virtual Private Clouds)
  • Managing network services
  • Load balancing
  • Firewalls
  • DNS
  • VPNs (Virtual Private Networks)
  • Security
  • Networking tools

The Google Certified Professional Cloud Network Engineer certification involves a two-hour exam consisting of 50-60 multiple-choice questions, which can be taken remotely or at an on-site test centre. To help prepare you for the exam, the Google Cloud offers a range of learning materials, from webinars, documentation and sample questions. 

A score of 70% is required to pass, and once completed, the certification is valid for two years and can help you attain a network engineering job in the following areas:

  • Cloud Consultant
  • Cloud Network Engineer
  • Cloud Infrastructure Engineer
  • Network Architect
  • Cloud Solutions Architect
  • Network Operations Engineer
  • Cloud Security Engineer

Completing the Google Certified Professional Cloud Network Engineer certification gives you the resources to build on your professional development. It is an excellent way of confidently advancing your career in the network engineering industry.

3. Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) Network+

Another one of the best certifications for network engineers is the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) Network+ certification. CompTIA is a non-profit association that provides professionals with various IT-related certifications, including a broad range of network engineering courses. 

Their Network+ course will give you the tools and verify your knowledge to pursue a career in IT infrastructure. When enrolling on the course, you will learn the following:

  • How to navigate standard network devices
  • Establish network connectivity
  • Maintain network documentation
  • Identify limitations, and implement appropriate network security
  • Troubleshoot, configure and manage wireless and wired networks

Like the other networking certification courses listed in this blog, the CompTIA Network+ programme involves completing a 90-minute exam consisting of 90 questions - some of which are multiple choice. A score of 720 out of 900 is required to pass the exam, and once completed, the certification remains valid for three years.

To help you prepare for the exam, CompTIA can provide you with training materials such as e-learning, study guides and mock examinations. You can expect to spend eight weeks studying before taking the final exam. Once you’ve completed the programme, you can find yourself working in the following areas of network engineering:

  • Network Engineer
  • Network Field Technician
  • Network Administrator
  • Network Support Specialist
  • Cyber Security Specialist
  • Help Desk Technician
  • System Engineer
  • Information Technology Specialist
  • IT Manager
  • Technical Support Specialist

Being one of the only entry-level networking certification courses around, this is a great choice if you’re entering the networking space and looking to unlock the skills of a savvy IT professional. 

4. AWS Advanced Networking Certification

The fourth entry of our top 5 network engineering courses is the AWS Advanced Networking Certification. This certification targets skilled networking professionals with five years of advanced AWS framework expertise in automation, scripting, and security. 

By enrolling on the course, you will learn various skills to help boost productivity and streamline processes in the business. The AWS Advanced Networking Certification covers the following:

  • Designing, developing and implementing cloud-based AWS network solutions
  • Optimising the performance of a network
  • Managing network security 
  • Troubleshooting issues of a network
  • Automating AWS network tasks

To achieve this industry-recognised certification, you must pass the AWS Certified Advanced Networking - Specialty exam (ANS-C01). The exam lasts 170 minutes and consists of 65 questions, including a mix of multiple-choice and multiple-response questions. You can complete the exam at a Pearson VUE testing centre or online. AWS provides an online exam guide and example questions to help you prepare for the examination. 

The exam is broken down into the following areas:

  • Network Design 30%
  • Network Implementation 26%
  • Network Management and Operation 20%
  • Network Security, Compliance, and Governance 24%

To successfully complete the exam, a score of 75% is needed. Once completed, the certification will be valid for three years. With this qualification, you could move into one of the below network engineer jobs. 

  • Cloud Network Engineer
  • Cloud Network Architect
  • Cloud Network Support Engineer
  • Cloud Network Administrator
  • Cloud Network Consultant
  • Cloud Network Manager
  • Cloud Network Operations Engineer
  • Cloud Network Specialist
  • Cloud Network Analyst
  • Cloud Network Security Engineer

Completing the AWS Advanced Networking Certification will validate your expertise in designing, implementing and maintaining network architecture for employers, enhancing your chances of landing your dream network engineering role.

5. NCIA-Junos

Our final recommendation of the top 5 network engineering courses is the NCIA-Junos certification. This programme is designed for beginner to intermediate networking professionals looking to take their careers to the next level. The NCIA-Junos course validates to employers that you have knowledge of the fundamentals of how Juniper Networks operate. 

This network engineering course will cover the following subjects:

  • Junos OS fundamentals
  • Networking fundamentals
  • User interfaces with a focus on command-line inputs
  • Network configuration
  • Network operational monitoring and maintenance
  • Routing fundamentals
  • Routing policy
  • Firewall filters.

Individuals enrolling on the NCIA-Junos programme must complete a 65 multiple-choice question exam that can be taken online or at an in-person test centre. Juniper Networks provide study support, including live training sessions, training courses you can utilise at your own pace and other free learning materials.

When you complete the qualification, the certification will be valid for three years and can open the doors to various network engineering opportunities, including: 

  • JNCIA Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Network Technician
  • Network Engineer
  • Network Operations Center (NOC) Specialist

With the well-regarded NCIA-Junos certification under your belt, you will advance your skill set in network engineering, allowing you to progress in the industry and grow your career. 

There are countless benefits to participating in one or a combination of the network engineering certifications we’ve listed in this blog. Whether you want to focus on something new or learn a new challenging concept, there are many opportunities for you to upskill your professional profile and advance your career in the world of network engineering.

Looking to power your future? Talk to us

Now you know the top 5 network engineering courses; the next step is to embark on the one most suited to your career aspirations to help you advance in the industry.

If you’re looking to grow your career with the latest network engineering jobs, we can help. Our network engineering team have access to an extensive range of opportunities with some of the biggest companies shaping the future of tech. 

Get in touch with our enterprise networking recruitment team and power your future today.