This article examines five careers in cybersecurity that still can benefit from the CompTIA Network+ certification. To see our similar article about the CompTIA Security+ certification, go here. We also have a full write up about the CompTIA Network+ here.
The CompTIA Network+ is an entry-level certification that proves you have a working knowledge of computer networking and basic network security. Since so many cybersecurity threats take advantage of weaknesses in network infrastructure, having the Network+ certainly isn’t going to hurt your chances of employment in the cybersecurity field. Let’s take a look at some of the careers that often require the CompTIA Network+.
So, what types of jobs require the CompTIA Network+? Jobs that involve any aspect of network support will often require the CompTIA Network+. These include jobs like Network Administrator, Network Technician, and Network Security Specialist, among others. These jobs are tasked with network support and configuration, including the support of network users.
Additionally, there are cybersecurity specific positions that also benefit from having the CompTIA Network+. Based on current job listings, here are a few cybersecurity jobs that while they don’t specifically require the Network+, would certainly benefit from the extra certification.
Network Security Specialist
As a network security specialist, you’re responsible for analyzing networks and making certain there are no ongoing threats. The duties you’ll be expected to perform include:
- Safeguarding networks against unauthorized infiltration, modification, destruction, or disclosure
- Conducting network traffic analysis for anomalies
- Ensuring proper protection or corrective measures are taken when an incident or vulnerability is discovered within a system
- Performing risk assessments and making recommendations to improve security
Network security specialists play an important role in the security of an organization. Because of how essential you are, any proof that you have gone above and beyond to understand how networks operate will work for you on the job market.
Anyone that aspires to become a Network Security Specialist should focus on building their network administration and support abilities, and then also focusing on network security. Developing the ability to mitigate potential attacks against a network is critical. This type of position may also have other titles, such as Network Security Analyst or Network Security Administrator.
Cybersecurity Network Engineer
As a network engineer, you’ll be designing infrastructure that will improve an organization’s security. Here are just a few of the duties you’ll be required to do as a network engineer:
- Building, designing, testing, and deploying perimeter, cloud security systems to include firewalls and proxy devices
- Facilitating system implementation planning, providing review of firewall rules and security risk analysis
- Conducting troubleshooting of firewall (VM, appliance, cloud based) and network application issues, providing root cause determination and recommending resolution options
- Creating and maintaining standard operating procedures and guides for new cloud and/or existing perimeter hardware and software
Basically, the combination of networking and cybersecurity skills will make you a likely candidate for a network engineer position. For this job, the Network+ is definitely a must.
Candidates for a Cybersecurity Network Engineer position should have a sufficient amount of experience planning and deploying networks of various sizes, and also be familiar with many of the most critical network security tools such as firewalls and IDS technologies. Besides the Network+, other certifications would also be helpful for the Cybersecurity Network Engineer, including certifications from Cisco or Juniper.
Cybersecurity Threat Intelligence Analyst
Like the network security specialist, it’s your job to keep an eye on network traffic and be able to recognize when there’s any suspicious activity. And like a pen tester, you need to be able to recognize flaws and have more than an idea of how to fix them. Here are a few of the duties you’ll have as a cybersecurity threat intelligence analyst:
- Vulnerability scanning
- Malware detection
- Log file analysis
- Enterprise-wide incident response and security information and event management
For this job, the Network+ is only going to work in your favor. You’re required to have an above-average understanding of how networks operate, and the Network+ proves that you have that knowhow. Additional security-based certifications would also help here, such as CompTIA’s Security+, CySA+, or PenTest+.
Cyber Threat Intelligence Analysts should expect slightly higher pay then the positions mentioned earlier, as they often will need more security experience.
Cybersecurity Network Instructor
You may not be on the front lines, but cybersecurity instructors are in just as much demand as professionals who actively work to make organizations secure. Here’s what you’ll be expected to do as a cybersecurity network instructor:
- Analyzing customer requirements, available training methods and material, and facilities to deliver the required curriculum for classroom instruction
- Providing classroom instruction that teaches assigned students in the manner described in the course textbooks and materials
- Conducting practical exercises in a laboratory environment, conducting student study hall periods and provide tutoring/remedial instruction
- Managing the instructional content for the assigned topic area
As a cybersecurity network instructor, you need to have good people skills and the patience to educate others on networking and security. Having the Network+ certificate proves that you are qualified to educate others. Teaching experience in these positions is usually preferred but not required, and these positions are often contractual in nature.
If you want to be a network planner, you need Network+. As a network planner, it’s your job to:
- Developing, planning, and implementing the overall strategic goals of an organization’s network system
- Evaluating and recommending changes to current and future network requirements to meet the organization’s needs
- Recommending enhancements to manage networks and network facilities, including network control software, routers, switches, lines, modems, adapters, and servers to support and maintain local or wide area networks and recommend networking products and software upgrades
- Reviewing completion and implementation of system additions and/or enhancements and makes recommendations to management by explain complex problems to management in layman’s terms
It’s easy to see how a cybersecurity professional might transition into a network planning job. Network planning requires a thorough knowledge of networking, and while the Network+ certification is a must, the Security+ would be a not required but attractive addition to a potential employee’s resume.
Network planners should have substantial experience planning and deploying networks of all sizes, including large corporate installations. Experience with various types of network services is also a must.
Should You Get the CompTIA Network+?
So, should you invest in Network+ certification? Ultimately, it’s up to you and your career goals. If you’re interested in a cybersecurity position that works heavily with networking, such as pentesting or security analysis, it helps when employers can see that you are qualified for the position, and the Network+ helps to show employers you have a basic understanding of networking.
Being Network+ certified is not absolutely essential for many cybersecurity professionals, but it can make your resume stand out and qualify you for a wide variety of in-demand jobs.
Are Certifications Really That Important?
In the professional world of cybersecurity, certifications are important. For many (if not all) potential employers, certifications prove that you have a certain level of expertise. We have noticed in particular quite a few employers that require a certification to be interviewed or hired, and the employer will in some cases waive any requirements of experience if an applicant has a certification.
There are a lot of certification possibilities available, and CompTIA offers several of the most well known for entry-level cybersecurity and IT positions, from the basics-heavy A+ to the cybersecurity-specific Security+ and beyond.
One of the best strategies to determine what certifications would benefit you is to look at current job postings for positions you would be interested in, and see what certifications tend to be in the highest demand.