Home Blog CCNA vs Network+ | Which is a Better Career Choice?

CCNA vs Network+ | Which is a Better Career Choice?


Want to know if it’s worth your time and money to pursue CCNA vs Network+? Striving to achieve and securing certifications are ways to demonstrate to recruiters your commitment to your educational thirst and career expertise. But does this impact your potential earning as well? Yes, it does!

According to Ziprecruiter, CompTIA Network+ certified annual salary ranges between $38,000 to $142,000 while Cisco CCNA annual salary ranges between $40,500 to $139,500 in United States.

Recently, the global IT industry was anticipated to grow at a 3.7 percent annual rate, demonstrating that IT is growing faster than any other field on the planet. A career in IT allows you to work in an environment that is unceasingly & rapidly evolving. There are numerous dynamic jobs available in this industry, which together supports continued ongoing professional development. While ziprecruiter.com reports annual salaries as high as $142,500 and as low as $38,000, the majority of Network Engineer salaries currently range between $70,500 and $75,000 per year. In comparison, the median salary for a CCNA in the United States can vary from $139,500 to $40,500, with the majority of CCNA salaries currently ranging between $61,000 and $71,000.

All that being said, in this post, Takethiscourse wants to help readers and potential credentials seekers to understand- Which is a better career choice(CCNA vs Network+). We’d compare all the core features as well as general uptakes offered by both competitors before announcing the battle winner. Let us begin!

What is CCNA?

The CCNA certification is a basic credential that gives you access to a massive and reliable Cisco universe. Although that’s not to assume that it will not teach the fundamental concepts. In assertion, IT professionals studying for Network+ are promoted to use portions of the CCNA training as well.

Cisco governs more than half of the access point and shifting market globally. This growth is fueling requirements for Cisco-trained and certified personnel.

Cisco CCNAAs you may be aware, CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) is an associate-level networking certification offered by Cisco. Cisco-created exams demonstrate your ability to manage IT channels, with distinct CCNA credentials for diverse aspects of network infrastructure. The CCNA certification combines all aspects of IT networking into a single formative certification. This provides you with all of the credentials you need to operate in the IT industry.

If users begin taking CCNA first, there’s a strong chance you’ll be able to pass Network+ with little intensive study. We don’t highly suggest this, but you can do it if you want to.


There are no formalities to take the CCNA exam. Aspirants should, however, be familiar with the standardized test topics before actual exams. You’ll observe that the CCENT training program is included in the CCNA curriculum. Number of applicants clearly shows:

  • a solid grasp of IP addressing and network essentials
  • and at least 1-3 years of experience in a relevant field are necessary.

As a result, the majority of CCNA aspirants already have one or more years of knowledge integrating and directing CISCO solutions.

This 120 minutes long exam validates your skills on following topics:CCNA Exam Topics

Examples of successful CCNA implementation

Numerous professionals have boosted their careers and found value in addition to their resumes in the form of CCNA certification.

One of many prominent examples of CCNA implementation is by the Global financial services company, Barclays. They manage 1700 sites across the globe and were able to implement a network refresh program that involved the upgradation of their network infrastructure across all the aforementioned sites. This project required a team that incorporated CCNA-certified engineers to facilitate proper and secure implementation of network infrastructure that was optimally designed.

One more example is IBM which is one of the leading multinational tech firms. They proposed the requirement of having CCNA certification by all their network engineers. This ensures that their network engineers possess in-depth knowledge of networking that will assist them in designing and troubleshooting.

Additionally, the healthcare industry including a renowned company the National Health Services (NHS), based in UL has implemented it successfully. They have already carried out upgradation of their network infrastructure which they deemed necessary for the digitization of medical history and other records. The project was assigned to a team in which all the professionals held CCNA certification to make sure the network of their company is secure and stable.

Conclusively, the implementation of CCNA certification has been carried out in numerous different industries which include finance, healthcare, security, and many more. It has aided organizations and companies to develop and secure their complex network infrastructures to meet the standards required to cope with the challenges of the ever-growing market.

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What is Network+?

Network+ is a CompTIA certification that focuses on identifying and developing functional networks, installing devices, and maintaining security standards and guidelines.

Network SwitchesCompTIA offers Network+ as part of the corporate lesson plan, which is a collection of entrance electives designed to provide students with a foundation in advanced information technology concepts. It begins with an overview of IT communication networks intended to help IT experts advance in their careers. If you have no prior experience, start with Network+. If you’re entirely new to desktop support or network management, you may also want to proceed with CompTIA A+.

Network+ begins with the fundamentals: the OSI reference, switches and routers, data packets, and basic commands switch ports, and diagnostics, before moving on to cloud computing, tech support, software as a service, privacy, and protection.

CompTIA certification is acclaimed to be vendor-neutral, which means it does not favor any unique type of edge routers.

Many major corporations, including HP, Intel, Canon, Dell, Apple, and Verizon, require this credential to make recruitment decisions. There are no preconditions for taking the exam but A+ certification is required to possess various CompTIA certifications. However, it is advised that you have at least 9 to 12 months of networking experience.

Skills are validated against following core topics in this 90 minutes exam:Network+ Core Topics

Examples of successful Network+ implementation

EY (Ernst & Young): One of most reputable and established professional services firms, EY, considers it an essential part of their business that their network administrators manage and regulate CompTIA Network+ certification. This is to meet the criteria that their IT staff mandatorily possesses the core foundational knowledge to administrate and provide assistance to the firm’s complex network structure.

The US Department of Defense: The US Department of Defense (DoD) acknowledges the significance of CompTIA certifications and demands all its network technicians carry Network+ certifications. The certification makes sure that DoD personnel have the required skills in their arsenal to operate and meet the security standards of the military’s cast network infrastructure.

Hewlett-Packard: Hewlett-Packard (HP) is one of the giant tech companies in the world and their network support staff are required to hold Network+ certification. The sole reason is to ensure perfect technical support is provided to the clients. This is only possible when their staff possesses optimal knowledge of the latest networking technologies.

Dell: Dell is one of the most renowned tech companies that consider Network+ certification a value addition to their company’s progression and business. Dell requires their network administrator to hold Network+ certification to be certain that they have acquired the skills needed the most in managing and maintaining the company’s global network infrastructure.

Conclusively, the CompTIA Network+ certification has been incorporated in various industries, including finance, tech, and defense organizations under the government. This is done to establish a criterion for the network professionals to have the required skills.  The complex network infrastructures of companies require skills for their appropriate management which are provided in this certification.

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Now that you’ve gone through all of the above information, which certification would you prefer: Network+ or CCNA? Or would you like to do both if you had to?

Let’s look at the comparative study in collaboration with various sources such as medium, ITcareercentral & Quora:

Core Features



Exam Code 200-301

CompTIA Network+

N10-008 Exam Code

Overview Basic networking course

Covers networking concepts and challenges

Manages the Cisco brand

Teaches networking concepts, guidelines, and Cisco innovation

II certified level in Cisco’s “tree”

Basic networking course

Vendor-agnostic — focuses solely on networking essentials

Contains various networking speculations

Similar to the routing and switch port track

Offers Certifications CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician)

CCT (Cisco Certified Technician)

Two-tracked CCT certification (required to become the EMT of the Cisco world)

CTAC (Cisco Technical Assistance Center)


IT Fundamentals


Network+ (CompTIA advises A+ training before taking the Network+ course)

Exam Topics Network Essentials (20% )

Network access (20% )

Connectivity via IP (25%)

IP-based services (10% )

Fundamentals of Security (15%)

Programming system and digitization (10%)

Communication networks & theories (Network Concepts-23%)

Network equipment (18%)

Network procedures (17%)

Network Perimeter (20%)

Network Diagnostics & Analytics Database (22%)

Exam duration 2 hours 1 hour and 30 minutes
Format Multiple-Response and Multiple-Choice Questions Multiple-choice and performance-based evaluations (analytical questions)
Number of questions Contains 50-60 specific questions Consists of a peak value of 90 questions
Exam Cost CCNA 200-301 costs $300 (voucher valid for one year)

Preparatory courses can range between $800 to $4000

Costs $329

Preparatory courses are upto $2,299

Network+ license costs $189, and the exam prep bundle costs $599

Passing Percentage Not published by Vendor

(Estimated to be 85%)

Estimated to be 69 – 70%
Validity or Expiration dates 3 years validity 3 years validity

If you are pursuing free or economical training courses for any of these certification, we have curated the best courses with effectiveness score that will help you to take a knowledgeable learning decision. Check course effectiveness before enrolling.

CCNA vs Network+: The Major Differences

CCNA candidates are only trained to use Cisco’s tools and products. This restricts your expertise to a single vendor. CCNA does not train aspirants in important company qualifications, whereas CompTIA Network+ does, which is an important part of what recruiting officers look for in a potential employee.

Network+ guarantees a vendor-neutral framework and covers network-monitoring tools from all distributors and alternative solutions, whereas Cisco’s CCNA certification only covers networking for Cisco products and solutions.

Consequently, if a potential employer is looking to instantly hire a network support expert or network manager, employees with CompTIA Network+ certification will be at the forefront in the list of viable applicants.

According to Christopher Chipps (A+ Net+ Sec+) Field Services Tech Lead on Quora:

“It has the potential to open doors to opportunities in the networking field. It teaches you the fundamentals of networking to prepare you for a Cisco certification. It also demonstrates to potential employers that you want to succeed and work hard. Its value extends beyond monetary considerations.”

So, which is the better choice?

Takethiscourse believes in user reviews and analytical observation. In this post, after a quick and detailed study through various sources,

“We’d like to suggest our readers; pursue CompTIA’s Network+ certification before pursuing CCNA”.

Why Network+ comes first?

It may not come as a surprise, given that what we’re about to say has been suggested by many certified CCNA experts. Can’t simply take our word for it; here’s what Makros Irs, a Cisco Certified Network Associate student at the National Institute of Information Technology, has to say on Quora.

If you intend to continue pursuing CCNA, then getting N+ Certification is a BIG PLUS. N+ is nothing more than an introduction to networking, that you will study in-depth in CCNA. (Makros Irs, CCNA)

The PLUS POINT is that if you don’t know what the DHCP “DORA” process is, CCNA won’t present a brief justification, but N+ will give you a detailed explanation, and there are many examples like this.

Basically, CCNA is a course designed for people who understand the fundamentals of networking, so if you have N+ knowledge, you will breeze through CCNA, although if you apply directly for CCNA, you will need to learn a bit of basic networking whenever CCNA concepts include a bit of N+ concepts.

So, simply, get an N+ Certification only if you want to pursue CCNA; otherwise, it might not be worth it.

Does that mean CCNA isn’t worth it?

CompTIA “Network+ is merely a synopsis of the overall network system that can assist you in passing your CCNA certification exam said Nazmul Ahmed Noyon, Computer engineer.” No doubt, Cisco Certification is gaining mainstream applause, and it is directly aimed at Cisco systems running the networks, ultimately running the world. When it comes to developing a career path and specialty, Cisco courses provide a wider scope, with a training channel and strong tech support.

a Cisco certificate verifies that you understand the fundamentals well enough to pass a test. Try searching a job board to see how many network jobs “do not require a Cisco certificate” as a prerequisite for employment—not many (Mike Fleck, an IT Network Engineer).

CCNA Salary Stats:

This section gives our readers an idea of how much a CCNA can earn on average. We have listed down the salary details of a CCNA working in four major countries. So let’s see the salary statistics of these individuals working in different major countries.

Country Average Salary (Yearly)
United States $80,138
United Kingdom £64,933
India ₹233,000
Australia A$58,000

CompTIA Network+ Salary Stats:

This section is the most important one as it gives our readers an idea of how much a Network Engineer can earn on average. We have listed down CompTIA Network+ salary in five major countries.

Country Average Salary (Yearly)
United States $87,975
Canada $87,731
United Kingdom £45,130
India ₹550,000
Australia A$104,500

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is CCNA harder than Network+?

The difficulty level between comptia network+ vs ccna can varies depending upon individual perspectives and experiences. Both certifications cover essential networking concepts and technologies, but there are some differences in terms of depth and scope.

The Network+ performance-based questions may appear to be more difficult, but they are easier than the CCNA PBQs since the Network+ PBQs are broader in nature. The CompTIA Network+ exam is vendor-neutral and is not confining to particular commands. Most professionals believe CCNA is more challenging than the CompTIA Network+ exam and therefore taking first the Network+ exam is highly beneficial.

Ultimately, the difficulty of these certifications depends on your prior knowledge, experience, and study approach. It’s important to assess your skills and goals to determine which certification aligns better with your aspirations.

Is it possible to get employment with a CCNA or Network+ certification?

Many employers will employ people with only the Cisco CCNA certification for a lower-level or entry-level IT or cyber security job, but your likelihood of being appointed greatly increase if you have some other skill in addition to CCNA, such as technical expertise. Even some other certifications, or abilities like customer service work as plus points. The Network+ core certification guarantees a stable career in entry-level IT jobs such as network analyst, networking technician, help desk technician, network administrator, and systems engineer.

How much money can be offered with Network+ and CCNA certifications?

It is determined by your IT profession and knowledge. Getting certified, on the other hand, can open up a slew of new doors and make you eligible for a better income. The average salary for a Network+ certified individual is $67,946. Net income ranges from $64,000 for a system administrator to $98,000 for a director of information technology (IT). Each career has a vast scope, but the Network+ certification can propel you to come at the top in every sector. The average salary for a CCNA certification is $80,052, according to the salary schedule. It ranges from systems administrator ($63,000) to director of information technology (IT) ($108,000) depending on your experience and skills. You can significantly raise your salary by pursuing the CCNP and CCIE certifications.

How long are the Network+ and CCNA credentials valid?

Both the CompTIA Network+ and Cisco CCNA certifications are valid for three years. You might have to revive your certification and have to take the exam again at this point.

Is there a prerequisite for CCNA and Network+?

There are no formal prerequisites for CCNA certification, but you should be familiar with the exam topics before taking it. CCNA candidates frequently have one or more years of expertise in implementing and managing Cisco solutions is preferred. There are however no prerequisites for CompTIA Network+ certification. CompTIA Network+ certification requires at least nine months of networking experience. While some exam applicants may require minimal additional knowledge, others may need to devote considerable time and effort to their exam preparation.

Final Words

Taking Cisco certifications for a transparent and well-defined path to a rewarding ‎career or Network+ simply because the PBQs on the Network+ are more ‎universal – it’s up to you. We may have given you an absolute answer ‎based on our observations, but we strongly believe that everyone’s priorities ‎differ. ‎

The highest score wins. That is your starting point. Now, get to work!