CompTIA Network+ Certification
If you’ve passed the CompTIA Network+ exam or are considering taking it, you’ve probably come across the following questions:
- How long will the Network+ certification be valid?
- When does the CompTIA Network+ certification expire?
- What happens when this occurs? Is it necessary for you to retake it?
- What is the procedure for updating your Network+ certificate to a newer version?
Unfortunately, a non-expiring IT certification exam (a lifetime certification) is extremely rare. The fast-paced, constantly innovating nature of the IT industry makes predicting how long a new certificate will last before being updated or replaced nearly impossible. Many factors, including the job market and regional demand for specific skill sets, can impact this.
Is CompTIA Network+ Valid?
The quick answer is yes. The Network+ certification is valid for three years after it is obtained. To maintain your certificate, you must renew your Network+ credential.
Here are the two main reasons why it will expire in three years:
As previously stated, the information technology industry is advancing quickly. What is fashionable and in demand, today may not be so in a few years. Your ability to stay ahead of the curve and evolve with the industry will determine the success of your career.
It is why CompTIA’s exams are constantly updated. With newer versions of Network+, you can stay up-to-date and competitive while strengthening your networking knowledge. To advance in your career, you must renew your CompTIA credentials regularly.
ISO/ANSI refers to the Network+ exam’s accreditation status. CompTIA must introduce new exam questions after a certain period to maintain this status.
One of the primary reasons why the US Department of Defense recognizes Network+ is the ISO/ANSI accreditation standard (and some other higher-level CompTIA certifications). These are globally recognized certifications that can add value to your resume.
How Do I Renew My CompTIA Network+ Certification?
CompTIA’s renewal process includes three options for those who want to keep their Network+ certification current before it expires.
CompTIA offers a specific course called the CertMaster CE Network+ training to renew your certification. The period lasts six hours and covers the most recent Network+ exam objectives. This certification training is a relatively simple option because it can be completed online and does not require a final exam.
Exams for Recertification
In addition to the CertMaster CE, you can take or pass one (or more) of the following:
CompTIA advanced certification (such as Server+, Security+, Linux+, Cloud+, CySA+, PenTest+, and CASP+)
An additional certification from a vendor that offers a course similar to the Network+ (for example, the Cisco CCNA, Microsoft MTA/Networking, or RedHat RHCE)
The most recent version (release) of the Network+ exam
If you want to take more exams during the recertification process, such as additional, higher-level CompTIA certification, consider your career path and what you want to achieve. Before pursuing an advanced-level certification, consider which IT field you want to excel in. For example, a network security specialist, a network technician, and a network administrator may all need different additional credentials.
Activities for Renewal
Finally, if you want to avoid taking a new course or passing a new exam, you can collect continuing education units by participating in various industry activities (CEUs). Renewal of the Network+ exam requires 30 CEUs.
These are some examples of CEU-gathering activities:
- Participating as a Subject Matter Expert in a CompTIA exam development workshop
- Mentoring or teaching a course in such a workshop
- Writing a white paper, a blog post, or an article
- Creating a book on a relevant topic
Finish your training or a higher education program (attend a conference session, live webinar, complete a college course, or similar)
If you work in the computer networking industry, your job may also allow you to earn CEUs.
It is the most challenging renewal method because all listed activities typically provide a few CEUs. You could instead complete a combination of activities to meet the Network+ renewal requirements.
Each CompTIA exam has a unique code. The code is determined by the type of exam as well as the version of the exam. The current Network+ exam, for example, has the code N10-007.
Despite the lack of official confirmation, the industry believes that the new N10-008 version of the Network+ will be released in September 2021. CompTIA has a “six month grace period,” which means that for six months after the N10-008 is released, both the N10-008 and the 007 will be available for testing.
The N10-007 will be phased out of test centers in 2022, leaving only the 008 for the next three years.
Is this to say that if you pass the Network+ N10-007 now, your certificate will be invalid next year?
Nope, it doesn’t. Keep in mind that Network+ has a three-year cycle. Even if you pass the 007 exams now, months before it is phased out, they will be valid for another three years.
Choosing between Taking and Waiting
You may be debating whether to prepare for and take the N10-007 now or wait for the 008 to become available.
A word of caution: take off getting certified. It is especially true if you are looking at an exam version that is about to be retired.
The new version will include new content and exam objectives for which there is currently little study material (if any). It will take some time for training centers and instructors to develop new courses based on the new objectives. If you intend to self-study, you will only have the exam blueprint to work from until more resource material is available online.
You will not gain or lose anything because whichever exam you pass (007 or 008) will be valid for the next three years.
The Network+ CompTIA certification will, predictably, expire. The majority of IT industry certifications do.
The Network+ certification is valid for three years from the date of passing. You must renew your certification to keep the credentials on your resume.
Earning a higher-level CompTIA credential, a cert from another vendor accepted by CompTIA, or participating in a variety of activities that will make you CEUs (continuing education units) for renewal are the three main ways to do this. Your goals and the type of study environment you prefer determine which one you choose.
Finally, regardless of which cycle the exam is currently in, make sure to become Network+ certified. Find the necessary study materials or enroll in an instructor -led training course to hone your computer networking skills!