Having received a few specific inquiries via Twitter on this subject, I thought I'd take the time to express our view of the value of the CWTS certification, and how we arrived at the decision to retire Wireless# (aside from the name) and replace our entry-level certification with CWTS.
Wireless# covered a wide breadth of wireless technologies, not just Wi-Fi. Wireless# covered Bluetooth, Zigbee, Infrared, Wi-Fi, and WiMAX. Of course, these technologies were covered on the exam at a very shallow level, but the exam did cover all five of these technologies. At the time we created Wireless#, each of those technologies was poised for strong growth, which is why we determined at that time to test on those subjects.
Fast forward a few years, and, though each of those technologies did indeed experience traction and growth, none of them grew as fast as Wi-Fi and none of them required the level of training that enterprise Wi-Fi requires. That's not to say that a solid wireless systems engineer does not need to learn how these technologies work, but rather that each is deployed in a manner that requires less hands-on learning, experience, and knowledge than does enterprise Wi-Fi.
You are free to disagree with our premise, but that's what got us here.
And "here" is CWTS. Where did it come from? Well, just like we did back in 2001, we saw a need in the marketplace. This time, that need was for an entry level Wi-Fi certification, aimed not at the typical SE type, but at the project manager, first tier tech support, and - most importantly - the technical sales professional.
It is our working philosophy for CWTS that if the sales professionals who sell Wi-Fi solutions could at the very least "talk the talk", then the walking of the walk by pre- and post-sales SEs would be that much easier. Furthermore, anyone with the title of "SE" has at some time or another completely snowed a non-engineer with lots of fancy schmancy Wi-Fi language. Terms such as Fresnel Zone, dBi, free space path loss, polarization, and hidden nodes were (are) lost on most non-CWNA level people, not to mention SSID, TKIP, 802.1X, RBAC, and WIPS!
Our goal with CWTS is to educate (a) engineers (or future SEs) who are just sticking their toes into Wi-Fi for the very first time, (b) those who need to know what Wi-Fi is but not completely how it works, and (c) those who use the terms in the CWNP Dictionary every day but have no idea what they really mean.
So, for you Systems Engineers out there, what would life be like if the sales people you support were just 10% or 20% more knowledgeable in enterprise Wi-Fi? SE Managers, what if each of your SEs could support just one more sales person because those sales people know just that much more about the Wi-Fi technologies that they are selling?
That would be good, right?
CWTS is a great starting point for brand spanking new engineers, but it's really aimed at the Wi-Fi sales professional.
I hope this is helpful. Feedback is welcomed as always.
I think it's a great idea. Knowledgeable sales people are always a blessing.
I think its great too and it helps reinforce one's study of the technology and language. I found it a helpful study towards my CWNA efforts and my Cisco CCNA/CCNP Wireless certs.
There's a huge learing curve and having a management and staff that can understand what we are saying speaks volumes.
I like it.
I am a Network Engineer based in Wellington, New Zealand. (just to the right of Australia :)... I am starting my WiFi learning curve with the CWTS and view it as a stepping stone to the other higher qualifications. I believe that the we can take the CWTS final exam at approved exam centres in NZ, but was hoping someone could confirm this and the locations?
Yes, you can take the CWTS exam PW0-070 at any Pearson VUE testing center. You can find your nearest testing center at www.vue.com/cwnp
Hi, How are you doing?
I am a Network Engineer, and I am new in the Wireless Technology field.. I wonder if CWTS is a must for earning CWNA! and I would like to know as a fresh student in the field, what's better: starting with CWTS or move towards CWNA.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Hi Fwood. No, CWTS is not a required pre-requisite for earning CWNA. The only requirement for CWNA is passing PW0-104.
I hope this helps.
Thanks a lot for your fast response. It really helps a lot.
But what's better for me as a fresh to start with?
I really need this answer, so I can go in the right direction.
If you have IP networking knowledge, like the equivalent of Net+ or CCNA, then you should start with CWNA. If you are brand new, start with CWTS, and then get more general networking knowledge before you go to CWNA.
Thanks Kevin, you are the best.