Getting Started in Wireless: Certifications and Job Roles

Getting Started in Wireless: Certifications and Job Roles

By CWNP On 10/15/2013 - 31 Comments

Written By: Tom Carpenter
One of the most important questions I’m often asked is related to the application of wireless LAN knowledge in various job roles. This question is important and should be considered by anyone beginning his or her journey through our vendor-neutral certifications or on a career path in the wireless networking sector.
First, it is important to realize that many IT-related jobs require basic knowledge of wireless networking. These include all of the following:
  • Helpdesk support professionals
  • Internal – company staff
  • External – customer support
  • Network administrators
  • Project managers
  • Server administrators
  • Desktop administrators
  • Software developers
  • Sales engineers
  • System engineers
Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “Wait a minute Tom. That covers just about every role in IT.” That is true, but the reality is that every position does require some knowledge of wireless networking.
Here's the reason: all job roles in some way touch or impact wireless LANs today.
 
In the past, I have said that every IT professional should know about three things (in general):
 
- Information creation
- Information transfer
- Information storage
 
Of course within these three general categories are many specific functions (security, database administration, etc.). In the past, these things all required knowledge of wired networking (information transfer), but today they also include knowledge of wireless networking.
 
Because wireless LANs are everywhere, it is important for every IT professional to understand the basics.
 
The CWTS certification is great for this. Certainly, a Database Administrator (DBA) position may not require a CWNA certification and you may even be able to get by without a CWTS certification (or the equivalent knowledge). However, use of this knowledge will certainly make you a better DBA. And for the wireless LAN geeks reading this, you would be a better wireless LAN geek if you knew the basics of database administration too, so don’t think I’m only preaching to the “other” IT folks.  ;-)
 
Now, aside from this general knowledge, what are some examples of job roles that can benefit greatly from our certifications and the knowledge gained through acquiring them? Here’s a nice starter list for you:
  • Network administrators – Need I say more here? The CWNA is a good certification for the general networking practitioner, and the CWSP is a great add-on here.
  • Network security analysts/testers – This group should hold the CWNA and CWSP certifications at a minimum. The CWAP is also very helpful.
  • Network administrators specializing in support of existing networks – The CWNA, CWSP  and CWAP would be very beneficial here.
  • Wireless LAN sales professionals – This group will benefit greatly from the CWTS certification.
  • Wireless LAN evangelists – These individuals build up a following for a specific vendor’s technologies, whatever their job title is within the organization. They should have a CWNA certification at a minimum.
  • Wireless LAN designers/planners – This group should have the CWNA, CWSP and CWDP certifications at a minimum to effectively plan a wireless LAN.
  • Wireless LAN network administrators – These professionals specialize in wireless LAN implementation and support. They should hold at least the CWNA, CWSP and CWAP certifications, with the possible inclusion of CWDP if they perform planning and design tasks as well.
  • Wireless LAN engineers – This group does it all and the CWNE is really the only acceptable level of certification for them. These engineers include consultants and internal employees as well.
As you can see, the certifications (and I can’t say it enough – the knowledge they bring) are beneficial to many job roles. This listing is just a start.
 
 
Can you think of additional specific roles where our certifications apply? Leave a comment below. Tagged with: cwnp, cwts, Wi-Fi, cwsp, cwna, CWAP, CWDP, CWNE, wireless, Jobs, Certifications, Role, Duties, Career, IT

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