How Hard is Network+? Let Me Tell You
I took the CompTIA A+ before the Network+, plus I already had a few months of IT experience before taking it. That’s a lot of plusses, I know. I didn’t have a lot of experience then, but I do remember the difficulty of the Network+. I remember looking it up to see what other people’s experience was in taking the Network+ exam. It seems that every beginner IT person eventually wonders how hard is Network+.
The Network+ is easiest for those experienced in taking other CompTIA certifications. It is also the most entry level networking certification. You will need to know the basic concepts of the OSI Model, topologies, and ports. These concepts will become a refresher if you’ve previously taken other CompTIA certifications.
I’ve seen forums where people complain about how difficult it is, while others find it easier. I personally found it easier than studying for my A+ certification. Not because the topics are less complex, but because I knew what to expect in studying for another CompTIA certification. At the end of the day, it is less about the exam difficulty and more about putting the effort and time in.
What Makes the Network+ Difficult for Some?
A lot of what makes the Network+ difficult is preferring to watch TV shows and YouTube videos over putting the time and effort to learn it. If you take your studies somewhere less distracting, and do this consistently, it is only a matter of time when you will have learned the material for the Network+.
There is also the aspect of newness that comes into play. And like with everything that is new, there is an undercurrent of anxiety that can creep in. That doesn’t necessarily have to be the case with the Network+. To alleviate this, you can take a step back and study a more simpler CompTIA exam.
For me, my experience of struggling with a CompTIA certification was worked out while studying my A+. I thought I would never get this certification and it was one of my very first IT certification. After going through this, I found studying and taking the Network+ less intimidating. It also helped that I had a few months of IT experience at that point.
The Network+ is generally not a tough exam. If you put the steady routine of studying in, you’ll begin to start grasping these fundamental concepts of network interconnectivity. And eventually it can become fun as you learn more and more. The key is to become passionate about the material you’re studying.
Network+ Tips to Know and Do
If you wanted to follow what I did, it may make the Network+ certification process easier.
The two big things that helped me out before taking the Network+ are:
- A few months of IT experience
- Taking the A+ prior to
But there are also some additional tips that helped with my mindset:
- Immersion into tech culture
- Setting up daily routines
- Having the right study materials
My favorite was the immersion into tech culture. Once you choose these people as your influence, your bound to progress in the tech world.
When I started IT, I didn’t know a lot of people who were very technical. So I started reaching out to tech jobs on Craigslist to work for free. That’s where I began to cut my teeth.
At a more basic level, I followed people on YouTube who might have been studying or talking about Network+ or tech in general. This will give you abundant input for tech culture immersion.
Of course, don’t fall into the trap of watching YouTube all day or reading forums. You actually have to open a book, take notes, and watch videos to study for Network+. But the idea for the additional immersion is to begin a fire into this community.
Comparing CompTIA Network+ to A+
When I took the CompTIA A+, it was one of the first IT certifications I’ve ever taken. It was intimidating. I didn’t know what to expect.
There was so much to study in the CompTIA A+ and the all of the concepts were so new to me. Coming from a customer service background (I delivered pizzas), there were real technical concepts that went beyond my knowledge of a regular Windows user.
Not to mention, the A+ was also two parts long. It’s strange this is one of basic tech certifications, because there’s a lot of information that just gets thrown at you in this certification.
I personally found the A+ more difficult than the Network+. Less because of the content, and more into getting into a routine of studying and learning about the world of information technology in general.
There’s less material you will have to learn in the Network+ than the A+, but it is a step up in stretching your ability to think about how computers talk.
In short, the Network+ was easier than taking the A+.
2 Months of Study? What about the Materials?
I don’t remember the exact time frame it took to study the Network+. If I were to guess, no more than 2-3 months. I would also consider the intensity of my studies to be leisurely.
If you research forums like Reddit or InfoSecInstitute (previously TechExams), you’ll find that 2-3 months is a pretty common time people give themselves to study for a certification like the Network+. You could probably study the Network+ in a month if you were to take a more intense approach. Else, you could also have years of IT experience and maybe study for a month at leisurely rate and pass.
For a complete beginner, give yourself 3 months to prepare for the Network+. This is especially the case if you have zero experience in taking certifications prior to.
Along with an adequate timeline, it’s just as important to have the right study materials. I am not saying anything new when I say, you will need a diversity of study sources. Consider getting material one based on videos, and the other based on text.
If you’re not a reader, that’s fine. Just make sure you get multiple sources for your video based approach to learning. And be sure to take tons of notes to review!
A good video based approach to learning will quiz you along the way. Be sure to understand these questions, and even write them down for future reviews.
Once you’ve gone through your first study material like finishing a book or video course, add exam questions to your study routine. Begin taking one practice exam over and over again. Memorize and understand these questions. Then, continue to take another practice exam.
It’s a lot of work for any IT certification. But developing a passion for Network+, will make the work seem like play.
If you’re struggling to find resources, here are some that I’ve used: Professor Messer on YouTube, CBT Nuggets, and All In One Exam Guide by Mike Myers. All of these materials have excellent content for the Network+.
My IT Journey (Plug)
If this is the first time you’ve come across my writing, let me introduce myself: I’m a former pizza delivery driver who turned into an IT Professional.
I leveraged certifications, including the Network+ to slingshot me into lucrative positions.
The Network+ is not enough to get a high salary position. But if it is an expression of your passion in IT, it can.
What I mean is, the certification could just be a way to represent what you know in tech.
There is so much about the information technology world that I’ve learned, that I haven’t taken the cert for.
The cert is not usually necessary, but it gets the recruiter’s attention.
If you’re starting out in the tech world, it’s worth it. There are countless of people I’ve met where this career choice has changed there lives.
For instance, in 2020 I was able to refuse a written offer with a total package of $200k. This was never something I dreamed about when I delivered pizzas.
I’ve written a guide to provide tips and tricks to navigate the IT world. I took my years of IT experience and condensed it into this guide.
It took me 5 years to break six figures, I would have done it faster if I knew then what I know now.
You can support my writing at the price of a coffee with my “Six Figure Guide to Info Tech“