The CompTIA Network+ certification is for networking professionals, and covers managing, maintaining, troubleshooting, operating, and configuring basic network infrastructure. One exam is necessary to be certified: CompTIA Network+ (N10-005). CompTIA does not have an experience requirement for this certification, but they do recommend that a candidate have around 9 months of experience in the field.
Most IT professionals who intend to make their career in networking will eventually sit for several networking certifications. In most cases, multiple certifications are necessary because they deal with vendor-specific applications. The Network+ exam is an excellent first certification. This certification tests an overall understanding of how networks work, including network technologies, media and topologies, devices, tools, management, and security. The latest version of this exam (N10-005) was released December 1, 2011 with revised objectives to address virtual networking, and increased attention to network security and coverage of the seven-layer OSI model.
This exam was last revised in early 2009, and should remain in its present form until some time in late 2011. If you take this exam before December 31, 2010, you will be certified for life. If you take the exam after January 1, 2011, you will need to recertify every three years.