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Like this article? We recommend Vendor-Specific Certifications

Vendor-Specific Certifications

Aside from the Cisco certifications, mentioned above, there are a number of vendor-specific certifications in networking that carry quite a bit of esteem in the market. Three of the leaders are Novell, Microsoft, and HP—each of which are discussed in the sections that follow.


While Novell was a leader in the market as the population of IT certifications boomed in the 90s, its certifications have lost popularity and relevancy in recent years. Many network professionals still pursue one or more, however, to augment expertise or increase their marketability to employers running Novell networks. The base-level certification offered is Certified Novell Administrator, which can be obtained by following paths concentrating on Novell Open Enterprise Server for Netware and NetWare 6. With the CNA as a prerequisite, the Certified Novell Engineer (CNE) certification tests advanced knowledge of Novell network management and troubleshooting.

In 2008, Novell introduced the Novell Certified Administrator Enterprise Services (NCA ES) and Novell Certified Engineer Enterprise Services (NCE ES) as new alternatives for entry-level and advanced certification, respectively. These two additions were instituted to help CNA- and CNE-certified individuals transition into working with Novell Open Enterprise Server 2. The NCA ES is designed for candidates with little or no experience with Novell products and covers the foundational administrative tasks of network management. The NCE ES validates engineer-level skills for administering, implementing, and deploying Open Enterprise Server 2.

Exams for the CNA, CNE, and NCA ES cost $125. The NCE ES exam costs $195. To find out more about Novell's certifications, visit http://www.novell.com/training/certinfo.


Microsoft offers a plethora of certifications for the various servers in its line-up. Three levels of certification (Certified Technology Specialist, Certified IT Professional, and Certified Master) can be obtained for the three most prominent servers: Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL, and Windows. Additionally, the top-tier designation Microsoft Certified Architect can be acquired for the Exchange and SQL servers. Other concentrations of Microsoft certification include BizTalk, Microsoft Systems Center, Virtualization, and Windows Small Business Server.

All levels of Microsoft certification exams cost $125. For more information about specific exams and exam objectives, visit http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/view-by-technology.aspx.


HP offers System Administrator and System Engineer certifications for network professionals looking to increase proficiency in installation, configuration, and support of HP systems. Learn more about its certifications at http://h10120.www1.hp.com/certification/certified_professional_program_intro.html.

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