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The most logical place to begin a network certification path is with CompTIA's Network+. Not only does the foundational material covered in the exam provide a good starting point to build your personal network expertise but the certification is also recommended and recognized in the certification paths of other organizations such as Microsoft and HP that you may pursue in the future.

After Network+ is obtained, working through Cisco's certification offerings—from the associate-level CCNA to the pinnacle CCIE—will provide the most thorough accreditation of network proficiency. Along the way, vendor-specific certifications for systems you're currently working with or requested by employers can be worked toward to supplement your certification portfolio.

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