CompTIA Network+ vs. Cisco CCNA

Certificates are indispensable tools for IT professionals. They help verify skills and knowledge in any specific field, for example CompTIA Network+ vs CCNA certificate.

Network+ and CCNA focus on the same target and skills. Yet, the areas of knowledge they cover are pretty different. Thus, you must research these certificates well to make a suitable choice for your career.

Luckily, I will save you effort with this in-depth comparison. Network+ versus CCNA: which is best to choose? Keep reading to discover the answer!

What Is Network+?

Network+ is an entry-level certificate offered by CompTIA. It aims at verifying knowledge and capacity to perform networking tasks. Besides networking, Network+ is also suitable for many other IT domains.

Many IT organizations worldwide value this certificate. The professionals can also pursue Network+ to advance their career prospects.

You must pass an exam held by CompTIA to acquire this certificate. This certificate is an ideal option for entry-level candidates.

CompTIA Network+ Certification

What Is CCNA?

CCNA is also an entry-level IT certificate provided by Cisco. This technical certificate helps you build a foundation for many IT positions.

CCNA covers many principles of networking, security, IP services, automation as well as programmability. You can qualify for CCNA after passing the final exam.

Candidates must make an appointment before joining the final exam. Learners can also access the test online via their home computers.

CCNA Certification

Key Differences

Both options feature very high recognition in technology and networking. They cover essential skills and knowledge to help you develop a professional career.

Yet, the differences will occur when you look at their fundamentals. I will discuss all these factors in the following sections. Check them out to decide on your preferred option.

ScopeAround 9 – 12 months of experienceAround 1 year of experience
ExclusivenessVendor-neutralExclusive to Cisco products and tools
Exam Format90 questions for 90 minutes100 questions for 120 minutes
Validity3 years3 years
Career OpportunitiesFocus mainly on networkingA wider range of IT professions


Experience in networking is recommended for both options. For example, CCNA requires a minimum of one year of experience in dealing with Cisco solutions. With Network+, you need around 9 to 12 months of experience working.

Difficulty Level

Both options focus on the fundamental concepts and skills of networking. Thus, it’s an ideal option for low to intermediate levels.

Yet, CCNA will cover a wider range of topics, inducing the applications and techs of Cisco. Therefore, you have to prepare for these areas to achieve a high score.

Meanwhile, you must have a deeper foundation of programming to perform well in CCNA tests. Network+ features a lower difficulty level than its counterpart.

CCNA features higher difficulty

Vendor Neutral Or Exclusive

CCNA is exclusive to Cisco’s tools and technologies. Thus, it will limit your career scope when looking for jobs from companies that don’t use Cisco techs. It’s a significant setback if you want to experience many domains.

Network+ is vendor-neutral. It means that no company or business has control over its distribution. So, you can freely seek the roles and positions you prefer.


You have to invest an amount of money in both certificates. The price for the Network+ exam is $358, and CCNA is $300 (around 15% lower).

Exam Format

Learners have to participate in a single exam for both certificates. There are some great differences in their structures and timing.


You must pass an exam called N10-008 to acquire Network+. This test covers 5 main areas of networking. Thus, it will test your capacity and knowledge in each subject on a deep level.

The exam consists of 90 questions with a maximum score of 900. You must complete all of them within 90 minutes. You will pass the test with a minimum score of 720.


Similar to Network+, you only need to pass one single exam called (200-301).

This test features a similar approach with a total of 100 questions. Yet, it allows you up to 120 minutes to complete the test.


Both certificates will be valid for three years after you acquire them. After that time frame, you have plenty of options to renew your Network+.

You can participate in CE training or acquire other CompTIA certificates. You can also join a network exam held recently to prove your capacity.

Meanwhile, you have only two options to extend your CCNA certificate. The most popular way is to retake the CCNA exam. You can also pursue a higher-level certificate to extend it.

So, Network+ offers more accessible methods to renew your certification.

Career Opportunities

CCNA focuses mainly on networking and other related domains. Meanwhile, Network+ covers all the essential skills you need for a wide range of professions. It includes networking and domains like IT security.

Choose CCNA if you love computer networking

Which One Should You Choose?

You can consider your current situation and preferences. Are you at the low or advanced level? What exact positions or domains do you want to specialize in?

If you want to focus mainly on networking, CCNA is the most optimal choice. It can bring greater recognition and marketability.

Thus, it will give you more job opportunities in the field. The recruiters for networking positions also prioritize CCNA.

Also, it is exclusive to Cisco products. It’s the best choice if your future job involves the tools or products of Cisco.

Meanwhile, Network+ helps you build the foundation for networking. It covers all the skills required for this profession.

Besides, it also provides you with the knowledge of the other IT fields. Thus, you will gain access to a wide range of IT topics and techs.

Final Thoughts

Both certificates are an impressive addition to your portfolio. They can bring excellent value to professionals in the networking field with many essential skills required for this domain.

If you are a beginner, I would recommend Network+. It gives you the chance to develop in the other IT sectors. Meanwhile, choose CCNA if you only want to focus on networking.

Thank you for reading!