IT Administrators

How CND v2 Is the Next Step After CCNA/MCSE for IT Administrators

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Network admins used to be an integral part of a business infrastructure. But in the last 5 years, the status quo around their role changed. Cyberattacks became common and IT administrators started facing new challenges. Soon, their position was no longer a sacred job profile across industries. As a result, more and more companies started looking for network defenders to join their ranks. Today, network defense is considered the next step for professionals working as IT/Network Admins.

The demand for network defenders has also increased in the last year due to remote work culture. Recent reports indicate that incidents of phishing, social engineering, and data breaches have increased because the network is more vulnerable than ever. More and more organizations are hiring security administrators who can defend the organization’s network and adapt to new situations. As a professional with CCNA or MCSE certification, it makes sense to consider new career prospects.

Limitations of CCNA and MCSE

Most IT administrators choose between Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE) certifications. While these two qualifications are held in high esteem by IT experts, each path has certain limitations that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Cisco CCNA exam authenticates the in-depth skills of an individual to operate, troubleshoot, and effectively set up standard enterprise networks, while the MCSE certification confirms your competence to operate Microsoft technologies. The certification is centered around the most recent technologies for cloud infrastructures, business applications, data management and analytics, productivity, and mobility.

Individuals following the MCSE or Cisco certification path will find their opportunities paused beyond their role as a network administrator. Apart from this, the programs focus on solutions from one single vendor, which truly limits the prospects to explore tools and technologies from other companies.

Vendor-neutral network security certification will cover many of these limitations. The programs will allow you to think beyond certain industry-specified tools so that you can play without restrictions. More and more professionals are choosing CND v2 over CISCO’s network security programs because they don’t want to limit themselves to one workplace and make future career decisions from every opportunity possible.

Increasing Need for Network Security

Network security is a common issue irrespective of the industry. There are some major entities that have been affected due to data breaches, ransomware attacks, or a phishing attempt. The examples speak for themselves:

What is common around most of these incidents is that these entities didn’t have network security solutions in place. A network or IT admin’s skills fall short when there is a data breach. As a result, recovering from an incident consumes a lot of resources. Signs show that demand for network security officers will increase and it will slowly take over the position of network admin. In a scenario like this, both professionals and businesses should consider network security officers by checking out the certification programs that train in these skills.

Why Choose Certified Network Defender?

CND v2 offers many advantages over other systems administrator certifications. This allows participants to acquire a broad range of hands-on experience and gain knowledge of fundamental technologies. You’ll also develop your understanding of network security operations and technologies.

Notable features of Certified Network Defender v2:

  • It includes an adaptive security strategy and focuses on the Protect – Detect – Respond – Predict aspect of network security.
  • Over 50% of the programs are lab intensive.
  • Efficient and proactive approach to threat intelligence.
  • Dedicated focus on IoT and cloud security.
  • An upgrade to mobile security measures.
  • Enhanced emphasis is placed on cloud security (Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform).
  • Covers the latest technologies such as Kubernetes security and Software Defined Network (SDN).

Who Is Eligible for the CND v2 Certification Program?

CND v2 is perfect for individuals working as network or IT admins. If you are interested in moving on from your current role and building a career in cybersecurity, then CND v2 will offer you an opportunity to do so. Here are some roles that demand professionals with network security training:

  • Security Operator
  • Network Defense Technician
  • Network Administrator/Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Engineer
  • Network Security Administrator/Engineer/Analyst
  • Security Analyst

Apart from professionals, students, university professors, self-taught hackers, and IT professionals currently serving in different domains can also consider CND v2. Network security is an ideal career path if you wish to transition from your current role and find a job profile with better prospects for the future.

CND v2 Salary and Career Prospects

According to PayScale, IT Administrators earn $60,153 on an average. But after completion of a network defense certification, a Network Security Engineer earns an average salary of $85,555, while a Network Defender Architect earns $91,000 per annum.

CND v2 doesn’t just add new skills and increase your chances of a promotion; you will also find better salary opportunities.

Network Defender Yearly Salary


According to a Global Network Security Market report, the sector is projected to increase at a considerable CAGR of 4.74% from 2017-2022. You can anticipate an increased demand of cybersecurity professionals soon. The vacant positions left unfilled in this field cannot be scaled in a year or two. This is the right time to start your network security training. By the time this sector reaches its peak, you will already be at an advanced stage of your cybersecurity career.

EC-Council’s Certified Network Defender (CND v2) program offers a detailed overview of network defense techniques. The program is developed keeping the latest case studies and incidents in mind. With CND v2, you’ll find new horizons to explore new career opportunities.

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What is Certified Network Defender?
Certified Network Defender is a certification program that focuses on network defense. The topics covered in CND v2 enables the network security officer to keep an eye on impending network threats and ways to counter them.
Why should Network Administrators consider Network Defense Certification?
Network Administrators should consider a network defense certification like CND v2 because it elevates their expertise. The certification program teaches network admins about the tools and techniques used to protect the network from an attack. Professionals with this certification and training are in demand because of rising cybersecurity threats.
What should I do next after completing CCNA certification?
Once you have completed CCNA certification and have gained a few years of expertise as a network or IT admin, you should consider network security training. A program like Certified Network Defender (CND v2) is an ideal course of choice for network and IT Admins with CCNA certification.
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