Database administrators are in high demand by employers across the board, and that means many people with a high-tech background are looking to become a Microsoft Certified Network Administrator. The MCNA is a key part of any organization, with skills that allow them to diagnose network performance problems, upgrade and reconfigure network assets, and ensure that organizations can effortlessly communicate both internally and externally using their network configurations. The stakes are quite high for those who chose an MCNA certification and professional role, but the process of actually becoming a Certificated Network Administrator will ensure that they are fully prepared for the job.
Start with a Degree in Network Administration or Computer Science
Technically, the MCNA examination doesn’t require any education beyond a high school diploma. While that might sound exceedingly liberal, it’s worth noting that a background in network administration or computer science courses greatly improves a candidate’s chances of passing the exam on their first attempt. The examination includes questions that relate to multiple Windows environments, several challenging and theoretical network scenarios, and theoretical problem solving questions that require more than just a general knowledge of Microsoft software.
By completing a two-year or four-year degree in computer science or network administration, candidates will gain the skills they need to pass the MCNA exam with minimal added preparation. That’s because these degree programs cover multiple platforms, advanced network configurations and environments, and the interaction of business customers, end users, and network hardware. Students will also learn computer programming and proactive troubleshooting, both of which will help them prepare for the MCNA examination.
Find a Microsoft Training Center
Many community colleges and technical schools feature a Microsoft training center that will help students learn the skills they need to pass various certification exams authored by the company. These training centers might even feature weekly classes on Windows and Exchange technology, networking conventions for Windows-based systems, and much more. This is a great supplement to a college degree in computer science or network administration.
Use Exam Prep Materials to Cover the Finer Details
Although a technology-related degree is the best way to gain the background knowledge needed for MCNA exam success, it’s not the only way to make sure that this test is passable. Those candidates who have applied to take the MCNA exam should make sure that they take at least several weeks, if not several months, to review official Microsoft test preparation materials. In addition to review books, test candidates will be able to prepare using multimedia software and computer-based practice tests. These practice tests are a good indication of how challenging and demanding the test’s actual questions will be, and passing a practice test is therefore a good indication of a candidate’s chances when they sit for the official MCNA exam.
Arrive Early, Use the Allotted Time, and Think Critically
On test day, the stakes are high and stress levels are often elevated. It’s important to be fully prepared, to get a full night’s rest, and to arrive early. The testing center will need to verify personal and professional information, guide candidates to the computer that facilitates their exam, and make sure that they understand the schedule of test sections and various opportunities for a break.
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With proper education and preparation, candidates will find that the MCNA exam is actually rather easy to pass. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with this distinction added to the resume, candidates who become a Microsoft Certified Network Administrator will find plenty of job opportunities and a fast track to promotion within any organization’s IT department.