CompTIA, the leading provider of vendor-neutral skills certifications for information technology (IT) professionals, today launched a new version of the CompTIA Network+ certification exam.

The new CompTIA Network+ exam (N10-005) places greater emphasis on network security and the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model for implementing networking protocols in seven layers. Content on virtual networking is also included in the new exam.

“The changes reflect the realities of today’s network environment, where security awareness is heightened; mobile computing options are expanding; and cloud computing, unified communications and virtualization are broadening their footprints,” said Terry Erdle, executive vice president, skills certification, CompTIA.

CompTIA Network+ is an internationally-recognized and ISO/ANSI accredited certification that certifies that a successful candidate has the knowledge and skills required to implement defined network architectures with basic network security, as well as configure and troubleshoot network devices using standard network tools. More than 325,000 network administrators, network technicians, network installers, help desk technicians, IT cable installers and other IT workers around the world are CompTIA Network+ certified.

Companies such as Best Buy, Cisco, Dell, EDS, Geek Squad, HP, Office Depot, Ricoh, Sharp and Xerox recommend or require CompTIA Network+ for their networking technicians.

The U.S. Department of Defense recognizes CompTIA Network+ as part of its Directive 8570.1M, which provides guidance and procedures for the training, certification, and management of military and civilian personnel with responsibilities for information assurance.

CompTIA Network+ was also recently added as a technical prerequisite option for IT technicians seeking to join the Apple Consultants Network, a collection of independent professional service providers and technology consulting firms that deliver on-site technology services and support to home users and businesses.

Study materials for the new CompTIA Network+ exam are available now from Pearson Learning. Additional courseware is scheduled for publication in the coming weeks, including titles from Axzo Press, Element K, gtslearning, McGraw Hill, UCertify and Wiley/Sybex. Exam vouchers are available in North America through the CompTIA Marketplace or directly through Pearson VUE and Prometric.

Complete exam objectives for the updated CompTIA Network+ certification are available on the CompTIA certification web site.

The existing CompTIA Network+ exam (N10-004) remains available until August 31, 2012 for those who are training or studying toward that exam.

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