Why the CWNP Program?

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David, what is it about the CWNP program that you find valuable for those learning Wi-Fi?
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Tom Carpenter

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Posted 4 years ago

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David Coleman, Official Rep

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Because of the vendor neutrality, the majority of the WLAN vendors highly suggest CWNA training and certification as a prerequisite for there own vendor-specific WLAN training.  
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Tom Carpenter

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Why start with CWNA?
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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I am sure Tom will chime in here, but the CWNP program has multiple vender-neutral certifications.  The four core certifications in my mind are:



Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA)

Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP)

Certified Wireless Analysis Professional (CWAP)

Certified  Wireless Design Professional  (CWDP)
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Manoah Coenraad, Champ

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David, I thought it starts with CWTS?
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Joël Stouwdam

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Manoah,

where does CWTS stands for?
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Manoah Coenraad, Champ

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Certified Wireless Technology Specialist
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Raymond Hendrix

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it's the sales part of CWNP
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Joël Stouwdam

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thnx
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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CWNA is the foundation wireless certification that teaches you 802.11 fundamentals as well as a board overview of everything about Wi-Fi.  Before Cisco created their own wireless certification, a lot of people called CWNA the “CCNA of Wireless” – The difference being is that CWNA is vendor neutra
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Tom Carpenter

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Yes, the benefit of being vendor neutral is that you have a solid foundation that can easily be built upon with any vendor's specific solutions. For example, implementing an Aerohive WLAN is much easier for those who have CWNA certification than for those who have only CCNA or even CCNA Wireless, because we go deeper into the "wireless" and less into the "vendor."
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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I do not know if Tom can share numbers, but there are many thousands of certified CWNAs throughout the world.  The CWNA Study Guide is now published as a forth edition, sells about 6000 – 8000 copies a year and has recently been translated into simplified Chinese.   CWNA is where everyone should start.  
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Tom Carpenter

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Let's just say that we are approaching a significant milestone next year and there will be a public release related to it. It's a five figure number :-)
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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Wow... that is fantastic.... how many different countries?
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Tom Carpenter

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More than 140 countries
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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How people in this forum are already CWNAs?   
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Manoah Coenraad, Champ

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Not yet, Only CWTS. I want to do the CWNA certification in 2015.
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Martin Ericson

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CWNE!
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Keith Miller

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Just CWTS at this point. Slowly reading CWNA book but there are 20 other topics I have to learn as well. :)
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Rasika Nayanajith

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only CWDP is remaining to become CWNE .. hopefully before end of the year would become a CWNE :)
(Edited)
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alfmckim

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Currently studying for CWNA.
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Tom Carpenter

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Over the years, and yes, that's many years, that I've worked in IT and then as a trainer/author related to various certifications, I've had a lot of people ask me, "what does a certification prove?" I know my answer to that question, but David, what's yours?
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Hans Matthé

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I will do the certification next month. I waited till the release of the fourth edition of the study guide because ac is covered in this one.
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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I have always said that hands-on learning and experience should be your top priority, however, good certification programs can validate knowledge and skill sets. The CWNP exams are NOT easy and take a serious commitment to study and learning.  Most of the people pursuing these certifications are not “paper” certified, they really want to learn.
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Raymond Hendrix

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Did my training over a year ago but waited for AC too, but with 2 small kids it's hard to find the time to pick it up again.
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Hans Matthé

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Raymond, same situation here ;). 
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alfmckim

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Ditto! Bought the self-study package for the 105 exam, then life happened. Planning to write the 106 before the end of the year.
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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The holy grail of Certified Wireless Network Expert (CWNE) requires years of experience. Candidates must document the Wi-Fi projects they have been involved with. I believe their are now 150 CWNEs worldwide at this point.
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@papageordy

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A far too low number. What is CWNP doing to encourage more uptake in CWNEs? Is there enough commercial gain versus personal gain for achieving such a cert?
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Jukka Kettunen

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I passed the CWNA-106 test in September. Next my plan is to start studying for CWSP.
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Jenni

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Great job!!!
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Hans Matthé

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CWSP is my next one to. 
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Tom Carpenter

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Excellent!


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Martin Ericson

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Hi Jukka!
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Jukka Kettunen

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Hi Martin
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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Bottom line....  certification can validate your skills, but you still need experience and continuing education.
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Manoah Coenraad, Champ

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Yes, and you only use them when you apply for another job ;)
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Joël Stouwdam

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I'll start my CWNP program in 2015 :)
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Manoah Coenraad, Champ

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sounds good!
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Tom Carpenter

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Yes, David, I've always said, "Getting certified proves you have the knowledge to pass that exam; not getting certified proves nothing." :-) It's a pithy saying, but really holds a lot of truth. Personally, when I'm hiring (and I do a fair amount of that, particularly on a subcontractor level), I want to see experience and certification over experience alone (though I, like most, weight experience more). The acquiring of the certification tells me something about the individual that is very important to me; and that is that they are willing to learn and grow - wildly important in the IT sector.
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Hasso Tepper

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Certification per se doesn't prove anything. There is too many people in the job market who collect as many certificates as they can passing exams with help from exam dumps. And not having certificate doesn't prove anything either - there are a lot of areas in the industry where certifications don't matter and people are not motivated to take exams.

It doesn't mean that certifications don't matter though. They give to you an excellent way to learn things you might miss even after years of experience. And if I see an expert with certificates it tells me that this guy doesn't have only experience, but a will to learn as well and it means a lot in the networking industry.
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Crowdie, Champ

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As my plug for the CWNP program:

  • I have found that you don't really know how much you don't know until you start sitting CWSP and CDAP practice exams.  Just reading the guides is extremely useful but having to learn everything to pass an exam makes the difference.  That said, the CWSP study guide is my most quoted guide and the CWAP really teaches how wireless works.
  • The vendor certification programs are useful but the CWNP program gives you a different set of skills altogether.  We have a number of CCIE Wireless engineers who ring me to double check their work as I commonly find issues they wouldn't have thought of.
  • I explain it to third parties that the CWNP program is the equivalent of a university course in wireless rather than being a course in how to configure a specific vendor's hardware. 
As people have commented on hands on experience is extremely important but how many mistakes will you make in your wireless designs if you don't understand how wireless really works?
(Edited)