Wireless technologies are everywhere. With the growing popularity of wireless, we’re seeing more and more places businesses, schools, government offices, retail stores, and transportation systems like air planes and trains–that are fully loaded with wireless. And yes, WiFi is even available in new cars! (And you thought texting and driving was a bad idea.) Wireless technologies are springing up everywhere with more robust speeds and features than ever before.
So, what’s the big deal? With the advent of these WiFi-reliant systems weaving through our world, the need for experienced professionals to manage them is growing exponentially. Sadly, our industry has failed in helping our technologists evolve through the changes from telecomm to wired networking and now to wireless. While some of the fundamental technologies are shared across these communication standards, the reality is WiFi demands a set of tools and skills a professional can’t acquire without investing specific attention to learning them.
The good news is, there’s a path to getting the skills needed to properly plan, deploy, manage, and secure wireless networks, and that path is accessible and affordable to technology professionals across the world.
Started in 1999, CWNP (Certified Wireless Network Professional) is the industry leader for vendor neutral Wi-Fi certification and training. Carolina Advanced Digital, Inc. standardizes on CWNP certifications for its engineering and professional services team.
The CWTS (Certified Wireless Technology Specialists) is the entry-level certification provided by CWNP and for many it’s the best first step in understanding the technical nuances of wireless.
The CWTS certification is perfect for technologists entering the wireless field and for wired network administrators now finding themselves supporting a wireless infrastructure. It’s also a helpful tool for project managers and sales staff who can benefit greatly from deeper knowledge of wireless technologies in order to understand the challenges and considerations clients are facing throughout the lifecycle of selecting and implementing a wireless solution.
The CWTS training covers a breadth of core wireless topics that include WiFi technologies, standards, RF fundamentals, site surveys, installation, troubleshooting, security and compliance. Obtaining a CWTS certification ensures that you have the basic understanding of the essentials of WLAN and 802.11 networking as well as the basic tools and terminology that is specific to wireless networking.
Just imagine if you could help one of your users in 2-3 minutes versus having to open a ticket with a vendor, calling your VAR, or, in extreme cases, hiring an outside consultant. I’m not saying you will be a WiFi Wizard, that’s for the CWNEs. However, as an apprentice you may be the hero who saved the day, the class presentation, or the “Happy Birthday” post on Facebook.
In short, we need more boots on the ground. We need more people on the front lines that can gather these technical details when issues surface. And although being certified in CWTS isn’t a cure-all, it certainly is a step in the right direction.