Network Science Certification Program Information

The Network Science (NetSci) Certification Program information

The following is a detailed explanation regarding the NetSci Certification Program, and how it works here at the Online School of Network Sciences.  

NF Badge

This is an independent certification program.  Individuals can pursue certification, and companies can provide certification access for their employees.

First, the certification program is divided into three stages, or levels:  

  • Level 1 - Network Fundamentals Track
    • Data Networking 101
    • Ethernet 101
    • IPv4 Addressing and Subnetting
    • Wireshark Fundamentals
    • Wireless 101
    • WiFi Operations
    • WiFi Configuration
    • 3G and 4G Competition
  • Level 2 - Intermediate Networking TrackIN Badge
    • Ethernet 201 (VLAN's)
    • Layer 4 TCP and UDP
    • IPv4 Routing
    • Wireshark Troubleshooting
    • Multicast Networking
    • Quality of Service in Data Networks
    • Security in Data Networks
    • Advanced WiFi Configuration
  • Level 3 - Advanced Networking Track
    • Advanced Networking Technologies
    • IPv6 Addressing Fundamentals
    • IPv6 Routing and Interworking with IPv4An Badge

    • Troubleshooting Wireless Networks
    • MPLS Traffic Engineering

You cannot proceed to a level without completing certification on the prior level.  

Each level is comprised of a similar curriculum:

  1. You must take the Initial Network Skills Assessment (INSA) tests for the level you wish to certify in
  2. You then take the courses associated with that level (usually 8 courses)
You must either be provided with appropriate enrollment keys from your program administrator at your company, or pay online using Paypal for the program.
 

Example Student

Let's begin with an example student named Joe.  Joe's company has advised him that he will be using this system for Certification and that he has 60 days to accomplish the Network Fundamentals level certification. 

Joe's program administrator at his company has provided him with what she called the INSA Enrollment Key, and asked him to use this key to take the tests first.

What does Joe need to do?

He begins by creating a user account here at the Online School.  He follows the instructions provided at this link.

Joe then selects the Network Certification Program from the course listings:

Joe is ready to take his tests! You can read more about the tests in the next section and follow more about Joe there as well.

The Initial Network Skills Assessment Tests

Contrary to all certification programs, this program requires you test first.

Prior to taking any of the classes, you must take the INSA Tests associated with the level you are attempting to certify.

Usually this INSA test set is comprised of 8 tests.  You should plan to spend at least 3 hours taking the tests.  You will be provided your score immediately upon completing each of the tests.  This score will be recorded as your official initial test score.

Testing first allows both you and us to baseline your knowledge level prior to certification.  

It is possible to pass the tests without taking any classes.  If you pass the INSA Tests or part of the INSA Tests for the appropriate level, you DO NOT need to take the course associated with that test.  

Successfully passing all the INSA tests associated with Packet and Wireless competencies in each of these tracks will earn the student a Certification.  Each area has more detail on content.

For any of the INSA tests that you do not pass, you must then take the appropriate NetSci course, and once that course is completed re-take that specific test.

The INSA Tests are easily found at the bottom of the main NetSci Page:

Example Student Continued

We met Joe above, and having created his new account, Joe is ready to take the INSA tests for the Level 1 - Network Fundamentals.

He selects the Network Fundamentals INSA test. 

He is prompted for an enrollment key or to pay using Paypal.  Since Joe was provided the enrollment key from his company administrator, he enters the key, and settles in to take the 8 tests.  Joe has planned to spend several hours accomplishing this.

Before he starts, he has some questions and decides to look at the FAQ's:

He is now ready and begins to take the tests in order, beginning with INSA 01.

In the middle of the tests, Joe has to take a break.  So he logs off the system, takes his break, and then comes back and logs back in.  He re-selects the NetSci Certification, then selects the INSA Test for Level 1, and continues taking his tests.  The system has recorded everything he had accomplished up to that point.

At the completion of each test Joe is provided with a score.  He has done quite well on some and not so well on others.

In the end, he is glad the testing is done, and knows his program administrator will follow up with him once the testing scores have been received.

The NetSci Courses

Each level in the NetSci Certification tracks has a set of approximately 8 courses.  These courses cover the essential learning necessary to pass that portion of the certification test.

Once you have taken the INSA tests associated with the level you are attempting to certify in, as discussed above, you may test out of certain portions of the certification.  Whichever areas of the tests you did not pass, to attain Certification at that level, you must take the associated course, and then retake a test to pass in that area.

You will likely receive confirmation from your administrator at your company which courses you need to take, and you will likely receive the necessary enrollment keys for those courses.

Once you know what courses you need to take, you will enroll in each course, one at a time.  You have 30 days to complete the course.  Plan to spend approximately 4 hours of time on each course.

The courses are in a simple layout.  Each course is arranged in sections with section numbers.  The first section will always contain the following:

  • A course introduction video
  • A PDF download of a Student Guide
  • A Class Forum
 
 
 

Course Videos

The course videos have the following features:

  • You can pause, start, stop, rewind any video by using the on screen controls.  
  • You can enlarge the video to full screen and back with on screen controls.
  • Once in a course you can review and replay each of the videos as many times as you need.
  • You can only watch the videos from the course, you cannot download them and watch them outside the course.

Student Guides

The Student Guides are all downloadable.  We recommend you save them to your system so you can edit and take notes on them.  If you do not know how to do this, we have provided a short tutorial.  Click on the Resources tab at the top of the screen, and select "How to take notes on our PDF's".

Class Forums

The class forums are a great place to share and exchange.  It is also a place to ask questions and read what questions have been asked by others.

Other Sections

After the common contents of Section 1, each course will differ slightly.  The sections which follow usually contain videos/lessons, with lab exercises.  Some have multiple lessons and/or multiple labs. 

Make sure you complete all videos and lab exercises.  Review exercises, and rewatch videos as needed.

Last Section

The last section of each course will have a conclusion video summarizing the key learning points followed by a test.

The test can only be taken once, and your score is your final score for that course.  This score will replace your INSA score and if you pass, count toward your certification.  You must pass all tests for all courses in each level to attain certification.