Exciting and value-added changes to the CWNP Credentials
The CWNP credentials continue to hold a strong reputation from a knowledge acquisition perspective, equipping individuals with the knowledge and skill sets they need to become phenomenal wireless LAN engineers.
As the organization continues to build on its strengths in the area of knowledge transference from industry experts to the Wi-Fi community, Tom Carpenter shared with us on our weekly podcast WLAN Professional Podcast (episode 124) that their mission over the next 5 years is to take the CWNP credentials to the next level to help recruiters and human resource personnel understand the importance and the value credential holders can be to their teams and by extension their organizations.
Tom Carpenter shared with Keith Parsons a few of the recent changes to some of the credentials namely the CWNA 107, CWTS, CWS and CWT.
CWNA is one of the flagship programs for the CWNP and one of the foundational programs for individuals on the path to becoming expert Wi-Fi professionals. With the CWNA 107, this is an update from CWNA 106, but with a more focused approach on the roles network administrators play. The CWNA 107 continues to be the foundation to help individuals understand concepts such as radio frequency behaviors, understanding frequency, wavelengths, and antenna functionality.
Some of the changes you would notice between CWNA 106 and CWNA 107 are:
- More condensed CWNA course book – the print version for CWNA 107 is smaller by 100 pages when compared to the CWNA 106. Most of what has been taken from the material to make it a more condensed version is the geared around history. Examples of this would be like the frequency hopping spread spectrum.
- A more strategic focus on validation survey – with the role of a network administrator more focused on ensuring that the Wi-Fi is performing based on the set-up specification and not on the actual designing of the wireless network and performing a site survey for the purpose of design, the course and chapter objectives will be geared more on understanding and completion of post-validation surveys.
- Interchanging focus across credentials – a few changes have been made to the CWNA 107.
CWSP – one of the areas you will notice a shift from the CWNA to the CWSP would be in the security. While it is important for administrators to know about the different security options, how these are configured and how they function, at the CWNA level the focus will be more from a basic level. An example of this would be the four-way handshake. At the CWNA level, administrators need to understand that the four-way handshake involves four messages and those messages are used to transfer information. This allows for the localized generation of encryption files and for the transfer of the group encryption key. The four-way handshake has been simplified for CWNA 107 and more detail left for the CWSP certification.
CWDP – areas such as wall attenuation measurement using site survey tools such as Ekahau and content positioned to help you understand and carry out an actual design have migrated to be more a focus of the CWDP.
CWAP – while protocol analyzers and spectrum analyzers are still covered in the CWNA, the real emphasis of how to use these tools in details are reserved for the CWAP course. The concept of troubleshooting methodology is now included the CWNA 107. The new CWAP scheduled to be released next year will be designed with the assumption that the individuals at this level would understand the methodology of troubleshooting.
The CWTS credentials will be discontinued at the end of 2018 and afford individuals the opportunity to take the CWTS exam through the end of 2018 with no changes to the objectives and exam. The reason for this extensive allowance is because a lot of companies use CWTS training internally and this provides them with adequate time to transition to other certifications.
As a result of the termination of the CWTS, two new courses and exams have been introduced: the CWS and CTS.
- CTS – “you know how to speak Wi-Fi”. This is geared for persons who given a design document which instruct them as to where the AP should be mounted and how it should be configured will be able to install and configure the AP with little or no help. This is ideal for installation technicians especially those in the consumer space.
- CWS – “you know how to do basic installs of wireless equipment”. This is for individuals ideally for sales and marketing individuals and by extension help desk professionals who communicate with individuals on a more functional rather than technical level. They are able to communicate with consumers and use terminology to help and serve Wi-Fi users.