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Integrating It Certifications In Networking Courses: Cisco Ccna Versus Comptia Network+

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Computing Curriculum

Tagged Division

Information Systems

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.787.1 - 11.787.13



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Paper Authors


Akram Al-Rawi Zayed University

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Akram is a Professor of CIS at Zayed University, UAE. He has worked at several academic institutions of which the last two were the University of Missouri-Columbia and Columbia College, MO. His teaching interests include programming languages, logic design, Networks, and computer architecture. His research interests include computer simulation, web caching architecture, and curriculum design. He holds certifications in A+ , Network+ , i-Net+, Sun Certified Java Programmer, ICDL, and CCNA Intro. Akram is also a Cisco certified instructor.

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Azzedine Lansari Zayed University

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Azzedine received a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1992. From 1992-1998, he was a senior researcher at MANTECH, NC. He joined Zayed University in August 1998. Currently he is an assistant professor of Information systems. His research interests include systems model-ing, educational technology and curriculum design in Information Systems. His teaching interests include instructional technology and statistical modeling.

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Faouzi Bouslama Zayed University

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Faouzi received a PhD in Electronics Engineering from Shizuoka University, Japan, in 1992. From 1992-1994, he was a researcher at Toshiba Co., Tokyo. From 1994-2000, he was Associate Professor of Information Systems, Hi-roshima City University, Japan. He joined Zayed University, UAE, in August 2000. Currently, he is a Professor of Information Systems, Zayed University, UAE. His research interests include Neuro-fuzzy modeling and control, Signal processing, and IS curriculum design and development.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Integrating IT Certifications in Networking Courses: Cisco CCNA Versus CompTIA Network+


Currently, industry and government need a workforce with the latest technical skills in order to remain globally competitive. Furthermore, there is a rising demand from industry for university and college graduates who also have acquired information technology (IT) certification. Community Colleges are increasingly offering IT certification programs as a mean to provide students with viable skills needed by the workforce. However, Universities are still reluctant to include IT certification into their curriculum. The IEEE and ACM recognize the importance of IT certifications and currently provide their members with over 800 online courses to help them prepare for certifications exam. In networking, there are two important IT certifications: the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) Network+. While the CCNA certificate is vendor specific, the Network+ certificate is neutral.

The objective of this paper is to study the integration of IT certification goals into Network and Telecommunication courses in Information Systems. The IS 2002 model curriculum is used as a basis to develop IS curricula ( ). Furthermore, the IS 2002 model curriculum implements ABET ( requirements for IS program accreditation, which include a course in network and telecommunications (IS 2002.6). Two prominent IT certificates are examined for integration into the IS 2002.6 course: CCNA and Network+. The objectives of the CCNA and Network+ certificates are examined and mapped into the network and telecommunication course topics.

An introduction to Cisco Networking Academy, which is one approach used by universities and colleges for preparing students to take the CCNA exam, is provided. A comparison between the Cisco Academy and other alternatives to obtain the CCNA or Network+ certificate is discussed. CCNA and Network+ certification goals are also studied from several points of view including lab requirement, faculty certification needs, completion time, market demand and certification exam requirements. Network and telecommunication textbooks are reviewed in order to select the best textbook that covers both course and certification objectives. Finally, a course syllabus is developed to combine course topics and shows how various certification objectives are addressed in each topic. The syllabus also includes all course assessments, which include passing the certification exam in order to complete the course. It is anticipated that this study will help students, faculty, and college administrators determine the proper networking certificate for their undergraduate program and help instructors integrate the chosen certificate into their courses.

1. Introduction

Certification establishes a standard of competency in specific area and job roles.1,2,3 This helps industry to determine that employees meet the required credentials for different jobs roles thus requiring less training during the initial employment period. Hence, some job criteria require

Al-Rawi, A., & Lansari, A., & Bouslama, F. (2006, June), Integrating It Certifications In Networking Courses: Cisco Ccna Versus Comptia Network+ Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--465

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