's Shane Barnes Kicks It Up A Notch With "Network+" Certification!

Mar 19, 2008

“I would recommend CompTIA testing for anybody that’s interested in the IT field.”

—Shane Barnes, Broadband Specialist, broadband specialist Shane Barnes recently obtained “Network+” certification, a distinction conferred by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), and one increasingly in demand by employers in the information technology (IT) sector. The “Network +” exam is a rigorous 90-minute exercise designed to gauge skills with various network types; it covers everything from hardware and software issues to connections, protocols, cable specifications, and troubleshooting techniques.

For over three months Shane studied for the test during down-time at work, but he suggests it doesn’t hurt that, in addition, “90% of our work [in’s broadband department] is taking care of wireless installation and troubleshooting business networks…Basically, somebody calls with a problem, and we go fix it”.

Earlier this month, Shane traveled to a Pocahontas, Arkansas site to take the “Network+” test, and received his results immediately thereafter. CompTIA’s website outlines the benefits of such efforts as his in this way:

“Certified professionals report that they have more confidence on the job, see an improvement in the quality of their work, and have a higher demand for their services. Employers feel the same way. In fact, 74% of IT managers say a CompTIA certification is an important factor in considering an employee for a promotion”.

At, there is a financial incentive for all technical professionals who enhance their skills in this manner, thereby benefitting subscribers to the company’s wide range of services. While this was undeniably attractive to Shane, so, too, is the prospect of gaining further accreditation in a field whose principles have always fascinated him anyway. “When I was in high school, I just thought it would be interesting to study different aspects of computers and networking”.

Later, after studies at Missouri Tech in electronic engineering—“Kinda learning how to build the computer, and how all that works”—Shane returned from St. Louis and took a job at He’s been in the broadband department since June of 2003.

A key benefit of working toward any one of CompTIA’s internationally-recognized certifications, says Shane, is that candidates receive “vendor-neutral training and education”, meaning that skills built and later measured have the potential to be applied across a variety of different network types.

Having gotten the “Network+” exam behind him, Shane says, “I can move on to some of the other, more difficult, certifications”. Next on his agenda: “I intend to get the CompTIA “A+” certification by the end of the year”—a task which will confirm, industry-wide, his capabilities within an even broader scope of service-related skills.

How does this die-hard techno-maven relax on his own time? By lining up for more testing still: Shane is currently going for his red belt at the Black Belt Academy of Poplar Bluff.’s Shane Barnes is placing no limits on how far he can go—either professionally, or in life away from the realm of top-flight tech service.