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Get Your SDN Diploma.

Feb 29, 2016
Rick Bauer
Rick Bauer About the author

A recap of a recent ONF webinar, hosted by SDxCentral, on how SDN is impacting careers and ONF’s SDN training and certification initiative.

It is important that network operators, engineers, and managers have the required training to take advantage of everything SDN can offer. As the networking landscape changes, the need to have programs in place that validate necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities within this emerging field increases. This is why we developed the ONF-Certified SDN Professional (OCSP) Program, designed to provide a strong foundation of vendor-neutral, concept, and technical-level credentials in open SDN that can integrate with and complement individual vendor certifications.

We recently gathered together a panel of training and certification experts for an SDxCentral webinar to discuss the training needs facing the industry and how the OCSP Program can help address them. Along with myself, the panel included Marco Alves, ONF Skills Certification chair and director of education services at SDN Essentials; Marc Cohn, ONF Market Area chair and senior vice president of Marketing at ClearPath Networks; Arjan Woertman, vice president of Research and Development at ITpreneurs; and moderator Roy Chua, co-founder of SDxCentral.

During the hour-long webinar, we discussed the importance of training and certification, the ONF OCSP Program, and the benefits of an SDN education. With an SDN skills certification, individuals can distinguish themselves from peers, demonstrate commitment to the field, and increase value to their organizations. Employers also see positive outcomes, including improved employee retention and further credibility in the eyes of customers, partners, and the market at large. Below are some SlideShare highlights from the panel, and you can listen to the full SDxCentral webinar here.

To help networking professionals reap these benefits, the two certifications that ONF currently offers are the ONF-Certified SDN Associate (OCSA) certification and the ONF-Certified SDN Engineer (OCSE) certification. The OCSA certification is designed for entry-level sales and marketing professionals with a specific focus on validating knowledge of foundational concepts in SDN. The OCSE certification, on the other hand, focuses on validating technical skills, knowledge, and abilities for engineering and networking professionals working in the SDN ecosystem. The OCSA exam is currently available through Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN), Criterion Networks, INEITpreneurs, Perpetual Solutions, SDN Essentials, Tallac, and TONEX, and the OCSE exam will be available in the coming months.

SDN is revolutionizing the industry and requires people to acquire new knowledge and develop new skills that were not needed 20 years ago. Competition is at an all-time high, so if you want to stay on the cutting edge, training and certification are a must. But it isn’t just about proving that you’re certified; it’s about having the necessary tools and knowledge to take full advantage of SDN. As my dad used to say, you are only as good as your toolbox.

Interested in SDN training? Our upcoming SDN skills workshop will be held at the NFV World Congress, taking place April 19 – 22 in San Jose. Check back in with us, as well as the event site, for further details!

- Rick Bauer, Director of Technical Programs, ONF

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Rick Bauer