Fortinet is the most performing cybersecurity platform in the IT industry, delivering consistent security across all endpoints, Clouds, and networks. This is why many IT professionals opt for the certification program offered by this company. This is a good opportunity that provides all the interested technical specialists with independent validation of their network security experience and skills.
Fortinet Certification Program
The certification program of this vendor is known as Fortinet Network Security Expert or NSE and includes a wide range of various courses, which are available in the instructor-led and self-paced formats. It also contains different practical exercises that help you get the mastery of the complex network security concepts.
All in all, the program offers 8 steps of training to let you choose the path you need and the certification you want. These levels include the following certificates to obtain:
1. Associate Level
This is the only track that has 3 steps or sublevels that you need to complete to become a Fortinet NSE Associate. The first Network Security Associate path is all about the threat landscape and gives you some basic understanding of the threat landscape, which impacts networks nowadays. This option is available for any interested individual who wants to get a solid background in the information security sector. To get certified, you need to deal with 5 lessons and pass the quizzes offered within the Information Security Awareness course.
Your next step is to proceed with the NSE 2 path. The knowledge you got after the previous path will help you learn about the evolution of cybersecurity. It helps you know about the types of security products created by various security vendors and explore how to address the security issues faced by networks as well as organizations. Here, you also need to complete certain lessons and quizzes to become eligible for the next option.
The last sublevel of this track introduces you to the key Fortinet products and helps you understand the issues that those products solve. You will be able to learn about possible use cases and sales strategies, questions that you should ask the customers, and details of the competitive landscape and market segment. Please note that this certificate is currently available for the Fortinet employees & channel partners only. They will need to clear 4 out of 22 lessons to earn this certification.
Each sublevel represents certain courses that you need to take. Therefore, the most important for you at this stage is to overview the topics covered in the sublevels and learn them. The task that you need to complete is very simple. If you clear all the lessons, you will get the certification.
2. Professional Level
Those security and network professionals who perform the day-to-day implementation, administration, and management operations required for the security infrastructure and use the FortiGate devices can validate their skills by opting for this track. Unlike the associate-level paths, this one requires that you pass the corresponding certification exam. There are two options available depending on which version of FortiOS you want to cover. Thus, you can choose between Fortinet NSE 4 – FortiOS 6.2 and Fortinet NSE 4 – FortiOS 6.4. Each test has its own number of questions and allocated time, so you need to check the official website to know the exact details.
To prepare with great deliberation, you can enroll for the NSE 4 training. All the available courses for this track can be found on the official site. Depending on your position, you will need to have an account on the platform. Thus, if you are a public user or a customer, you should visit the NSE Institute to create one. If you are a partner, it is recommended to go for the Partner Portal and use the email address of your company for the registration process.
3. Analyst Level
If you want to become a Fortinet Network Security Analyst, you should have the ability to implement network security analytics and management with the use of the Fortinet security devices. These specialists also possess the skills in managing, analyzing, and reporting on the Fortinet security devices. To get the certification, you are required to pass any 2 of the following tests:
- NSE 5 – FortiAnalyzer 6.4;
- NSE 5 – FortiManager 6.4;
- NSE 5 – FortiClient EMS 6.2;
- NSE 5 – FortiSIEM 5.2;
- NSE 5 – FortiEDR 4.2.
The details of each exam can be found on the Fortinet training platform.
To help you master the content of the tests, the vendor offers a wide range of courses for each exam. The most popular training options for this level are known as FortiSIEM, FortiClient EMS, FortiAnalyzer, FortiManager, and FortiEDR. They include a great amount of the self-paced activities and can be taken as an instructor-led classroom session or online training. Besides that, you can find sample questions, which will provide you with the basic understanding of the exam questions, their formats, and your level of test-taking skills.
4. Specialist Level
The next path that you can take validates your comprehensive skills with the fabric products, which go beyond the firewall. For this track, it is required to deal with at least 4 out of 7 NSE 6 exams of your choice. They are known as FortiAuthenticator 6.1, FortiWeb 6.1, FortiADC 5.2, FortiNAC 8.5, FortiMail 6.2, FortiVoice 6.0, as well as Integrated & Cloud Wireless 6.2.
All in all, there are 9 courses that you can take to enhance your skills. They cover the details of Secure Wireless LAN, FortiVoice, FortiAuthenticator, FortiMail, FortiNAC, Integrated & Cloud Wireless, FortiWeb, and FortiADC. The courses are available as self-paced or instructor-led sessions as well. Please also note that the vendor offers sample questions for each of the tests.
5. Architect Level
To opt for this level, you need to have the advanced skills and know how to administer, deploy, and troubleshoot the Fortinet security solutions. The network or security professionals who are interested in this track should take one test out of the following 7 available options:
- NSE 7 – Enterprise Firewall 6.4;
- NSE 7 – Advanced Analytics 5.2;
- NSE 7 – Public Cloud Security 6.4;
- NSE 7 – OT Security 6.4;
- NSE 7 – Advanced Threat Protection 3.2;
- NSE 7 – SD-WAN 6.4;
- NSE 7 – Secure Access 6.4.
The exams offer about 30-37 questions that need to be answered within 60-70 minutes. To know other details regarding these tests and their registration details, please visit the official website.
Just like with other levels, you can find the courses for each test to prepare with great deliberation. They cover the details of SD-WAN, Public Cloud, Enterprise Firewall, Advanced Analytics & Threat Protection, Secure Access, and OT Security. The courses are regularly updated and contain labs and self-paced materials.
6. Expert Level
This is the highest possible level of the Fortinet certification program that shows the mastery of a professional. It validates your expert-level understanding of network security configuration, troubleshooting, and design for complex networks. It is recommended to have the certificates from the Professional, Specialist, Analyst, and Architect levels to be eligible for this path. If you have the related industry experience, you can proceed with the written and practical tests. Keep in mind that you should start with the written option and only then proceed with the practical one. The written exam has 60 questions to deal with, while the practical test is a 2-day hands-on evaluation process with 38 tasks.
To prepare for the first test, the vendor recommends you to take some of the NSE 4, NSE 5, NSE 6, and NSE 7 courses. There is also the NSE 8 Immersion 2-day self-paced lab session, which is the perfect preparation option before going for the practical exam. Please note that you must deal with the written test to proceed with this training.
Getting any of the Fortinet certifications gives you the opportunity to work in various spheres, including sales, marketing, finance, HR, IT, and others. Thus, you will be able to land a job as a Systems Engineer, a Systems Administrator, a Sr. Fortinet Engineer, a Network & System Engineer, an IT Engineer, or a Systems Specialists. Your potential salary will depend on the role you choose, so you can expect between $65,000 and $105,000 per year.