A network specialist connects all the company’s computers, between offices and sites to enable them to communicate with one another. They hook them up to the Internet and configuring all internal systems such as routers, switches, and firewalls. The position usually spills over into some operating systems administration work, but “basically, it’s a plumbing job,” says one specialist. Configuring a start-up Web company is a pretty easy network design job; most of these companies have a small staff and only one location. But if you work for a major bank, for example, the network is incredibly complicated with tiers and tiers of network specialists on site. A network engineer‘s job is “ a logistical job; you have to be able to think your way through problems and understand how everything works,” says Asher Raphunga of Boston City Campus IT department. A typical day demands atypical hours; network specialists usually work off-hours when they’re trying stuff out and setting up systems, otherwise, they tend to turn off the server at the wrong time and screams can be heard throughout the buildings – or now that some work from home – throughout our homes!. Techies are most likely always on call. But networking is really only glamorous to people in the field.
Asher says that network specialists install, configure, and test computer hardware and configure networking and operating system software. They are responsible for implementing security measures for the protection of data, software, and hardware. Computer specialists recommend changes to improve systems and network configurations, determining the hardware or software requirements that may be related to such changes.
Computer Network Engineer Job Requirements
Asher believes that knowledge of network equipment, devices, and technologies is essential for success in this job. “That means you need to know about the hardware as well as the software. Qualifications such as the CompTIA Network+ or CISCO CCNA, offered at Boston, as well as the Diploma in Network Systems, will arm you with the best skills set”.
Critical thinking, logic, communication, and problem-solving are traits that are required to pursue this career successfully. It’s all about perseverance—being able to sit in front of a problem until you solve it. And of course, customer service and patience!
“I started out as a systems Unix administrator, then moved to a network specialist, then switched to being a programmer, and now I’m managing a company and handling business development,” says one former network professional. The same thinking that makes for a talented network engineer applies well to programming, systems administration, and other sorts of fields employing logic, like engineering. Qualified computer professionals can project manage, become company directors, or sit down and write a programme for online sales. It’s a unique industry where once you have the skills, you can move comfortably around the company in any job”.
New developments in Cloud Computing have opened new career paths for Network Specialists, utilising and applying their networking skills in an internet environment.
Network Specialists often have the potential to be promoted to senior level and may focus extensively on specialty areas such as design, performance optimization, or network security. Salaries for Network specialists are excellent. Many of the top-paying jobs within the IT field are in Network Engineering. Several of the Highest Paying Certifications in Information Technology are within the Networking realm.
Companies Hiring Network Specialists/ Engineers
It seems like everyone is hiring Network Engineers these days! Some of the larger companies that currently have openings include:
- Cisco Systems
- Microsoft Corporation
- Apple Computers
- The US Government
Contact boston.co.za for more info in the IT courses or call 011 551 2000.