A Network Engineer supports a company by assisting in designing, configuring, and executing computer networks. Unlike network administrators who perform day-to-day support, network engineers focus on high-level design and planning. They select the appropriate data communications components and configure them to meet user and corporate needs as part of building reliable and high-performing networks. These networks typically integrate local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), intranets and Internet components. Network complexity can vary depending on the organization, and the company may have one dedicated engineer or many globally connected engineers working together with the Chief Technology Officer.
Network engineers must have skills to analyze where communications are going to be needed; create plans for the network; present it to senior management; be up-to-date on the latest technology; and understand and determine the hardware and wiring needs for buildings. A potential employer may look for skills/characteristics such as:
Analytical Skills: Network engineers have to look at complicated network systems to find flaws or room for improvement.
Attention to Detail: Network engineers have to create complex blueprints for communication networks, and must make sure the systems will work together.
Leadership Skills: Network engineers may be a leader of other engineers to create the network.
Organizational Skills: Sometimes many different networks come together at once. Keeping them all organized will take skill.
Teamwork: Larger firms have many employees and many engineers working together.
You must at least have a bachelor’s degree in a computer related field, such as programming, computer science, or engineering, and many employers prefer applicants to have an MBA in information systems. Employers also look for experience in the field, either working with IT systems or in network administration. In addition, IT certification in networking offers targeted training for a network computer engineer. Examples include the Microsoft Network Engineer and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certifications.
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