More than ever before, the world we live in is connected through networks. Think about it. Almost everything we do with our phones, laptops and tablets involves a computer network. This is what makes communication, information sharing, news, and virtually everything we do possible. And this is why companies of all sizes need people to maintain their networks on a day-to-day basis.
The demand for educated computer network technicians is at an all-time high and is a valuable career opportunity that provides excitement and growth. Whether you’re just beginning to explore career possibilities, or you’re considering a change from your current field, take a look at these eight computer networking roles. You’ll see that there is some overlap in the duties of each role. Some careers are a combination of computer networking and another IT education path, allowing you to really hone in on where your interests lie.
Keep reading to explore the field of computer networking and the many opportunities that make for great careers!
A network technician installs, maintains, fixes and upgrades computer and network equipment and systems. This may seem like a broad description, and it is. A network technician can serve a multitude of different functions, sometimes all in the same day or week. For computer network technicians, this includes maintaining and supervising the use of LANs, WANs, and data center infrastructure, as well as the internet, intranets and extranets of organizations. Those best suited for this role are dynamic thinkers that can easily adjust to new tasks, and who have a broad range of technology know-how.
- Troubleshoot network systems
- Install and maintain computer networks
- Work with other teams to help prevent security threats
- Help people connect to the network
- Perform updates to the computer network systems
- Travel to other sites to repair and maintain network equipment
Network Security Administrator
A network security administrator's main responsibility is to help secure an organization's computer network. Job responsibilities include updating security infrastructure and monitoring networks for security concerns. Most importantly, professionals in this role must think ahead and be vigilant about identifying potential blind spots and pitfalls before they become a real-life issue.
- Install network security protocols
- Train company employees on network security
- Conduct network vulnerability tests
- Perform daily network administrative tasks
Network Cable Technician
A network cable technician, also known as a networking cable installer, installs, troubleshoots, and maintains video and data cables and copper and fiber cabling infrastructure as per the standards of the organizations where they work. This job often entails building the infrastructure of all telecom networks, such as Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), and Cable TV (CATV). Professionals in this role must have expertise in designing and installing networks to meet the clients’ requirements and complying with the designated industry standards
- Install the physical cabling which is the nerve system of the network
- Work with fiber optics
- Repair and maintain service towers
- Travel to more than one location
- Troubleshoot network issues which involve the physical cables and other network infrastructure
- Hands-on work
Network analysts are employed by businesses to optimize IT network operations. Their duties include analyzing network requirements, setting up computer networks in one or across multiple locations, and configuring computer hardware and software for optimal network communication.
- Create network reports to show network performance
- Work with other teams to improve network performance
- Help design and implement new network systems
- Create strategies to help the network run smoothly
Wireless engineers are responsible for installing, configuring and maintaining wireless network equipment, network management, security standards, and industry best practices for businesses. A Wireless Network Engineer needs to assess, plan and develop several operations capabilities for wireless telecommunications. Individuals who are detail-oriented, proactive thinkers, and problem solvers make strong wireless engineers.
- Install and configure wireless systems
- Manage a company's mobile phones and tablets
- Travel to satellite offices to setup wireless networks
- Install and configure wireless towers and antennas
A cloud administrator plans, sets, and manages all kinds of cloud-based workloads depending on the size and needs of the company. In this role, you are tasked with designing cloud architectures, creating strategies, and managing tasks of a cloud architect. Should you desire to one day be a cloud architect, this is a great starting point.
- Specialize in remote cloud technology
- Manage a company’s cloud infrastructure
- Evaluate and recommend cloud resources
- Manage storage and software services that are installed on the cloud
Network Support Specialist
Network support specialists analyze, troubleshoot and evaluate computer network problems. Professionals in this role help maintain the proficiency and integrity of an organization's networks, such as performing file backups. They help keep the network safe and secure, through both hardware configuration and end-user training.
- Be the first line of defense when the network goes down
- Assist computer users connecting to the network
- Troubleshoot networking problems
- Help the organization use their network efficiently
A technical architect, also referred to as an IT Systems Architect, is a systems logistics specialist who creates, maintains, and implements IT systems directly for a growing business or an IT firm. It requires the right mix of IT knowledge and managerial skills to succeed in a technical architect career.
- Design network systems for the organization
- Manage a team of computer networking professionals
- Support communication between the organization and vendors
- Create strategies to solve complex computer networking problems
Starting a Career in Computer Networking
If you want to continue to explore career opportunities in computer networking, one of the best places to start is with NuPaths. Our training and education programs are the first stepping stone into an industry that promotes continuing education. NuPaths’ Network Technician program will prepare you to enter the field of computer networking and you can get started working in about 26 weeks. Through NuPaths, you can earn up to 5 IT certifications to get your career started. You can also earn 8 college credits from Harrisburg University which will allow you to continue your IT education. NuPaths also offers business skills workshops and career services support that starts on day one to prepare you to interview for your first computer networking job.
Whether you simply want some additional information or you’re ready to invest in laying the foundation for a successful career in computer networking, we have the answers and resources to get you started. Let’s talk!