Network Engineering as a career path is one of the technology careers with vast job opportunities and good pay. However, this career path is not one of the common careers we are all familiar with. Most companies need the services of network engineers today. And in years to come, network engineers will still be highly valuable in the technology industry.
Network engineers can also be called, network architects, network administrators or network specialists. They work as part of a company’s IT department with the responsibility of ensuring the company’s computer systems and network hardware are functioning properly.
To venture into a career path in network engineering and become successful, you must follow the right path which includes acquiring the right skills and knowledge.
How to Become a Network Engineer
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
This is an important step in kickstarting any career. Most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree when seeking employment. You should apply to an accredited university and gain a bachelor’s degree in network engineering or a field related to technology, computer science or information science.
Attend a Networking Boot Camp
This is another path that can enable you to start a career in network engineering. Boot camps can enhance your technical skills and give you practical knowledge of networking.
Obtain Networking Certificates
This is a crucial requirement in pursuing a career in network engineering. You should undertake training to gain these certificates. They can give you added knowledge in various aspects of network engineering and give you a competitive advantage in the job market.
Gain Practical Experiences
As a network engineer, theoretical knowledge isn’t enough. You need to be able to put all you have learned into practice. Additionally, no company will be willing to employ you if you don’t have prior experience. You should apply for internships and entry-level positions to be able to use your skill in real-world problems. This will add to your resume and brush up your skills.
This will help you in gaining the necessary experience to launch your career. Employers will notice that you are proactive and take the initiative to enhance your abilities as you progress through your professional career, demonstrating your motivation.
Network with experts
It is also important that you a have mentor or an expert in the field of network engineering while starting your career. This will help you advance in your career and enable you to get access to opportunities.
Choose an area of Specialisation
Specialising your networking skills is an important way of growing your career and making you outstanding in the industry. There are different specialisations that you can choose in network engineering. The importance of this is to make you an expert in a particular niche which will give you a unique identity and set you apart.
Join a Professional Association
You can register and become a member of a professional association in your field. You can register with associations such as the Network Professional Association(NPA). This is beneficial for learning purposes, opportunities and networking which will help you grow.
In network engineering, you have to keep learning. You need to keep taking courses and studying trends in your field so that you can keep being relevant in the industry. Invest in online courses, training and workshops that will brush up your skills and teach you new skills.
Areas of Specialisation in Network Engineering
- Cloud Networking Architect: Cloud networking architects are in charge of planning, creating, and managing the networks that connect cloud-based resources.
- Network Security Specialists: They are in charge of securing computer networks and safeguarding them against cyber threats.
- Wireless Network Engineers: They are in charge of developing, constructing and maintaining wireless networks.
- Mobility Solution Architect: A mobile solutions architect is responsible for collaborating with developers and organisations to build robust, secure and sustainable solutions for mobility.
- Data Centre Networking Specialist: They are expected to handle the technical installation and complicated design of network equipment such as routers, switches and other data centre-related devices.
- VOIP Engineer: The VOIP engineers are responsible for maintaining, diagnosing, and providing solutions to software and hardware problems. Additionally, they maintain solid relationships and communicate well with clients and colleagues.
Certifications to Advance Your Career as a Network Engineer
- Cisco Certified Network Associate(CCNA)
- CompTIA IT Operations Specialist
- LPI Linux Essentials
- CompTIA Project+
- Amazon AWS SysOps Administration-Associate
- CompTIA Security+
- ITIL® Foundation Certification
- CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist
Skills a Network Engineer to be Successful
- IoT knowledge
- Understanding of infrastructure
- Virtualization abilities
- Understanding of security and firewalls
In Conclusion, Network engineering is a promising career path because networking is a rapidly expanding field. The demand for qualified and professional network engineers is increasing. You can expect reasonable job security and a good salary as a network engineer. Additionally, The World Report ranks a career in networking as the ninth-best job in the tech industry. This is a fascinating career path. You just need to put in the required work and diligence to build good knowledge and skills that will enable you to experience fascinating growth in your career pursuit.