A network engineer is a technology professional responsible for designing, planning and implementing computer networks. He monitors the computer networks of an organization and makes sure that the network is operating as expected. There are a lot of different types of networks that someone in this role can work with. These networks include intranet, extranet, LAN (Local Area Network), WAN (Wide Area Network).
Qualifications for network engineer
For an entry-level network engineer job, a candidate may only need an associate degree. But other positions require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or multiple years of experience. 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.
The first direct way to get a network engineer job is to do self-study and get certification like Cisco Certified Network Associate(CCNA). The current CCNA test not only will test your book knowledge on the theory of computer networking, TCP/IP, and the OSI model but will also test your “practical knowledge” of actually performing the hands-on tasks that may be called upon you as a junior network engineer.
Talking about certifications, nowadays Cisco is not the only option anymore: Juniper Networks is gaining traction in the market and as a consequence Juniper experts are in high demand.
Some popular network engineers certifications are:
- CCNA(Cisco Certified Network Associate)
- CCDA(Cisco Certified Design Associate)
- CCENT(Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician)
Soft Skills Required
Along with technical skills, network engineers should also have some soft skills that would help in this career. These include:
Excellent communication skills
Network engineers have to often communicate with business leaders and relevant parties. Network engineers should have the ability to communicate technical and performance-based work tasks correctly and professionally.
Time management is an important part of the job. Many organizations want network engineers to have exceptional quality for managing workdays. Network engineers should have the ability to manage their working hours in the most efficient way possible and complete the task on time.
Fault-finding and problem-solving should take a larger part of a network engineer’s role. Network engineers need to be capable of solving highly complex mathematical or technical problems and apply sound thinking to gather and exploring information, making plans, devising and testing solutions.
Network engineers should be able to work well alone and with many different professionals across various departments of an organization because no one can complete a project all alone. Employers generally look for network engineers that can work with and even lead teams of software developers, systems analysts and other IT professionals to achieve company goals.
As network engineers deal with more than one task at a time, they should then be able to organize the workload, manage the deadlines effectively, plan and prioritize the company’s projects for quick results. Keeping files organized is not the only aspect of having strong organizational skills. Network engineers must also have high attention to detail and the ability to organize and display information and processes that they use and perform for various work projects.
Role of network engineer
Designing and implementing network configurations.
Network engineers are responsible for implementing, maintaining, supporting, developing and, in some cases, designing communication networks within an organization or between organizations.
Troubleshooting of any issue that may arise and support as well as maintaining the network infrastructure.
Maintenance is another critical aspect of being a network engineer, requiring good networking knowledge. This could enable a professional to optimize hardware configuration and network operability, troubleshoot any fault, errors or inconsistencies, and be able to tune network performance according to the requirements of the given system.
Monitoring the network functions and ensuring the security of a network.
Network security is a technique that ensures the security of an organization’s assets, including all network traffic. It covers both software and hardware components. Efficient network protection monitors network access by detecting and preventing a wide variety of threats from spreading or accessing the network. To secure their networks from possible security threats, network engineers must take preventative steps.
Upgrading and expansion of networks.
The network traffic is something that is getting bigger every year because of the Internet of things, Cloud Computing and other factors and an old network is likely not able to support the massive technology demands of the workforce of today. A network engineer is responsible for upgrading networks which eventually helps to boost productivity.