Network engineering is another definition of Architecture, and network engineers are but computer architects.
They are responsible for designing, planning, developing, and implementing the core networking functions of a computer that support in-house voice, video, data, and wireless network services.
They mainly focus on high-level planning and design as opposed to network administrators who provide technical support and troubleshooting assistance on a daily basis. Hence, job as a network engineer is more “Executive” in nature.
This job profile is confined, but not limited, to network modelling and analysis, which includes the construction of efficient and reliable network integrating LAN, Internet, WAN, and intranet segments within an organisation or between organisations. Ensuring the integrity of network infrastructure so as to provide best services to the customers, staff, clients, and suppliers is a necessary mandate.
The minimum qualification required to pursue a career in networking is a bachelor’s degree in either information technology (IT), computer science (CS), or network administration. Apart from these, IT certifications like Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), Microsoft Network Engineer etc. can provide specialised training.
Students interested in pursuing a career in Network engineering study fundamental concepts like routing, multiplexing, and switching. Network management and security are some of the essential concepts that are taught apart from acquiring knowledge on the management of complex secure networks within enterprises and telecommunication carriers.
Students are encouraged to focus on current and emerging technologies, which in turn improve their understanding of the worldwide digital network. The program also targets real-time technologies like Digital TV, Digital Radio, Internet, voiceover IP, and next generation mobile networks.
The program structure of network engineering is highly valued in industry. Candidates looking for a job as a network engineer can achieve industry qualifications and hence professional recognition.
Network engineers can gain employment in telecommunication carriers, ISP’s, and enterprises. Due to the immense growth in digital networking and allied services, the demand for such graduates has multiplied. They find ready employment in corporations dealing with equipment, support, and integration.
They could even become members of the organisations network infrastructure team. Such engineers can work as an integral segment of the company’s IT support team or as a member of an outsourced IT networking consultancy firm.
Some job profiles pertaining to this field are that of systems engineer, VoIP engineer, first-line and second-line support, helpdesk support, IT support engineer etc. Vacancies for network engineers can be easily checked online. With true hard work and dedication, networking graduates could even become the next Chief Information Officer of an imminent multi-national company.
Network engineers are expected to do a variety of work ranging from configuration of firewalls to configuration of routing and switching equipment. They design system configuration and enforce system standards. They also upgrade data network equipment to the latest stable firmware releases. Monitoring network performance, scheduling updates, and troubleshooting network problems is also part of the job. Communicating with customers via email or phone on a timely basis is important as well.
In the end:
Working in the IT department is fast gaining popularity due to the high salaries and comfortable lifestyles. Technology is constantly evolving and it will only just re-invent itself in times to come. The demand for network engineers will never decline and pursuing a career in this direction will return profitable dividends for sure.