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Network engineering is a fast-growing occupation. Network engineers (also called network architects) plan, construct and manage networks to ensure they’re optimized and functioning as intended. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that network engineer employment is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, above average for all occupations. The national average salary for network engineers is above $72,000. Junior network engineers make around $64,000. The average salary for network analysts is $59,000.Once you’ve gained entry-level IT experience, you need to identify your career path. Networking engineering careers and positions vary widely depending on the industry, company and technology. If you’re just starting out, here’s a list of some of the networking jobs available:

  • Network Specialist
  • Network Administrator
  • Network Technician
  • Network Analyst
  • Network Manager
  • Network Engineer
  • Network Solutions Architect

You may specialize even further in the course of your networking career. Roles range from cloud and security specializations, such as a network security specialist or cloud networking architect, to wireless and VoIP concentrations as a wireless networking quality assurance or VoIP engineer. You could also choose to dabble in a little bit of everything as a full stack network engineer (FSNE). Networks are complicated. Rather than hiring people to focus on each area of IT, companies are increasingly looking for professionals with cross-functional skills. Full stack network engineers are trained in all areas of IT from routing, wireless, security, data center, automation, cloud and VoIP. Training is more difficult for FSNEs. There isn’t a clear-cut path or certification. Instead of using your time to specialize in one area, try different roles and projects to round out your skill set. Training courses and IT certifications are a great way to supplement on-the-job training. With networking training courses, you’ll learn about operating systems, information security, network administration and programming essentials. Depending on the organization, they may require specific certifications or Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix, CompTIA, VMware and Red Hat all offer network engineer training and certifications. Here are some of the more highly desirable network engineer certifications:

  • CompTIAA+ Certification
  • CompTIA Network+ Certification
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows Server 2016
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Core Infrastructure
  • VMware Certified Professional – Network Virtualization
  • Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) – Routing and Switching
  • Cisco Certified Network Professional Level (CCNP) – Routing and Switching

Cisco is one of the more popular training options for network engineers. Courses include the theory of computer networking, test practical knowledge and teach you how to perform networking tasks. Technical ability isn’t enough for a successful engineering career. Soft skills such as communication, teamwork and critical thinking are crucial. A great IT project will fail if it’s poorly communicated. Network engineers can’t manage teams without leadership skills. Building optimized networks is impossible without creative problem-solving. Network engineering is an exciting, challenging field. But you can’t get there on your own. Whether you’re looking for an IT certification or just want to take a few networking courses, IT System Admin training can help you develop networking skills to boost your career. As the largest independent IT training company, IT System Admin offers the most comprehensive and up-to-date network training available. With flexible self-paced or instructor-led training options, you have access to real experts and resources to confidently advance your networking career in no time. technical training courses here. If you’re not sure where to start, you can also speak with an advisor on how to choose the best path for you.

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