Today, most of us understand that devices connect to a network to transmit data, but do you know what networking really means? Do you know what a network administrator or network architect does all day? Let’s take a closer look at what networking is and what a networking professional does.
What Is Networking?
Networking keeps the world connected. Networks are the lifeline to critical services, maintaining a steady flow of data and open lines of communication for large and small companies alike. Enterprise networks need to function at the highest, most secure level to keep organizations up and running.
A networking professional, or team of professionals, is generally responsible for the following:
- Designing, configuring, managing and troubleshooting wired and wireless networks that transmit data, voice and video
- Connecting devices like computers, printers and mobile devices to the network and making sure they function properly and securely
- Making information and data easily accessible to those who need it
- Ensuring a secure transfer of data over internal and external networks
- Evaluating and optimizing network performance
— Andrea Di Fabio, chief information security officer (CISO)
Networking Job Titles
- Network administrator/systems administrator
- Network field technician
- Network engineer
- Network support specialist
- Network analyst
- Network architect
- Network manager
Stay tuned to IT Career News as we dive deeper into some of these roles and hear from IT pros in the field about what they do all day.
How Do I Start a Career In Networking?
Having a bachelor’s degree can get you started on the right foot for a long-term networking career, but you may not need one for entry-level networking positions like network administrator. Some companies may consider experience and certifications, like CompTIA Network+, to be enough. If you’ve spent some time as a help desk technician, network administrator or systems administrator may be your next move. For higher-level positions including network engineer or analyst, most companies require at least a bachelor’s degree, if not an advanced degree.
Networking experience opens the doors to a lot of opportunities. It’s the core of IT infrastructure, so you could go on to build and design enterprise networks and strategize IT infrastructure for a large organization. Or you may move into a cybersecurity career, where you focus on securing the network. If you have your sights set on a cybersecurity career, networking can give you the foundation to understand how the network functions so you know how to identify vulnerabilities and secure it.
Ready to start your networking career? Learn more about CompTIA Network+.