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Computer networking jobs are rising; according to an IT Career Finder report, network administrator jobs are placed among the top ten. The 10-year growth rate is 5% faster than the norm, and the widespread usage of mobile devices and cloud computing will result in additional work prospects.
If you are new to the field or have considered it, the moment is now. With technology advancing at a breakneck speed, your passion for learning about computer networking places you in a field brimming with prospects.
Industry certifications and understanding of networking fundamentals are now more valuable than any other credential in Information Technology positions. Practical experience, on the other hand, will provide you with an advantage during the recruitment process. Therefore, let us first examine computer networking as a domain.
Computer Networking Defined
Computer networking is the process of transferring and exchanging data between nodes in an information system via a shared channel. Not only does networking encompass the design, development, and use of networks, but it also encompasses the management, maintenance, and operation of the network’s architecture, software, and policies.
Computer networking encompasses both the hardware and software components of information technology, making it a critical component of every business.
What does computer networking entail?
Businesses rely largely on computer networking solutions and demand devoted individuals with unique ideas for computer improvement and maintenance. Technological expertise, in addition to the necessary soft abilities, is essential.
The market is exploding for qualified, industry-certified networking professionals. With so many career roles to choose from, one can only imagine the growth potential for an experienced expert.
Demand for professionals in allied fields such as networking and cybersecurity is at an all-time high due to the development of new technology.
Responsibilities of Computer Networking Professionals
Computer networking professionals manage and maintain software and hardware on a day-to-day basis. Monitors the system for potential problems, analyses them, and formulates strategies for possible solutions. Additionally, the computer networking specialist is responsible for the network’s security system. Cybersecurity is a major concern, and networking specialists are constantly challenged to devise novel methods of thwarting would-be data thieves.
Because problem-solving is by far the most important characteristic of computer networking professionals, rapid thinking and inventiveness is required. Additionally, the position requires the capacity to perform well under stress. Respond promptly and creatively, which may require working late at night or on weekends. Additionally, many routine network updates and maintenance checks must be performed outside of normal business hours when computers are not in use.
Tips to help you get better
Professionals in networking who want to further their careers have a plethora of options, which can be overwhelming at times. The trick is to decide where you want to go and then weigh your possibilities for getting there. For some, career advancement may be as straightforward as enrolling in a computer networking course on a hot new technology. Others may require even more comprehensive measures and months or even years of preparation.
With the growth of computer networking careers, the time you invest in professional development will pay off. The network engineer will be assigned a variety of novel and exciting tasks. Here are a few tips to become better at computer networking:
Take your training with you when you go
As is the case with everything else in life, practice makes you perfect. Investing additional time outside of the workplace might have a significant impact on your networking career advancement. Night/weekend training sessions, self-study books, and online instruction are just a few alternatives. Even a one-hour webinar on a specific technology topic during your lunch break can assist. You may even create a home networking lab to practise in. Consider purchasing used hardware on auction websites or use a virtual lab such as GNS3.
Concentrate on something that others despise
One of the simplest ways to grow your networking career is to “take one for the team” and specialize in a chore that no one else wants to do. This could include supporting and resolving old WiFi difficulties, learning how to discover application faults using a packet tracer, or managing Main Network support contracts, depending on your environment. Whatever it is, you may discover that by accepting tasks that others are unwilling to handle, you are suddenly viewed as a team member. As a result, IT management may be more inclined to consider you for promotion and/or to assign you to head a project that actually interests you.
Exercise caution when utilizing cutting-edge technologies
Those who want a career in tech have a proclivity to become distracted by the latest advancements. Frequently, we believe that anything we read or hear about from a seller is the next big thing. Yet frequently, the technology we were eyeing never achieves traction in the company. While knowing about cutting-edge technologies might help you differentiate yourself from other networking professionals, it’s critical to focus on those technologies that have the potential to endure so you don’t spend your time acquiring a skill that will never become relevant.
Certifications do matter
Whether you love them or despise them, certifications are a means to demonstrate to others that you have a sufficient level of understanding in a certain area within the networking field. They look excellent on resumes and assist headhunters and recruiters in connecting you with opportunities that will advance your career. Certifications, in a nutshell, are one of those unavoidable evils of the networking field. While Cisco certificates continue to be in high demand, you may want to consider additional credentials such as the CISSP or any of the AWS cloud certifications.
Concentrate on a single industry
If you’ve ever worked in a variety of various company verticals over your professional career, you’re well aware that network requirements vary considerably. For instance, many medical devices require networks setup using IPv4 or IPv6 multicast routing in the healthcare industry. Alternatively, manufacturers and distributors rely significantly on proprietary WiFi endpoints distributed across their operations and warehouses. Specializing in the particular network challenges encountered within a single company segment will expedite your career advancement.
Networking efforts on a single aspect of the industry
Concentrating your networking efforts on a single area of technology might be an effective strategy to jumpstart your networking career. Campus LAN/WAN, data centre networking, wireless, collaboration, and network security are all areas of network speciality. Becoming a subject matter expert in one of these areas helps you establish your credibility inside an organization, which can result in promotions.
Be prepared to work irregular hours
If you believe that a position in information technology networking is a regular 9-5 job, you are gravely mistaken. While much of the preparation work may be accomplished during normal business hours, networking changes frequently cause end-user traffic to be disrupted. As a result, be prepared and willing to work outside of usual business hours as necessary. It is one of the aspects of the job that is required at practically every level of network operations, from low-level assistance to network architect.
Utilize free tools and demo equipment
Vendors of network hardware and software are eager to get their products into your hands for evaluation. Stand out by demonstrating various tools and evaluating hardware/software. Not only is this a cost-free opportunity to test a wide variety of products, but it’s also an excellent approach to experiment with new technology.
Often, progressing in your networking career needs much more than simply picking up a new set of abilities. Often, it’s beneficial to first examine your organization’s or industry’s general IT networking landscape in order to determine which talents are – or will be – in demand. This requires extensive research and knowledge about the industry in which you wish to work.
Career advancement also necessitates a shift in mentality. Occasionally, in order to advance in your career, you may be required to perform work or acquire new skills by doing a networking certification with which you are not entirely comfortable. Because networking professionals are accustomed to being whizzes at fixing connection issues and installing switches, coding and cloud computing may be foreign and unnerving. However, stepping outside your comfort zone will ultimately pay off.
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