In today's high-tech marketplace, computers streamline many business transactions, from goods distribution to customer service. Network administrators perform a number of functions including evaluating a business' computer network needs and then designing, installing, and maintaining the network.
A Look at an IT Networking Career
Several career paths are available in information technology (IT) networking. Network designers and engineers evaluate, design, and test networks such as wide area networks (WANs) and local area networks (LANs), as well as a company's Internet and intranet connections. Network administrators install and maintain computer hardware and software, fix technical issues, and gather and analyze data about network performance.
How to Prepare for a Career in IT Networking
Although you can work in IT networking with networking certifications and job experience, most employers require at least an associate's or bachelor's degree and many prefer a master's degree. Coursework for a degree in networking can include:
- Computer science
- Database maintenance
- Management information systems
- Computer programming
- Systems design
If you plan to pursue the business side of networking, you might round out your networking degree with coursework in finance, marketing, and accounting.
IT Networking Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that network administrators should have excellent job opportunities in the coming years, with 286,600 new jobs created between 2008 and 2018. Salary prospects should also be good; in 2008, the median yearly income for network and computer systems administrators was $66,310 with the top 10% earning substantially more.