How Can I Become a Computer Network Analyst?

Research what it takes to become a computer network analyst. Learn about education requirements, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does A Computer Network Analyst Do?

Computer network analysts maintain and troubleshoot network hardware and software. They may also design and build data communication networks of varying sizes. Some may even be responsible for the daily operation of said networks. The networks generally handle communication between systems and businesses. Find out more about career requirements for this field in the table below.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree; master's degree preferred by some employers
Education Field of Study Network engineering, computer networking or related field
Other Requirements Prior work experience from 5-10 years is common
Job Growth (2014-24) 9% for computer network architects*
Average Salary (2015) $58,270**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What Will I Do as a Computer Network Analyst?

As a computer network analyst, you might have a few different job titles, including network systems analyst or data communications analyst. Your primary duties will be to design, test and analyze network systems. You will work with local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and any other types of data communication system, including the Internet or intranet.

If you aspire to work as a computer network analyst, you might find a position with any business, corporation or government entity that has networking needs. You will be responsible for determining what type of networking hardware or software will most suit the needs of a particular organization. You will then plan, model and maintain those network systems.

What Education Will I Need?

Employers will prefer to hire you as a computer network analyst if you have at least a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field. Some degrees that might be appropriate to the field include a Bachelor of Science in Computer Networking or a Bachelor of Science in Network Engineering. Such a degree program should provide you with a strong understanding of LANs, WANs, advanced networking and systems analysis. They should also provide you with a background in computer operating systems and information technology ethics.

What Salary Can I Expect to Make?

About 146,600 computer network architects worked for organizations in the United States in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Network analysts earned a median annual salary of about $58,270 as of 2016, notes PayScale.com.

What Does the Future of the Career Look Like?

The employment of computer network architects in general is predicted to increase by 9% from 2014-2024, according to the BLS. As information technology becomes more prevalent in the business world, organizations will have a greater need to hire computer network analysts to plan and manage network systems.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Computer and information systems managers oversee computer-related activities and evaluate whether or not an organization's goals are reachable. Software developers create applications or systems for computers and other devices, while computer programmers create code that allows the programs designed by developers to function. All of these positions use a similar skill set and require a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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