Network Architect Education and Career

Network architects design, configure, troubleshoot and install computer networks. Find out about degree and training requirements, learn what's involved in a career as a network architect, and get information on salary and job growth predictions. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Professional network architects ensure that a stable and connected workplace exists so that all the information needed to be processed and shared across desktops is accessed smoothly and seamlessly. A properly configured and efficient network infrastructure is critical in today's modern technological world.

Degree Options BS in computer science, information systems, engineering, or a related field; MBA in information systems is sometimes preferred
Certification Available from various training institutions and professional associations
Courses Data structures, programming logic, management of information systems, ethical issues in technology, database design and management, and business intelligence systems
Median Salary (2017)* $104,650 (computer network architects)
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)* 6% (computer network architects)

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Training Do I Need to Become a Network Architect?

Most employers want you to have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information systems, engineering, or a related subject. But other employers might want you to have an advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis on information systems. In addition to acquiring skills in networking, the MBA program also helps you develop managerial skills, which you can use to supervise others on the job. Also, some employers may want you to have related work experience and become certified. A large number of varying certifications are available through professional associations, product vendors, and training institutions.

Course topics that you are likely to encounter in a computer science program are broad. The following are some examples:

  • Programming
  • Networking
  • Operating database systems
  • Software engineering
  • Computer communications
  • Modern technologies
  • Data structures

The MBA program's information systems courses might include systems analysis and design, data communications, enterprise architecture, software quality management and business intelligence systems. MBA programs usually take about two years to complete. Beyond the knowledge and abilities that you'll obtain while earning your degree, you should have good organizational, analytical and interpersonal skills. Since network architects engage in comprehensive planning of networks, you'll also need to be detail-oriented.

Can I Prepare for This Career Online?

Online, you can find both computer science degree programs and MBA options that emphasize information systems. To access these programs, you'll need a computer with reliable, high-speed Internet access. You also need an active e-mail account to communicate with your instructors. Sometimes your classes might be self-paced, but they still offer the same curriculum as their on-campus equivalents, so it's important to spend an adequate amount of time studying and preparing for class. Projects and assignments often have fixed deadlines.

What Can I Expect Once I Enter the Workforce?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2016, network architects can expect a 6% growth in employment from 2016-2026, which is about average. The BLS also reported that network architects earned a median annual salary of $104,650 as of 2017. There are varied factors that will contribute to an increasing need for networking architects, such as the expansion of healthcare information technology and the need for companies to widen their computer network. However, since cloud computing allows users to manage a range of computer services over the Internet, the demand for network architects will be somewhat diminished.

Network architects primarily work in computer systems design and related services. However, they also work in telecommunications, educational services, for insurance companies, and in the management of companies and enterprises.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
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  • Tulane University

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    Popular programs at Tulane University:

    • Master

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  • Georgetown University

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    Popular programs at Georgetown University:

    • Master

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  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
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  • Independence University

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    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • New England College

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    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
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  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master
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  • Herzing University

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