What Is Networking Technology?

Do you have a basic knowledge of routers and modems? Would you like to branch out further into the field of networking but need to learn more technical skills? Read on to learn how the growing field of computer networks technology allows businesses and institutions to transmit data digitally through information systems. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Networking Technologies Definition

Networking technology allows for the exchange of data between large and small information systems used primarily by businesses and educational institutions. Network technicians, also known as network engineers or specialists, are responsible for the configuration, installation and troubleshooting of the technology used to transmit digital information, including audio, visual and data files. Through networking, end-users are able to transmit files, messages and other data through e-mail or various other channels, sharing information through Internet or Intranet connections, based on the needs of an organization.

The development of a network involves assessing the administrative and informational requirements of an organization and evaluating the costs for hardware, installation, training, security and account management. Once a network is deployed, networking technicians are usually responsible for ensuring the network remains operational and updated as needed. They usually provide technical support to company employees for any problems that may arise.

Important Facts About a Career in Computer Networks Technology

Work EnvironmentPrimarily in an office setting, with occasional time spent in a server with access to organization's networking hardware
Key SkillsAnalytical, detail-oriented, interpersonal, leadership, organizational, communication, computer, multitasking, problem-solving
Top IndustriesComputer systems design, information, educational services, finance, insurance, administrative and support services
Similar OccupationsComputer and information systems managers, computer hardware engineers, computer programmers, computer support specialists, database administrators, computer systems analysts

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for computer network architects is expected to see 6% growth from 2016 to 2026. Network and computer systems administrators are also projected to experience 6% growth (www.bls.gov). Individuals with a degree or professional certification and relevant job experience have the best job opportunities for employment. Network and computer systems administrators earn a median annual wage of $82,050 while network architects bring in $109,020 per year, states the BLS as of May 2018.

Educational Requirements

You'll generally need at least an associate's degree in networking technology or a related field for entry-level employment as a networking technician. A bachelor's degree in network technology, computer systems or a related field is recommended for individuals who are interested in a career in networking technology. Also, many technology companies, including Microsoft and Cisco, as well as various industry associations and schools, offer professional certifications that give you the necessary skills to find entry-level employment as a network technician.

Continuous training is needed to keep current with the latest technology. This training is usually available through workshops and courses. As a networking technician, you may also need to have experience using various operating systems, including UNIX, Windows, Cisco and Novell. An understanding of the different types of networking models, protocol, media and hardware is also needed. This includes Internet systems, local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN).

Key Skills Required

Professionals in the networking technology field are required to be highly analytical and detail-oriented, as you will often be examining data networks and how best to connect them to one another, based on the needs of your client. You may also be required to create plans detailing specific parts of a network. As you may be leading teams of engineers (such as computer hardware engineers), excellent interpersonal and leadership skills will also be beneficial.

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