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IT Jobs and Networking Skills: What You Need to Know

September 23, 2014 Information Technology, General 0 Comments

Networking skills are an important asset to have if you want to make it in the various information technology (IT) fields. IT careers that require networking know-how often need individuals who ensure people and companies can access information and data across networks, servers, databases and the Internet in general.

IT Jobs and Networking Skills: What You Need to KnowAs demand for these skills continues to grow, even in non-computer-related industries, successful career paths are being molded for those who understand the fundamentals of computer networking, Internet systems, network troubleshooting and how to maintain system performance and network hardware. While often not essential, technical expertise generally calls for employees to comprehend network-oriented programming languages such as Python or SQL.

Different networking skills are required for different types of IT careers. For example, a network support specialist would be more adept at troubleshooting, testing, diagnostics and fixing hardware problems. On the other hand, a network architect would design networks and choose the correct hardware and software platforms to implement a networking system for a new organization.

Consider some of the following networking job positions and the associated networking skills generally sought by hiring companies.

Network Support Specialist

  • Network testing, repair and maintenance
  • Phone, email, chat or in-person support

Network Architect

  • Creating new networks (planning and design)
  • Hardware knowledge (cables, modems, routers, etc.)
  • Installation and management

Network Analyst

  • Network server and support/installation
  • Assisting with network, server and domain design
  • Ensuring and testing for optimal network speed and performance

Network Administrator

  • Managing and overseeing an entire network
  • Ensuring and monitoring network security
  • Allocating various network standards for users (access levels and permissions)

Entry-Level Requirements

While these general functions of each job type can spill over into other networking roles, these careers almost always require a unique type of certification. These certifications show you have pursued additional training and have a level of expertise in a certain area.

The most common certifications for entry-level specialists are the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist and the Cisco Certified Network Professional certifications. Others include the CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, Red Hat Certified Engineer and Certified Wireless Network Professional certifications.

All of these certifications go over the networking basics any entry-level professional should know, but they often diverge into a more specific and specialized area in networking. Beyond these, your career opportunities will only benefit when you familiarize yourself with some basic networking technologies, such as transmission control protocol/Internet protocol, the open systems interconnection model, Ethernet and Internetworking.

Overall, if you want a successful career in the networking field, you should be comfortable working with computers and their interconnectivity. Where you fall in this industry depends on your interests. If you are more comfortable working with hardware, you may want to go into fields that ask for maintenance and repair skills. If you have a software background, you may want to assist with maintaining network servers and their security. Many positions fall within this spectrum, but almost all require a basic IT/networking education, a variety of certifications and an unyielding desire to work with computer networks.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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