Computer network architects design and create data communications networks, including local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), and intranets. These networks range from a small connection among two branches to a multinational series of universally distributed communication systems. Network architects must have a thorough understanding of an organization’s business plan to design a network that helps the organization achieve its objectives.
Computer network architects often do the following:
• Create a plan and design for a data communications network.
• Present the project to management and explain why it is best for the Association.
• Consider information security when designing a network
• Decide what hardware (for example, router or adapter) and what software (for example, network controller) are needed to support the network
• Determine how cables routed in the building and where other hardware should go
• Research new technologies to discover which ones are best for the organization in the future.
Computer network architects or network engineers also create models to predict future network requirements. They analyze current traffic and estimate how growth affects the network. They keep up to date with new hardware and software technologies and see how they can improve network performance. Network architects must also monitor security. When network vulnerabilities occur, they implement security patches or other countermeasures.
Architects often work with the Director of Technology (CTO) of their organization to predict where the organization desperately needs new networks.
They spend the maximum of their time planning these new networks. Some network architects work on-site and supervise the engineers and employees who create the networks designed by a network architect. Network architects often have experience and have 5 to 10 years of network management or other expertise in IT systems.
It is expected that the employment of computer network architects will increase by 15 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is above the average of all occupations.
The demand for computer network architects will increase as companies continue to expand their use of wireless and mobile networks. Designing and creating these new networks, as well as upgrading existing systems, provides opportunities for computer network architects. The expansion of health information technology will also contribute to employment growth.
The initiation of cloud computing, which lets users access storage, software, and other computer services over the Web, should decrease the demand for computer network architects. Businesses no longer need to design and build internal networks. Companies that offer cloud services do so instead. However, because the cloud service architects can work in the system of more than one organization, these vendors do not have to employ as many architects as each organization for the same amount of work.
Personality and Interests
Computer network architect training is generally interested in building, thinking and organizing by the Dutch code framework. In the field of buildings of interest, the focus is on working with tools and machines as well as on producing or repairing practical things. The area of interest for reflection shows a focus on research, investigation, and improvement of understanding of natural laws. The organizational focus area focuses on the use of information and processes to organize elements in orderly systems.
If you’re not sure of having an interest in building, thinking, or organizing that could be suitable for a career as a computer network architect, you can take a career test to measure your interests.
Analytical skills: Computer network architects need to examine data networks and determine the needs and resources of the organization to connect systems better.
Anxious for details: Computer network architects create complete plans of the networks they create with precise information describing how the parts of the system work together.
Interpersonal skills: These workforces must be able to work with different types of workers to achieve their goals.
Leadership skills: Many computer network architects ask engineering teams to build the networks they design.
Organizational skills: Computer network architects working for large companies need to coordinate many types of communication networks and ensure that they work well together.
How to become a computer network architect?
Computer network architects generally must have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems or a related field, such as engineering. However, obtaining a university degree in a computer specialization is better because it gives students the practical skills they will need to do their job. Acquiring a master’s degree in information systems is also useful because it provides candidates with specialized business skills valuable in the field.
Employers also want potential IT network architects to have 5 to 10 years of professional experience in information systems before considering them.
The average annual salary of computer network architects was $ 91,000 in May 2018. The average salary is the salary in which half of the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount, and the other half earned less. The lowest 10% earned less than $ 52,580, and the wealthiest 10% earned more than $ 141,590.