Is Network Engineering a Good Career?

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Is Network Engineering a Good Career?

Author: Tatianna | Published on June 20, 2018 | Views: 22492

Demand for employees in the information technology (IT) industry, including network engineers, is soaring while the supply of candidates is running low. In fact, according to Forbes, in 2015, the job postings in IT went up 74 percent over the previous five years and there were over 200,000 current job vacancies in the industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that just over three-quarters of those job vacancies were for network engineering positions. So, you can see that there simply aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill the increasing need, giving candidates more and better choices when it comes to employment.

TL;DRIt takes time, but becoming a Network Engineer isn’t impossible. Cybrary makes attaining this highly demanded job role possible with better training, access to mentors, and guided curriculums

Network Engineers are In Demand

Organizations are looking for network engineers because today’s networks and systems have become increasingly complex as technology advances. Depending upon the specific position and company you work for, some of the projects you may work on as a network engineer are:

  • Computer network maintenance – Network engineers ensure that communication and resource sharing is operational between all the devices (computers, printers, servers, etc.) in a network, as well as ensuring internet connections. They have to ensure that there are fast connections, limited disruptions, and minimal downtime. Network engineers also have to interact with all users and outside vendors (such as internet service providers) to maintain the network.
  • System design – A network engineer may be responsible for creating a network design, taking into account the physical layout of the building and the budget. If there are multiple buildings, the network engineer must design a wide area network (WAN) for the organization.
  • Managing implementation – Network engineers often fall into the project manager role for IT-related projects. They are responsible for the overall implementation and management of these projects.
  • Staying up-to-date – Network engineers have to stay current on technology to make sure that they are able to protect and maintain their organizations’ networks and understand the latest technologies.

Because there is a strong demand for network engineers and a shortage of qualified professionals, the salary, job outlook, and opportunities are great. Taking on the network engineer role can be an exciting and lucrative career choice.

Network Engineer Salaries

Salaries for network engineers are good and getting better every day. Nationwide, the salary range for network engineers is $73,335 to $154,325, with a median salary of $104,650. The median salary for the U.S. for 2017 was $37,690, a significantly lower income when compared to that of network engineers.

Of course, there are some factors that will affect the salary you receive as a network engineer, including:

  • Your employer – the size of the organization, whether they are in the public or private sector, etc.
  • Your location – the geographical location of your organization can play a big role in your salary, depending on the local economy
  • Your education – the more education and certifications that you have, the higher your salary is likely to be
  • Your experience – whether you are an entry-level network engineer or have been in the role previously

Despite those factors, network engineer positions offer a good salary overall. Most organizations will also offer comprehensive benefits packages to full-time employees, further increasing the value of the position.

Network Engineer Job Outlook

The growth of about six percent is expected in the employment of network engineers, from 2016 to 2026. The demand for network engineers has increased over the last decade as companies have expanded their IT networks. Designing new networks or upgrading current ones will continue to create new opportunities for network engineers. Additionally, the increase in healthcare information technology will further add to network engineering opportunities.

Overall, the employment outlook for new network engineers is very favorable. Jobs in the field outnumber candidates, keeping the unemployment rate for network engineers around zero. One of the biggest reasons that there is a shortage of workers in the network engineering field is that organizations are looking for highly qualified, educated, and experienced IT professionals. Typically, companies require network engineers to have at least a bachelor’s degree, while master’s degrees are preferred. Many companies also require candidates to have specific network certifications and years of experience.

Making Network Engineering Your Career Choice

Network engineers design, implement and maintain systems for companies. Because there is a fair amount of overlap in different IT roles, your exact job duties may be different than those of your counterparts at other organizations. You also may be expected to work different hours, outside of the regular 9-5 workday or more than 40 hours a week. But you will have the opportunity to hone your technical skills, increase your experience, work in a highly-regarded position, and stay up-to-date on current and future technologies.

If you are technologically-minded, have great communications skills, are a team player, and can troubleshoot and problem-solve, then a career in network engineering may be the one you are looking for. The salary, job outlook and opportunities mentioned above make the choice a smart one.

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