Courtesy of Pinterest[/caption]Technology continues to change and improve, evolving faster and faster as it advances. Along with it, careers in the information technology industry also continue to grow. As a network engineer, you will be in the heart of the technological realm. You will have a wide range of duties that include designing, building, and maintaining computer networks for the organization you work for. These networks also vary widely – from a simple system that you can handle alone to a complicated system of LANs, WANs, intranets, and extranets that it takes a whole IT team to manage. There are a variety of fantastic reasons to become a network engineer including great pay, reputable companies to work for, and working with some of the most advanced technology available. While being a network engineer can be demanding work, you’ll find that the work is satisfying and that the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks.
Responsibilities of a Network Engineer
Network engineers are responsible for an organization’s computer networks. They maintain many platforms for all employees to use. The complexity of the network generally depends on the size of the organization. The network engineer role is crucial to the daily operations of the business. That means that in this position, you have to have excellent analytical skills to understand the complexities of the network to diagnose and repair any issues that may arise. It’s also vital that network engineers have strong communication skills. In this role, you will work with every employee who has network access. There are very few roles that actually affect every other employee, either directly or indirectly, like the network engineering position. What you do on a daily basis has the potential to impact everyone from entry-level employees to the CEO of your organization, so solid communication skills are a must.
Benefits of a Network Engineering Job
There are many benefits that you will experience as a network engineer, including the following:
You’ll Have Access to New Technology
Because technology is constantly advancing, you will continuously learn exciting, new things, increasing your knowledge significantly. If technology is your thing, you will never get bored in a network engineer role.
You’ll Be Valuable to Your Organization
Your role is considered one of the most valuable within most companies, so you will likely have a huge amount of responsibility. Businesses rely on their computer networks for day-to-day operations, and they will rely on you to make sure that those operations always run smoothly. When there is a disruption in the network, it affects the bottom line of the company. You will be responsible for fixing any issues quickly and effectively, making you an indispensable part of your organization’s team.
You’ll Be Challenged
While there are some duties involved in the network engineering role that may be repetitive in nature, the position offers you many opportunities to use “outside-the-box” thinking to solve challenging problems. You may get to utilize new, creative approaches to handling issues and improving network efficiency.
You’ll Have Opportunities for Advancement
Network systems are central to the operations of nearly every business, from non-profit activism to manufacturing to hospitality and education. As a network engineer, you have the opportunity to work in nearly any industry – as an integral part of the team. Once you have established yourself within an organization, you will be able to promote yourself as a valuable asset in any position that you are interested in. Whether your goal is to stay in the field of technology or you wish to change roles sometime down the line, the network engineering position will prepare you for your next steps. There are many doors that will be open to you as a network engineer (even internationally, if that is something you desire) in many different industries.
You’ll Be in Demand
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of network engineers has a promising outlook for the future – it is predicted to grow 6 percent between 2016 and 2026. The demand for network engineers may increase even further as many organizations continue to grow their computer networks and systems.
You’ll Earn a Good Salary
Also according to the BLS, the median salary for network engineers is $104,650, which is significantly higher than the overall national median salary of $37,690. Most network engineers work a full-time 40-hour week, with about a quarter of them working more than that. Typically, most organizations offer full-time employees health insurance, paid time off, and various other benefits.
Becoming a Network Engineer
Taking on the role of a network engineer offers many benefits and opportunities. It’s a valuable position that allows you to work with a diverse group of departments and employees, think outside-the-box, continue learning and evolving, all while you get to work with technology and earn a good salary. The role will always be exciting and interesting as you experience new technologies and strive to improve your organization’s networks.