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Career Options in Computer Networking

Ranjan Shandilya
Computer network is the pulse line in any organization. Read on to know more about the various networking jobs available in an organization these days...
Computer networking is the science of interlinking computers in a way that data can be exchanged between them. In other words, it is the communication between computer systems or devices. It could be using LAN, which is confined to a small area like interconnected systems in an office.

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Networking can also be of WAN type, which is a large network covering a large geographic area. The network can be wireless LANs and WANs (WLAN & WWAN), which is the wireless equivalent of the LAN and WAN in which all networks are interconnected to allow communication with a varsity of different kinds of media, like Bluetooth and internet.

Types of Jobs

Computer networking jobs are highly specialized and competitive jobs that require adequate training. In almost all organizations these days, network connectivity is mandatory for smooth functioning of all departments.
Network engineers have a very important role to play in establishing and maintaining this capability at corporations, hospitals, and universities. Responsibilities include building, maintaining, and administering computer networks.
The role greatly varies from industry to industry, however it broadly includes troubleshooting of hardware and software, providing network support, and performing system design and analysis.
Obviously, network engineers often work in a high-pressure environment and are required to keep their cool and must stay up-to-date on the latest technologies. Qualification requirements include a bachelor's degree, certifications, and several years of experience working on a help desk or as a system administrator.
The Network administrators are the network equivalent of system administrators and they maintain both physical and logical perspective that comprises the network. This normally includes the deployment, configuration, maintenance, and monitoring of active network gear like switches, routers, and firewalls.
Network administration comprises activities such as network address assignment, assignment of routing protocols and routing table configuration, as well as configuration of authentication and authorization.
Computer network management and maintenance is another very important aspect, which includes maintenance of network facilities in individual machines, such as drivers and settings of personal computers. It also includes maintenance of network servers.
Outsourcing provides access to highly skilled people without the expense of maintaining a large in-house staff, offering services such as computer help, reliable network management, network maintenance help and support, data backup support, and much more.
With the growth of the Internet, a variety of occupations related to the design, development, and maintenance of web sites and their servers have come up.
Since networks are configured in many ways, network systems and data communications analysts are needed to design, test, and evaluate systems such as local area networks, wide area networks, the Internet, Intranets and other data communications systems.
Employment of network engineers and administrators is expected to increase faster than the average for all other occupations in the future. The job prospects will continue to grow and it is rightly projected to remain one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. economy.

Training and Certifications

Computer networking training is available for computer networks, network security training, network certification, and network administration. One can easily find e-learning resources and training in wireless LAN, data networking, LAN design, Cisco, optical networking, routers, and many more on the net.
These online training courses are delivered directly to your browser. An annual subscription of less than US$200 provides you with unlimited access to online training courses, which are available for immediate download.
The training courses can be printed out for a hard copy that makes study easier, plus the online assistance and review questions are very helpful for a comprehensive learning experience. Courses include online examinations and certificates of completion.
Irrespective of how respected a certification is, it is not enough to land a job as a network engineer, all by itself.
The process involves several years as a help-desk professional, first fielding phone-support calls, and then working one-on-one with customers at their workstations, which is followed by another stint as a system administrator, and then a transition to the network-administrator or network-engineer role.
There are numerous sites and job portals on the net, all you need to do is submit your resume and you will start getting calls for interviews. A harsh fact remains that the growth of the computer networking jobs is not as booming as during the previous decade. However, if you have it in you, you could definitely succeed in this field.