The Business of Networking
Monitoring the network, its hardware, and its software for potential problems
and for utilization levels for planning network upgrades
Troubleshooting network problems
Network administrators may also be called system administrators, LAN
administrators, and other variations on that theme.
Typically, you should have several years' experience performing network-related
duties with a similar network for this job. Certifications such as the Microsoft Certified
Systems Engineer (MCSE), Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA), or one
of the appropriate CompTIA certifications can reduce the amount of experience that
an employer will require. Employers usually consider these certifications important,
because they clearly establish that a candidate meets minimum requirements for the
networking system in question.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) offers a number of different
Network engineers are more deeply involved in the bits and bytes of a network. They
are expected to be expert in the network operating systems with which they work,
especially in the network's key hardware, such as its hubs, routers, switches, and so
forth. Network engineers are also usually the troubleshooters of last resort, who are
brought in to diagnose and fix the most vexing problems that surpass the ability of the
network administrator to resolve.
Aside from often holding a degree in electrical engineering or computer science,
network engineers typically have at least five years' experience running and trouble-
shooting complex networks. Also, network engineers typically carry certifications from
networking equipment companies, such as Cisco's well-regarded certification program.
Network architects (sometimes also called network designers) usually work for
companies that sell and support networks or for organizations with large networks that
are constantly changing and expanding. Essentially, network architects design networks.
They need to combine important qualities to be successful. They must know the business
requirements that the network needs to meet and have a thorough understanding of all
of the networking products available, as well as how those products interact. Network
architects are also important when growing a sophisticated network and helping to
ensure that new additions to the network don't cause problems elsewhere in the network.