If you want to know how to get a job in networking administration, then this article may interest you. We have assembled information about the highest-paying networking jobs and networking skills you will need. With the right business connections, you can enter the job market and get a great job in the field.
You will also find valuable certifications to consider, salaries and job outlook, possible career progressions from entry-level to senior, and career advice. Read below for tips for finding a job in networking administration at your dream company.
What Is Networking?
Computer networking is when two or more computers in a network structure exchange data. Networking includes communication and assisting technical support in various areas. Network engineers and administrations might work on the design, development, and maintenance of hardware and software within the network.
You can consider various jobs when starting a career in networking, like information security, computer programming, network management, and information technology (IT). Acquiring networking industry credentials can also help you find work in database administration, database management, system engineering, or wireless network engineering.
Networking Job Outlook
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the job outlook for network and computer systems administrators is growing at five percent, which is a slower growth rate than the average of eight percent. However, US News and World Report ranks a career in networking as the ninth-best job in the tech industry.
What Education Do I Need to Become a Network Administrator?
A network administrator should have at least a high school diploma or GED. Most employers in the networking industry prefer candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree in Network Administration or in a field related to computing or information science. However, this is not the only way to enter this career, and you can also become a network technician by earning other advanced certifications.
Can I Get a Networking Job Without a Degree?
Yes, you can get a job in the networking field without a degree. In fact, you can get many high-paying IT jobs without a degree. Instead of a degree, you can acquire various IT credentials crucial to the career field that may afford you a higher-paying salary.
You should also look for entry-level and freelance work to gain experience in networking, for example, by getting a junior network engineer job. The job process can sometimes be long, but an effective job search is still possible if you don’t have a degree.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a Job in Networking?
Yes, bootcamps are an excellent way to become a networking professional. By attending a top networking bootcamp, you’ll be getting the same education you’d receive from foundational computer science certification programs. The best networking bootcamps will enhance your technical skills, giving you practical knowledge of networking across different operating systems and hardware.
Bootcamps can be an alternative to getting a degree. This way, you can save on costs and time, as some of them can take as little as a few weeks or months to complete. Many bootcamps also offer valuable career assistance like mock interviews and technical resume writing tips.
According to General Assembly’s 2018-2019 Outcomes Report, 91 percent of bootcamp graduates accepted an offer of employment in the field they studied within 180 days of graduating. This means that bootcamps are a great way to get a job in networking.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Job in Networking?
If you opt for a bachelor’s degree, it can take four to five years to get a job in networking. An associate degree may take two to three years. It may also take an additional year to complete other certification programs.
After getting advanced certifications from networking bootcamps or online courses, it may take as little as a few weeks or months to get a job in networking, depending on your schedule, dedication, and resources. This kind of education offers intensive training in a shorter period with hands-on experience, and it allows you to enter the networking field faster.
Common Networking Education Paths
Network professionals’ most common education paths involve securing network administration degrees at a community college or university and then gaining more credentials from bootcamp certifications and courses.
Getting other tech certifications like the CompTIA Server+ certification, Linux Professional Institute LPIC-1, and Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) is a good option.
A bootcamp education, along with training in technical skills certification programs, can offer you a fast track to gaining a networking career. You could graduate from these intensive programs in only a few weeks or months of study, with valuable hands-on experience in crucial technical skills. Bootcamps can also save you money on tuition and help you reach your future goals.
A community college can be a cost-saving alternative to a traditional university education. Depending on what a college offers, you may study on-campus, online, or in a hybrid format.
An Associate Degree in Network Administration can take about two years to complete. You can become an entry-level professional with this level of degree, although it may not afford you a high-paying salary. Some colleges also provide accelerated programs to earn your associate or bachelor’s degree in a shorter time.
Network Administration Degrees
A Bachelor’s Degree in Network Administration takes about four years to acquire, unless you go through an accelerated degree program. Having this degree may unlock high-paying entry-level career opportunities. It will also unlock other career opportunities and simplify the job search process.
However, a college education is expensive. The average annual cost of tuition for a bachelor’s degree is $19,081 for all public and private institutions, as per the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The cost will depend on the institution you choose. It is important to note it also varies for in-state and out-of-state attendance.
Key Networking Skills to List on Your Resume
Network and computer systems administrator skills to list on your resume are knowledge of programming languages, cyber security, and interpersonal skills. However, these are only three key skills, and there are other skills you may need to become a systems administrator.
Knowledge of Programming Languages
Knowledge of programming languages like Python, SQL, Bash, and Node.js are favored during the hiring process. These will allow you to perform data analysis, backend web development, scientific computing, system scripting, and more.
Knowledge of cyber security techniques and tools is essential, as you must monitor software, perform troubleshooting, and identify server vulnerabilities daily as a professional network administator.
A professional network administrator works with a broad range of clients and other technical departments. You may need to walk people through troubleshooting, either in person or over the phone. You will need excellent communication skills, including friendly body language, to do this.
Where to Find Networking Jobs
There are various ways to enter a career in networking. Person-to-person networking, internships, and dropping a resume in person are also great ways to find your professional career opportunities. Read below to learn where else you can find networking jobs.
A job board is a prominent place to start your career search, with loads of professional career opportunities listed in one place. Job postings list job requirements, salaries, and locations. Some even have company profiles with reviews by staff. Examples of popular job boards are Indeed, Glassdoor, Zippia, and ZipRecruiter.
LinkedIn is a great network for a job search across many industries. You can create a profile with your skills and certifications for hiring managers to see at their convenience. Successful networking interactions on this site may result in you landing your dream job. You can also find job postings and job leads on other social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit.
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If you have a wish list of companies you would like to work for, then going onto a company’s website to apply for your dream job may be perfect for you. You can also subscribe to receive updates on job listings in some cases.
How to Prepare for Your Networking Interview
Preparing for the job interview is a good strategy for acing it and landing the job. Below are a few network administrator interview questions you will likely have to expand on in an interview for one of these roles.
Networking Interview Questions
- Describe the difference between a domain and a workgroup.
- What are the differences between global, local, and universal groups?
- Tell me about the best monitoring tools and techniques and which ones you use.
- Describe the best kind of authentication that is ideal for network access.
The Five Highest-Paying Networking Jobs
|Networking Jobs||Average Salary||Projected Growth|
|Chief Technology Officer (CTO)||$165,182||11%|
|Computer Network Architect||$137,129||5%|
|Site Reliability Engineer (SRE)||$130,021||5%|
|Information Technology (IT) Director||$127,026||13%|
|Cyber Security Engineer||$120,708||33%|
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
- Salary: $165,182
A CTO works in upper management, overseeing the technical department of a business. They recommend technologies and strategies that may work with the company’s human resources department for recruiting the best talent for the company.
Computer Network Architect
- Salary: $137,129
Computer network architects design and develop communication networks for companies relying on technology. They may set up intranets, Wide Area Networks (WANs), and Local Area Networks (LANs).
Site Reliability Engineer (SRE)
- Salary: $130,021
A site reliability engineer makes sure that a company’s website is scalable. They ensure upgrades and other features don’t cause issues with the website base code. You may work for a company on-site or visit a company when needed, like before a site upgrade.
Information Technology (IT) Director
- Salary: $127,026
An information technology director’s primary focus is information technology within a company. They are sometimes called digital information officers. An IT director helps businesses achieve technological goals. Experience and multiple certifications are highly valued in this role.
Cyber Security Engineer
- Salary: $120,708
Cyber security engineers are information security experts and they protect a business’s digital networks from malicious security breaches, maintaining the network’s integrity. They do this by focusing on cyber bridges and setting up firewalls.
Networking Career Path
A computer networking career path is not different from others, as it has progression paths from entry-level to senior-level. Below, you can see networking roles by category to help with your career plans.
Entry-Level Networking Jobs
- Database Administrator – Database administrators manage database systems, including configuration, testing, and maintenance. They ensure that databases perform optimally for data storage and protection. Backups and disaster recovery plans are vital in this job.
- Systems Administrator – This junior role assists in system assessments and monitoring. They suggest optimizations, detect faults, ensure security, and sometimes fix codes and troubleshoot.
- Network Administrator – Network administrators work to ensure connectivity with a company’s local LAN and WAN. Sometimes, you will have to solve network issues in this role.
Mid-Level Networking Jobs
- Systems Engineer – This mid-level engineer manages the system lifecycle, implements system maintenance and upgrades, and collaborates with team members in system development and deployment projects.
- Mid-Level Database Administrator – This administrator implements data security protocols, backups, recovery, and database system management.
- Mid-Level Systems Administrator – This job involves the management of software, hardware, networks, servers, and ensuring system efficiency.
Senior-Level Networking Jobs
- Lead Systems Engineer – The lead systems engineer leads and designs system development and deployment plans.
- Senior Database Engineer – A senior database engineer will design data security protocols, database management systems, and data backup and disaster recovery strategies.
- Senior Systems Administrator – The senior systems administrator manages overall system efficiency and leads system optimization.
There are several professional networking certifications to consider. Below are some of the best to begin your professional networking journey and become a certified networking professional.
Certified System Administrator (CSA)
A CSA certification will validate your expertise as an entry-level systems administrator, giving you skills in efficiently administering SCO UNIX products. This is a valued certification amongst tech employers.
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
The CCNA is the first step of Cisco career certification, validating a system administrator’s comprehension of basic networking concepts. This certification is also renowned in the industry.
Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)
A CENT certification validates you for basic skills in entry-level network administration, qualifying you to manage networks.
Tips on How to Get a Job in Networking
In this section, you can find the best ways to start your professional networking journey and establish your career. The tips included involve acquiring certifications, networking with professionals, considering an internship, practicing projects to hone your skills, and continuous learning.
Earn a Networking Certification
Whether you start your certification by getting a bachelor’s degree, associate degree, or technical certificate, you will need to acquire at least some accreditation to secure employment as a network administrator.
Network with Professionals
Networking with other professionals is key to any profession. Many people secure their dream jobs through connections and interactions with professionals already established in their industry. Attend a networking event or engage in online networking to establish yourself in the tech field.
Start an Internship
Networking internships may be paid or unpaid. The best part about an internship is that you can acquire valuable hands-on experience in your field. Internships also offer networking opportunities through working with professionals already in the field, who may help get you employment later.
Network programming practice projects will help you gain the experience you need to start your career. Employers will see that you are proactive and take the initiative to hone your skills on your professional journey, showing that you are motivated.
Practice Continuous Learning
The tech industry is evolving at full speed, meaning you need to learn continuously. Doing this will keep you informed and updated on the latest news, techniques, and more in the networking realm. Related networking events, forums, workshops, courses, tutorials, blogs, and podcasts can help.
Should You Get a Job in Networking in 2022?
Yes, if you are interested in technology, networks, how they work, how to fix them, and how to manage them, a networking career may be the dream job for you. Salaries are above average, the job outlook is adequate, and there are various ways to get into the networking industry.
If getting into a professional networking position fast is of interest to you, you may want to find the best networking bootcamps. Some of the best bootcamps offer valuable career services, mock interviews, and tips for acing the technical interview to achieve your career goal.
Yes, you can become a network administrator without a degree. Enrolling online for technical courses or attending a bootcamp for technical upskilling and certification may offer you opportunities for securing employment. Employers have different requirements, so make sure you do your research.
No, it’s relatively easy to learn systems and network administration compared to other technical disciplines. Regardless, you will need to master your technical skills with determination and hard work to thrive in this technical field.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the lowest 10 percent of network and computer systems administrators earn $52,830 as a median annual salary.
Yes, soft skills will help you excel in your professional career as a network administrator. Soft skills include problem-solving, collaboration, critical thinking, listening, and communication skills.
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