Users of computers and other tech devices might forget the engineers, architects and networkers working behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly. According to Ed Tittel and Kim Lindros of Business News Daily, networking is one of the largest categories for IT certifications and careers.
As a networker, you might end up working in areas like connectivity, routing, local wired and wireless IP network design, or administration. An increasing number of networking professionals are pursuing careers associated with mobile communications technologies like Mobile WiMAX and LTE.
Do you know where you'd like to end up within the field or need more networking essentials to help you decide? Here are five tips to become a successful networker to get started in your IT pursuits in this field.
When just starting out in the field, consider earning some basic credentials, such as CompTIA Network+ or any CWNP certifications. With these certifications, you'll become exposed to several varied but valuable networking products and technologies that will enhance your marketability as a networker.
The field for networking is as deep as it is broad, meaning there are multiple options within a few different levels of networking careers from which you can choose. First, there is the entry-level arena that features the following types of jobs:
- Network administrator
- Network analyst
- Network engineer
- Network manager
- Network solutions architect
- Network specialist
- Network technician
As you gain experience in the field, you might continue seeking enhanced leadership and skilled positions, such as:
- Cloud networking architect
- Datacenter networking specialist
- Mobility solutions architect
- Network research and development specialist
- Network security specialist
- Telecom project manager
- VoIP engineer
- Wireless infrastructure and mobility specialist
Your options will continue to increase throughout your networking career, as you gain experience and additional knowledge and certifications.
IT networking is not a static field, which you likely know. However, you should prepare to take coursework throughout your career continually. In fact, experts suggest that you honestly assess whether you will continue to enjoy learning and pursuing continuing education opportunities in networking to stay relevant and advance your career.
One of the best strategies to become a successful networker is to enroll in networking courses to earn an online computer networking certificate. Taking online networking classes allows you to earn certification in network essentials to improve your field-based knowledge without interrupting your current job or job duties, making the process smoother. Once you take courses, you'll feel more confident sitting for CompTIA Linux+, CompTIA NETWORK+, CompTIA Cloud+, and CCNA certifications that will greatly increase your professional marketability.
Depending on the field or area you pursue in networking, the workplace may vary but feature some constants. In many cases, especially as an entry-level networker, you'll find that you're expected to work in a jack-of-all-trades capacity, which is good for you, providing you with opportunities to deepen your academic knowledge with practical experience. Some things you might end up doing include setting up hardware and troubleshooting server issues.
Much of your work in networking will focus on earning the proper certification and other professional credentials, as well as preparing to embark on a lifetime journey of learning. If you're considering this field, this should sound ideal to you. The best way to earn success in this field is to earn your certifications, enroll in online networking courses, explore the many career paths, and understand what your workplace will expect from you.