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Computer network architects design and build data communication networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets. These networks range from small connections between two offices to next-generation networking capabilities such as a cloud infrastructure that serves multiple customers. Network architects must have extensive knowledge of an organization’s business plan to design a network that can help the organization achieve its goals.Duties
Computer network architects typically do the following:
Computer network architects, or network engineers, often work with their organization’s chief technology officer (CTO) to predict where the organization will most need new networks. They spend most of their time planning these new networks. Some computer network architects work with engineers such as computer hardware engineers who help build the network a network architect has designed. Network architects are often experienced staff and have 5 to 10 years of experience working in network administration or with other information technology (IT) systems.
Computer network architects also create models to predict future network needs by analyzing current data traffic and estimating how growth will affect the network. They also keep up to date on new hardware and software technology and test how it can improve network performance. In addition, computer network architects have to keep security in mind and when network vulnerabilities arise, implement security patches or other countermeasures.
Most computer network architects have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field and experience in a related occupation, such as network and computer systems administrators.Education
Computer network architects usually need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, engineering, or a related field. Degree programs in a computer-related field give network architects hands-on laboratory work in classes such as network security or database design. These programs prepare network architects to be able to work with the wide array of technologies used in networks.
Employers of network architects sometimes prefer applicants to have a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems. MBA programs generally require 2 years of study beyond the undergraduate level and include both business and computer-related courses.Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Network architects generally need to have at least 5 to 10 years of experience working with information technology (IT) systems. They often have experience as a network and computer system administrator but also may come from other computer-related occupations such as database administrator or computer systems analyst.Certification
Certification programs are generally offered by product vendors or software firms. Vendor-specific certification verifies a set of skills to ensure network architects are able to work in specific networking environments. Companies may require their network architects to be certified in the products they use.Advancement
Some network architects advance to become computer and information systems managers.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. Computer network architects have to examine data networks and decide how to best connect the networks based on the needs and resources of the organization.
Detail oriented. Computer network architects create comprehensive plans of the networks they are creating with precise information describing how the network parts will work together.
Interpersonal skills. These workers must be able to work with different types of employees to successfully design and implement computer and information networks.
Leadership skills. Many computer network architects direct teams of engineers who build the networks they have designed, such as computer hardware engineers.
Organizational skills. Computer network architects who work for large firms must coordinate many different types of communication networks and make sure they work well together.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Head of Data Centers & Computer Networking||Two Sigma Investments, LLC||New York, NY||Aug 17, 2015||$235,000|
|Network and Computer Systems Adminstrators||Linkedin Corporation||Mountain View, CA||Mar 23, 2012||$130,000|
|Network and Computer Systems Adminstrators||Silver Peak||Santa Clara, CA||Mar 19, 2012||$122,000|
|Network and Computer Systems Adminstrators||Zynga Game Network||San Francisco, CA||Oct 28, 2011||$110,000|
|Info SEC Analysts, Web DEV, Comp Network Archit||Pricewaterhousecoopers||Philadelphia, PA||Sep 27, 2012||$105,810|
|Network and Computer Systems ADM.||Yahoo! Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Jun 16, 2011||$100,940 -
|Research Engineer, Computer Network||China Mobile Technology USA Inc.||Milpitas, CA||Mar 17, 2014||$100,000|
|Network and Computer Systems Administators||Dyntek Services, Inc.||New York, NY||Nov 17, 2011||$99,300|
|Network and Computer Systems Administators||Bazaar, Inc. DBA MUBI.Com||Palo Alto, CA||Aug 31, 2012||$98,500 -
|Network & Computer Systems Adminisrator||Unify Solutions Inc.||Catonsville, MD||Apr 25, 2011||$95,000|
|Research Engineer, Computer Network||China Mobile Communications Corporation||Milpitas, CA||Sep 18, 2013||$95,000 -
|Computer Network Arcitects||Americloud Solutions, Inc.||Schaumburg, IL||Sep 14, 2016||$91,915|
|Network & Computer SYS. Adminstrators)||Adept Computer Consultants Inc.||Irving, TX||May 23, 2012||$90,000|
|Network & Computer Systems Adminstrator||Igate Technologies Inc.||San Jose, CA||Aug 19, 2014||$75,100|
|Network and Computer Systems Adminstrators||NRIT Software Solutions LLC||Boston, MA||Dec 01, 2012||$75,000|
|Network & Computer Systems Admins.||The Chamberlain Group, Inc.||Tucson, AZ||Jul 26, 2011||$74,000|
|Network and Computer Systems Adminstrator||Igate Technologies Inc.||Baltimore, MD||Aug 20, 2014||$73,800|
|Network & Computer System Administator||Tata Consultancy Services Limited||San Diego, CA||Jul 30, 2014||$73,200 -
|Network and Computer Systems Adminstrators||Ida Solutions, Inc.||Plano, TX||Sep 13, 2016||$73,195|
|Network & Comp. SYS. ADM.||Sanpulse Technologies||Jersey City, NJ||Aug 31, 2012||$72,800|
|Network & Comp. SYS. ADM.||Sanpulse Technologies||Jersey City, NJ||Sep 04, 2012||$72,800|
|Network & Comp. SYS. ADM.||Suswee Infotech Corp., D/B/A Compu-Info||Edison, NJ||Sep 27, 2012||$66,435|
|Network and Computer Systems Adminisrtator||Savin Technologies, Inc.||Charlotte, NC||Oct 23, 2013||$66,290|
|Network & Computer Systems Adminstrator||Echelon It Inc.||Edison, NJ||Sep 25, 2016||$66,000|
|Network and Computer Systems Administator||Lifestreet Corporation||San Carlos, CA||Aug 08, 2014||$66,000 -
|Network and Computer System Administrato||Americas Communications LLC||Phoenix, AZ||Sep 01, 2015||$65,670|
|Network and Computer Adminstrator||ATEM Corp||Dallas, TX||Nov 01, 2014||$65,624|
|Network and Computer System Administrato||Americas Communications LLC||Phoenix, AZ||Sep 01, 2015||$65,052|
|Network and Computer Systems Adminstrator||Softnet Solutions, Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Oct 01, 2013||$65,000|
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