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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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Network Designer
Top Careers After Network Designer
Hispanic or Latino11.3%
Black or African American0.7%
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University of Phoenix14.0%
Georgia Southern University6.0%
University of Kentucky6.0%
Colorado Technical University6.0%
George Washington University6.0%
New Jersey Institute of Technology6.0%
University of Texas at Arlington4.0%
University of Connecticut4.0%
California State University - Chico4.0%
Ohio University -4.0%
Northeast Technical Institute4.0%
Southern Illinois University Carbondale4.0%
Evergreen State College4.0%
Albertus Magnus College4.0%
University of Colorado at Boulder4.0%
University of California - Los Angeles4.0%
University of Missouri - Columbia4.0%
Southern Methodist University4.0%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Director of IP Network Design and Optimization||Futurewei Technologies, Inc.||Santa Clara, CA||Oct 01, 2010||$220,000|
|Senior Network Designer||Fox Group, News America, Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||Dec 27, 2010||$125,008|
|Network Designers||The Matlen Silver Group||Hopewell, NJ||Oct 31, 2007||$120,000|
|Network Designers||The Matlen Silver Group||Hopewell, NJ||Feb 14, 2008||$120,000|
|Director of National Network Designs||Advanced Network Systems Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||Oct 01, 2010||$120,000|
|Network Design Principal||BT Americas, Inc.||El Segundo, CA||Aug 16, 2011||$115,720|
|Network Designers||Alcatel USA, Inc.||Plano, TX||May 29, 2008||$110,160|
|Team Lead, Network Design and Optimization||Opnet Technologies, Inc.||Cary, NC||Nov 18, 2011||$109,000|
|Team Lead, Network Design and Optimization||Opnet Technologies, Inc.||Cary, NC||Mar 05, 2012||$109,000|
|Network Design Advisor||Dell Marketing, LP||Pleasanton, CA||Mar 12, 2012||$107,682|
|Network Design & Optimization Leader||GE Medical Systems, LLC||Waukesha, WI||Jul 22, 2009||$105,000 -
|Manager, Network Design||Sears Holdings Management Corporation||Hoffman Estates, IL||Nov 24, 2015||$103,334|
|SR. Manager Supply Chain Network Design||Jabil Circuit, Inc.||Saint Petersburg, FL||Sep 16, 2012||$100,700|
|Professional-It Network Design||at&T Services, Inc.||Las Vegas, NV||Jun 24, 2014||$100,128|
|Global Network Designer||Havas Worldwide, LLC||New York, NY||Sep 14, 2016||$100,000|
|Network Designer||BT Americas, Inc.||Newington, CT||Dec 01, 2014||$98,800 -
|Network Design and Integration Professional||Alcatel Lucent USA, Inc.||Raleigh, NC||Dec 05, 2016||$96,491 -
|Professional-It Network Design||at&T Services, Inc.||Longmont, CO||Jul 12, 2013||$95,570|
|Professional-IT Network Design||at&T, Inc., and All of Its Subsidiaries and Affiliates||Dallas, TX||Aug 12, 2015||$95,570|
|Global Manager, Network Design and Data Analytics||Schneider Electric USA, Inc.||Alpharetta, GA||Aug 15, 2016||$95,514 -
|Senior RAN Network Design and Optimization||Nokia Siemens Networks Us LLC||Arlington Heights, IL||Aug 27, 2013||$85,000|
|Professional IT Network Design||at&T Services, Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||Jul 15, 2011||$85,000|
|Professional IT Network Design||at&T Services, Inc.||Seattle, WA||Jun 01, 2012||$85,000|
|Professional IT Network Design||at&T Services, Inc.||Agoura Hills, CA||Jul 03, 2012||$85,000|
|Network Designers||Dell USA LP||Round Rock, TX||Dec 07, 2007||$85,000|
|Professional IT Network Design||at&T Services, Inc.||Boulder, CO||May 10, 2012||$84,000|
|Network Designer||Alcatel USA, Inc.||Plano, TX||Jul 24, 2008||$83,000|
|Professional IT Network Design||at&T Services, Inc.||Agoura Hills, CA||May 07, 2012||$82,000|
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