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.
Most computer network architects work full time. About 1 in 4 worked more than 40 hours per week in 2014.
How to Become a Computer Network Architect
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.
Employment of computer network architects is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for computer network architects will increase as firms continue to expand their information technology (IT) networks.
This occupation supported 143,400 jobs in 2012 and 146,200 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 2.0%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 14.6% in 2022 to 164,300 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 147,500, compared with an observed value of 146,200, 0.9% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 8.9% in 2024 to 158,900 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 168,400 jobs for 2024, 6.0% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.