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In today’s world, a career in computer networking is in high demand and there is no shortage of qualified people. Although the jobs are there, careers with credible, well-known companies are highly sought after. The work is tough and the hours are long. Computer networking encompasses five basic career fields, with many different titles and levels within each.
Network administrators oversee the computers in the company’s system. They manage and ensure the network runs smoothly and uninterrupted. They connect all hardware and software and set up all programs, such as everyone’s email, to the computer system. They work with individual users, troubleshoot crashes and slow performance and are responsible for developing an emergency back-up system to preserve essential data. They must record all system errors and how they were repaired. They must also set up security measures to keep unauthorized users from accessing company files. The administrator monitors how each computer is being used and by whom.
Network Systems Engineer
Network systems engineers are responsible for setting up the network infrastructure the administrator oversees. Engineers maintain and watch over the security systems the administrator set up, and work with them to develop firewalls and back-up systems to the main network server. Engineers are responsible for the configuration of the network, maintaining all the equipment and logging any maintenance performed. The engineer is the fine tuner to the network system.
Network computer programmers are administrative-style jobs that create and design critical data structures for each computer. They analyze the system’s software requirements, develop new applications and maintain existing ones. They are there from start to finish on all computer applications. They literally tell the computer what to do and how to grasp the information it is given. The programmer must meet all system standards, creating the proper codes and communicate well with perfect understanding. Programmers must also have exemplary presentation skills.
Network Systems Manager
Network systems managers guide, manage and supervise the entire Internet and computer operation. Managers are in charge of the workplace, assign projects and programs to their employees and give reports to upper management. They are responsible for each department in the operation to include many programmers, analysts and technologists. They must be educated in every area of the computer network system. Managers must ensure the availability of each department’s equipment, order and allocate resources as necessary and be familiar with industry developments and more.
Network Service Technician
Network service technicians identify and fix network troubles. They troubleshoot components and hardware such as coaxial and fiber-optic cables. They must have extensive knowledge in Internet connections and in linking computers within a network. They plan and analyze cost for the company’s computer network system and determine correct layouts, configurations and connection devices. They must be abreast on modern terminology and be able to resolve any problem within the computer system.
AnnaMarie Williams has been a freelance writer since 1982. Her articles have appeared in "American Baby." Williams also wrote and edited articles for military communication manuals TA-312 and PRC-77. She has a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of Phoenix.