Most companies use computers that are connected to some type of network to run their businesses. These networks enable companies to share resources and reduce expenses. As a result, jobs in computer networking have become one of the fastest growing occupations in the computer field and an invaluable part of the company structure. Networking specialists work in a wide variety of jobs, including purchasing, installing, configuring, administration and user support.
Network engineers design computer networks. They set up, test and evaluate systems (LANs, WANs, the internet and intranets). Systems can be configured between two offices in the same building or via a multinational organization’s globally distributed networks, voice mail and email systems. Network engineers perform network modeling, analysis and planning requiring both hardware and software solutions. Their duties can involve installing several pieces of hardware, including routers and hubs, wireless adapters and cables, as well as the installation and configuration of software, including network drivers. They also often research related products, make hardware and software recommendations, and address information security issues for the companies for which they work.
Network administrators design, install and support the computer systems of an organization. They are responsible for LANs, WANs, internet and intranet systems. They install and maintain network hardware and software, analyze possible problems and monitor networks to make sure that these systems remain available for the users. They gather data to evaluate the performance of a network, identify the needs of network users and determine network requirements. In short, network administrators maintain a network’s overall efficiency, including ensuring its security.
Database administrators work with database management software, including determining ways to store, organize, analyze, use and present data. They identify user’s needs and set up new computer databases, which often includes integrating data from old systems into a new system. They test and coordinate system changes when needed and troubleshoot problems. A database administrator makes sure that the system’s performance runs smoothly, so he or she must understand the database platform and can add new users to the system when necessary.
Computer Security Specialists
Computer security specialists plan, coordinate and maintain the information security of an organization. They install security software, monitor networks for security breaches and respond to cyber attacks.
Telecommunications specialists work on the interaction between computers and communications equipment. They design voice-, video- and data-communication systems. They supervise the installation of these systems and provide maintenance and customer support.
Web developers focus on the technical aspects of website creation by using software to create applications for the web. They identify their website users’ needs and oversee the website's production and implementation, often using web development software to integrate databases and other information systems.
Webmasters maintain a company’s website. They ensure that the site is available and accessible to its users and are responsible for approving its content. They collect and analyze data on web activity, traffic patterns and monitor and respond to user feedback.