What Do Computer Network Architects Do?
As a Computer Network Architect, your primary duty will be to design and implement computer and information networks, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), intranets, extranets, and other data communications networks. You will also perform network modeling, analysis, and planning. Sometimes you will design security measures. Research may be required to properly recommend network and data communications hardware and software.
Computer Network Architects Skills and Abilities
A full knowledge of electronics such as circuit boards and computer chips will be needed. Part of the job process involves communicating over a phone line, so telecommunications knowledge will be implemented. Engineering principles will be applied, and there will be a lot of situations that call for a high level of customer service. Much of what you do will be troubleshooting, which involves listening, critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving skills. Thus it will be paramount to be able to order information effectively, utilizing both inductive and deductive reasoning.
Computer Network Architects Duties
A Computer Network Architect occupies both a creative and a support role. You will be designing systems and procedures and conducting installations, but you will also be available for maintenance and problem resolution. On any given day, some of the duties performed by a Computer Network Architect will include:
- Analyzing data to identify or resolve operational problems
- Conducting research to gain information about products or processes
- Configuring computer networks
- Designing integrated computer systems
- Developing computer or information security policies or procedures, testing routines or procedures, information communication procedures, models of information or communications systems, and specifications for computer network operation
- Installing computer hardware and software
- Maintaining computer networks to enhance performance and user access
- Modifying software programs to improve performance
- Monitoring the performance of computer networks
- Providing technical support for computer network issues
- Recommending changes to improve computer or information systems
- Resolving computer network problems
- Supervising information technology personnel
Computer Network Architects Tools and Technology
Much of the training for this position involves acquiring proficiency with several tools, and dozens of softwares of the following types:Tools
- Access servers
- Computer servers
- Network analyzers
- Network channel or data service units
- Network switchesSoftwares
- Administration software
- Network monitoring software
- Network operating system enhancement software
- Network security or virtual private network (VPN) management software
- Switch or router software
Education and Training for Computer Network Architects
This kind of work demands a high amount of training, with entry-level positions usually requiring at least a bachelor’s degree and most jobs asking for at least 5 years of experience. There are a lot of instructional programs or courses that will really make you a strong candidate for this kind of job. Consider courses in Computer Engineering, Computer Systems Analysis, Computer Systems Networking, Computer Information Sciences, Information Technology, and Network and System Administration.
Computer Network Architects Salary
Those working as Computer Network Architects make a healthy income, with the median worker earning close to $100,000 in a year. The lowest paid workers make a little more than half that much, at around $55,000. If you secure a high-paying position you can expect it to average out to over $70 and hour adding up to over $150,000 a year.
Computer Network Architects Jobs by Geography
Not only does California have one of the fastest-growing markets for this field of any state, it also offers the highest median wage. Alternatively, if a high wage is not the primary concern, Puerto Rico has some of the highest growth for this industry, while paying some of the lowest wages. Most states fall somewhere in the middle of this range, though, with 49 of 52 offering a median hourly over $30.