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Network engineers are in charge of designing, building, and operating computer network hardware, software, and servers. More junior network engineering positions have a greater focus on computer network installation and maintenance; they progress to planning and designing them in more senior positions. In this case, they are sometimes referred to as computer network architects, given that they are so heavily implied in the design process.
In more detail
Network engineers have expert knowledge of computer networks. They are in charge of setting them up, maintaining them, and offering technical support to users if necessary.
They work with both hardware and software, and handle routers, switches, and cables, and computer software alike. Network engineers are also responsible for ensuring network security, which means setting up firewalls and antimalware software. Another typical task is troubleshooting issues as they arise. If they progress to a more senior network engineering position, they may a more hands-off role. Here, they may have to design network software, decide on the kind of hardware needed to support a network, and determine its security needs, among other requirements.
They are often tasked with communicating with clients to understand their business needs. To design ever more secure, functional, and efficient networks, network engineers must stay on top of new developments and emerging technologies within the field.
To work as a network engineer, it is necessary to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Systems, or a related field. Many companies also require candidates to have relevant prior experience, such as in a help desk position. Detailed knowledge of network infrastructure and hardware is essential, as is that of network security and other infrastructure devices.
Network engineers are excellent problem-solvers and analytical thinkers. Also, they are capable of working independently and in teams. Other necessary interpersonal skills include communication, organisation, and the flexibility to handle different tasks at once.