Computers are not just a wave of the future, they are the wave of the future, becoming more technologically complex by the minute, or so it seems. Competent network management provided by individuals who have earned at least a bachelor's degree is mandatory. Employment opportunities are projected to improve steadily.
Computer networks are the nerve centers of modern businesses, connecting thousands of people together at one time. Because of the complexity and importance of these systems, a bachelor's degree is generally required for individuals who want to enter the field. Certifications in different types of hardware and software are available for those who wish to improve their chances of being hired.
|Career||Database Administrator||Network and Computer Systems Administrators||Computer Network Architect|
|Recommended Education||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||11%||8%||9%|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$81,710||$77,810||$100,240|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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There are a variety of careers involved in the creation, installation, and maintenance of computer networks. Network managers take on a greater role in the oversight of networks, and are usually well compensated due to the technical proficiency necessary for the job. Continue reading for job descriptions of three typical network management careers.
Database Administrator Career Information
Database administrators typically monitor and maintain the systems that store and organize data. They may design and monitor new database systems, train users and lead database development teams. Database administrators may also be responsible for providing new users access to the system, as well as for upgrading the database system as needed.
The BLS predicted employment for database administrators would grow by 11% between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2015, the median annual salary for database administrators was $81,710 according to the BLS.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators Career Information
Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for designing, installing and maintaining a business' computer system. Their duties can include keeping the business' network and computer systems efficient and secure, as well as providing network and system troubleshooting. These administrators may also diagnose software issues and track computer equipment inventory.
The BLS predicted employment for network and computer systems administrators would increase by 8% between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2015, the median annual salary for network and computer systems administrators was $77,810, according to the BLS.
Computer Network Architect Career Information
Computer network architects design, install and evaluate a variety of data communication networks for companies and government agencies. They are responsible for planning data networks, as well as setting up hardware and software programs. Computer network architects are also responsible for providing network support and addressing security issues. They may test, analyze and update hardware or software.
Although not required by all employers, these professionals can also pursue professional certification, such as the Security Certified Network Architect (SCNA) or Security Certified Network Specialist (SCNS) credentials. The BLS reported that the median annual salary for computer network architects was $100,240 as of May 2015. Additionally, the BLS reported that computer network architects were expected to see a 9% increase in employment from 2014-2024.
Networking Management Degree Programs
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many network administration positions require at least a bachelor's degree in the field. Individuals who want to work in the network management field may benefit from an undergraduate degree in information technology (IT) management, such as the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in IT management or Bachelor of Information Technology and Management.
Some schools offer business students the opportunity to minor in IT management. These degree programs typically provide coursework in subjects like programming, analysis, networking, accounting, finance and business principles. Students may also consider an advanced degree program, such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in IT Management, to prepare for career advancement.
While a bachelor's degree in a field such as information technology may qualify you for a position in network management, you may want to consider earning a master's degree to prepare yourself for eventual career advancement. Various professional certifications can also serve to enhance your marketability and advancement possibilities.