A bachelor's degree in computer or information science is the standard requirement to become a data communications analyst. Some employers may also require certification with specific software or programming languages.
Data communications analysts, sometimes called computer network architects, use their knowledge of network structure and operations to create dynamic and efficient systems for use by businesses and organizations. These information technology professionals maintain and update systems in order to keep them working and secure. Most often, data communication analysts hold a bachelor's degree and have experience working with network systems.
|Required Education||A bachelor's degree in a computer or information science is typically expected|
|Other Requirements||Certifications in different types of software may be required|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||9% (for computer network architects)|
|Average Salary (2015)*||$103,100 (for computer network architects)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Data Communication Analyst Job Description
Data communication analysts are professionals who deal with testing, proofing, and designing various network systems for LANs (local area networks), WANs (wide area networks), and the Internet. Some analysts use data obtained in the network design to model and upgrade future network systems. In addition, data communication analysts may work with computer programmers in interfacing programs and communication systems.
Data Communication Analyst Duties
Data communication analysts may monitor network system performance, implement network software additions, and build network architecture. Analysts may also have a duty of network security, which may include setting accounts, monitoring file access, and keeping appropriate areas confidential. If a network problem occurs, the analyst may have the responsibility to make back-up files ready for system repair.
Requirements for a Data Communication Analyst
Many employers require a data analyst to have a bachelor's degree or certificate in a computer science-related field. Sometimes additional certification is necessary.
Frequently, at least a bachelor's degree in computer science and experience in the field are required for employment; however, some employers may only require the completion of a certificate program. There are a few schools that offer a four-year bachelor's degree in data communication. This type of degree may include general computer science courses with an emphasis in wireless communications, network security, or business data administration.
Certificate programs often require work experience and focus on selected aspects of a program, such as learning specific networking languages. The programs last from several weeks to two years. Usually, more advanced data communication positions will prefer at least a bachelor's degree in computer science over the certificate program.
Analysts may be required to be certified to use certain software. For instance, MCTS (Microsoft certified technology specialist) and CCP (certified computing professional) are types of specific certification a data analyst may have to earn. Usually, the designation requires a test based on experience using the system in question. While certification is not always necessary, it may contribute to advancement and future employment opportunities.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the employment of computer network architects, including data communications analysts, is expected to grow by 9% between 2014 and 2024. The BLS also reported the average annual salary earned by such architects as $103,100 in May 2015.
Data communications analysts create the computer network systems that businesses and organizations use. Once they create and implement a system, they maintain it and perform updates as needed. Data communications analysts need to be able to analyze problems and develop solutions to make their networks run as efficiently and effectively as possible to meet the company's needs.