Networking Manager: Job & Career Info

Learn about what education and skills a networking manager needs. Explore work responsibilities in addition to salary and employment outlook to determine if this is the right career choice.

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Career Definition for a Networking Manager

A networking manager is responsible for the troubleshooting, maintaining and repairing networked communications systems. He or she may lead a team of network engineers, who diagnose problems and keep systems operating when upgrades are made or equipment is replaced. They often use networking management software and testing tools to fine tune systems and optimize system performance, monitor and implement security measures and streamline network functions.

Networking managers work in industries ranging from electronics to finance, and are employed throughout the U.S. by private companies, government agencies and academic institutions. The U.S. Bureau of Labors Statistics (BLS) predicts very strong job growth for occupations related to networking management, such as computer science and database administration (www.bls.gov).

Education Bachelor's degree in computer science or related field
Job Skills Detail-oriented, good problem-solving and communication skills, understand various operating and database management systems
Median Salary (2015) $77,810 (for network and computer systems administrators)
Job Growth (2014-2024) 8% (for network and computer systems administrators)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education and Certification Requirements

Network management careers typically require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, such as information technology or engineering. Professional credentialing, such as Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification may enhance job prospects for recent grads pursuing a career in network management (www.cisco.com).

Necessary Skills

Networking managers must be analytical and detail-oriented with good troubleshooting and problem-solving ability. They must have strong written and verbal communication skills and the ability to interact with coworkers, management and product vendors. In addition to knowledge of networked communication systems, architecture and security protocols, they must also understand various operating and database management systems. Networking managers must have good customer service skills and the ability to provide solutions in a fast-paced environment, whether working independently or as part of a team.

Financial Forecast and Career Outlook

The BLS predicts 8% job growth for network and computer systems administrators for the years 2014-2024. These workers earned a median annual wage of $77,810 in May 2015.

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Alternative Careers

Similar careers to a networking manager include:

Computer Network Architect

Before a networking manager or administrator can maintain a local or wide area network, a computer network architect must first design the system and determine the layout of equipment. Additionally, a network architect selects materials and hardware, explores data security processes, and examines ways to handle future growth.

Working in this field requires a bachelor's degree in information systems, engineering or a related computer degree, and more employers are beginning to prefer candidates with an MBA. Network architects should also have experience working in an administration or systems analysis job. According to the BLS, the computer network architecture field should experience employment growth of 9% from 2014-2024. In 2015, network architects received $100,240 in median income, as reported by the BLS.

Computer Systems Manager

For those seeking additional supervisory and decision-making duties in an organization's information technology department, becoming a computer systems manager may be the right career move. Responsibilities of these managers include overseeing the work of computer support staff, researching new technology options, creating plans for upgrades and new equipment installations, examining cost versus benefits, communicating computer needs to management and negotiating deals with technology suppliers.

Education requirements are dependent on the technology involved and a position's management level, but a bachelor's or master's degree in a related computer field and multiple years of work experience are generally required. Employment opportunities for computer and information systems managers are expected to increase by 15% from 2014-2024, as seen in BLS projections. They also measured the median annual salary of these managers at $131,600 in 2015.

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