Network engineers install and manage all types of network systems. The United States currently has over 300,000 network engineers earning annual average salaries ranging from $45,000 to $95,000. Network engineering is a thriving industry among all the existing information technology (IT) fields. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the field to attain a six-percent growth rate by 2026. Some of these jobs favor remote working and come with all the flexibility you can get.
This can be a great reason to consider a network engineer role. Also, the increasing growth in cloud computing and IoT environments has become a key determinant in the demand for network engineers. On that note, here are some ways to secure employment in network engineering.
Identify your preferred network engineering path.
Network engineering is a broad area. Many network engineer jobs require specialized training and skills. So, the first step in becoming a network engineer can be to specify which area best fits. You can first check out some existing network engineering roles and their specific responsibilities. It’ll help zero in on a choice based on your interests and capabilities.
Obtain a network engineering certificate.
After your graduate program, you can study for a masters in IT management. This might help you get a network engineering job faster. However, note that it entails several years of education depending on the school and curriculum. With a basic understanding of IT, you can opt for vendor certificates from credible institutions like the Cisco Certified Network Association.
Beyond the training, companies treat certificates as a prerequisite for employment. But these certificates don’t only test you on practical tasks. The examinations sometimes include questions about general computer and engineering theories. It pays to furnish you with some related network engineering books. Fortunately, there are several online options available for relevant network engineering pamphlets.
Gain relevant on-the-job experience.
Certificates and training help you climb a portion of the network engineering learning curve. Learning continues even after you gain employment. Beyond all the skills, companies may require network engineers to solve unfamiliar problems and create new opportunities. The best way to survive in the profession is to treat the employment as a launchpad.
On-the-job experiences are situation-specific compared to generalized theories learned in network engineering programs. Companies with more advanced engineering systems focus on these areas when onboarding a new hire.
Opt for self-study or at-home learning.
Accreditation increases your chances of securing a job. But a consistent effort to furnish yourself with network engineering knowledge can also give you an edge. No doubt, securing a job this way may have a lot to do with your personal network and knowledge-sharing efforts. You can leverage social media and use online courses to ramp up visibility about your skills and knowledge. Hunting for network engineering-related events can also be a great way to push your luck on the job market.
Try to upskill from time to time.
Moving between different levels in the network engineering space requires upgraded knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, you may never know when a promotion is due. So it pays always to be prepared. Identify network engineering pay-raising options in your company. You can do the same for other companies. All you need is a guide that shows areas to seek advanced knowledge.
Consider networking roles in the military.
If you want to make a career in network engineering, the military can be a great place to look. Many people have several misconceptions about joining the military. It’s not all guns and chaos as seen in Hollywood movies. The military employs many IT professionals. They also own and manage some of the most advanced network systems in the world that use artificial intelligence. There will always be a need for network engineers in the military as much as gun-wielding soldiers.