Network Engineer: Skills and Responsibilities

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What is a network engineer? How do I become one? Should I hire one? These are all questions you may be asking yourself right about now. Below, you will find all the information you need to understand the value of network engineers and the various contributions they provide to businesses and IT departments.

What is a network engineer?

An organization’s computer networks are managed by a network engineer, a technical team member known as a network architect. They collaborate with project managers and other IT experts to develop strategies for preserving the integrity and efficacy of networks. Furthermore, they investigate and fix problems with the company’s data, video, phone, and wireless services.

The primary functions of a network engineer

Network engineers, no matter their specialty, are responsible for the following.

1. Develop network infrastructure 

Network engineers design technologies that enable networks to operate correctly. They are also responsible for ensuring that the networks function as expected. That’s why they employ firewalls, routers, and servers, among other software and hardware tools, to ensure everything stays in sync and can communicate properly.

2. Protect network data 

They design and develop security solutions to protect the integrity of networks and the information and processes they contain. The team also creates systems to simplify vulnerability monitoring and eliminate security flaws.

3. Identify problems and find solutions

Engineers specializing in networks look for anything that could compromise the system’s safety or prevent it from functioning normally. Starting from that point, they create, test, and implement their solutions.

4. Perform periodic maintenance

Engineers in this field constantly watch networks to determine if and when they need to be updated or replaced entirely. They repair whatever needs fixing, so the network operates smoothly and without interruptions.

5. Provide customer and technical assistance

Network engineers are often the first to get a crisis call when a system encounters any issue. Remotely or physically, they assist users who are having trouble with their networks to identify and resolve the underlying cause of the problem.

6. Coordinate your IT staff

Experienced network engineers typically have the responsibility of managing other IT professionals. Training and familiarizing new personnel with the network may fall on the shoulders of more seasoned network engineers. As a result, all network members will have complete familiarity with the policies and procedures that ensure its health.

7. Test new systems

Before making any modifications to the present network, engineers do tests to ensure that the new configuration will not disrupt existing services. Software, hardware, network routines, and apps are tested, with results discussed.

Credentials of a Network Engineer

You’ll find a summary of some of the most important requirements for a successful career as a network engineer below.

1. Education 

Engineers in networking often require on-the-job instruction to acquire the practical knowledge they need. There is a strong need for highly trained network engineers, and many of them choose to further their education and get a master’s degree in order to further their careers and earn more money.

2. Industry experience and knowledge

Engineers working in networks should be well-versed in the technologies they will need to troubleshoot complicated problems. Programming languages like Ruby, Python, and JavaScript are practically required skills in this day and age. Engineers in this field should also have expertise working with network infrastructures and firewalls and working knowledge of local and wide area networks (LANs and WANs).

3. Problem-solving abilities

Engineers are the first to arrive at a disaster site and begin working to repair the damage. They will need to think quickly on their feet to come up with answers that will benefit the network and its consumers.

In addition to their technical expertise, senior network engineers should also have the leadership skills necessary to guide their teams through routine tasks and one-off initiatives. These network administrators may serve as mentors to engineers at the beginning of their careers.

5. Ability to operate in a team 

A network engineer’s ability to work with people is essential, whether they are a manager or a team member.

6. Multitasking

Engineers in this field often split their attention across many networks. They may have to look into a problem on another network while the upgrade is happening on the first. To ensure that networks remain stable, IT professionals must have excellent multitasking abilities.

7. Organization 

As if that weren’t enough, network engineers must also deal with digital and physical file management. As a result, these experts must be well organized.

8 Communication 

Engineers in the network must keep management updated on their goals, developments, and difficulties. In addition, they need to have strong lines of communication with the rest of the team to ensure everyone is on the same page.