Computer Network Architects

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Also known as:
Communications Engineer, Design Engineer, Engineer, Infrastructure Engineer, Network Analyst, Network and Security Engineer, Network Consultant, Network Engineer, Network Systems Consultant, Networking Systems and Distributed Systems Engineer

ABOUT COMPUTER NETWORK ARCHITECT CAREERS
Video transcript

Almost all organizations rely on efficiently organized computer networks to accomplish day-to-day business. Computer network architects design those networks, and computer systems engineers run them. Computer network architects create plans and layouts for data communication networks, ranging from building small connections between two offices to accessing the vast networking capabilities of cloud computing that connects customers around the globe. Network architects develop a deep understanding of a business' plans in order to design networks to best suit their current and future needs. They analyze the organization's data traffic, and work with chief technology officers and hardware engineers to predict future demand, and determine where to build new networks. Computer systems engineers implement the network architects' designs, and solve the complex problems involved in the day-to-day operations of networks. They frequently test system operations, identify security risks, and research new products or processes that will improve system function. Network architects need to be effective leaders, and both roles require strong communication and teamwork skills. Work schedules are often more than 40 hours a week. Network architects and computer systems engineers typically need a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field, along with several years' experience working with information technology systems. A master's of business administration in information systems is needed for some network architect positions.

SNAPSHOT
Design and implement computer and information networks, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), intranets, extranets, and other data communications networks. Perform network modeling, analysis, and planning, including analysis of capacity needs for network infrastructures. May also design network and computer security measures. May research and recommend network and data communications hardware and software.
Leadership
MED
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Develop disaster recovery plans.

Design, build, or operate equipment configuration prototypes, including network hardware, software, servers, or server operation systems.

Develop plans or budgets for network equipment replacement.

Communicate with vendors to gather information about products, alert them to future needs, resolve problems, or address system maintenance issues.

Determine specific network hardware or software requirements, such as platforms, interfaces, bandwidths, or routine schemas.

Develop conceptual, logical, or physical network designs.

Develop and write procedures for installation, use, or troubleshooting of communications hardware or software.

Estimate time and materials needed to complete projects.

Prepare or monitor project schedules, budgets, or cost control systems.

Prepare design presentations and proposals for staff or customers.

Prepare detailed network specifications, including diagrams, charts, equipment configurations, or recommended technologies.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
TOP SKILLS
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Systems Evaluation Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.