Network Technician

Network Technician

What is a Network Technician?

A network technician is the professional who keeps the network running with the least amount of disruption. They will test, analyze, evaluate and troubleshoot internet systems, local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), or just a part of a network system. If necessary, the network technician, sometimes called a network support specialist, will complete maintenance on these systems.

Job Responsibilities

These professionals generally do the following: 

  • Test and evaluate existing network systems 
  • Back up network data 
  • Perform regular maintenance to ensure that networks operate correctly 
  • Configure security settings or access permissions for groups or individuals 
  • Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and internet systems 
  • Analyze and report computer network security breaches or attempted breaches 
  • Identify the causes of networking problems, using diagnostic testing software and equipment 
  • Document network support activities 
  • Configure WAN or LAN routers or related equipment 
  • Install network software, including security or firewall software 
  • Troubleshoot network or connectivity problems for users or user groups 
  • Provide telephone support related to networking or connectivity issues 
  • Evaluate LAN or WAN performance data to ensure sufficient availability or speed, to identify network problems, or for disaster recovery purposes

Additional Training/Requirements

Once you have your AAS degree in Networking Technology, how do you show potential employers that you really know what you are doing? The answer is through certifications. Bryant & Stratton College recommends three certification tests, the CompTIA A+, Comp TIA Security+, and the CompTIA Network+. Your tuition covers one certification exam. 

In completing the requirements for your AAS degree, you will have been given the tools to pass all three exams. But, you needn’t take all three. The CompTIA A+ is a basic skills exam. Taking and passing the CompTIA Network+ exam will make it clear that you also have the basic skills necessary to be a network administrator. 

In addition to the Comp TIA certifications, you may also consider Security+ and Network+ certifications. Of course, you may want to tailor the exams you take to your desired career trajectory. There are industry-leading organizations that offer certification exams, upon completion of this degree, as well.

Job Responsibilities of Network Administrators

These depend in large part on where you work and whether you have landed in a specialized position. However, in general, network administrators are responsible for the daily operations of computer networks including: 

  • Training staff in how to properly use the hardware and software, 
  • Evaluating and purchasing software or hardware, 
  • Adding users and updating security permissions to the network, 
  • Installing wireless transmitters and receivers, 
  • Installing and configuring networking software and applications software, 
  • Installing storage area networks, 
  • Monitoring daily server traffic and system usage, 
  • Maintaining network logs, 
  • Updating network, application and security software, 
  • Performing scheduled back-ups and tests, 
  • Interpreting and solving problems when a user or an automated monitoring, system alerts that a problem exists, 
  • Installing patches and rebooting the entire system, 
  • Reading trade publications to keep up with developments in networking technology (self-education), and 
  • Researching software and hardware upgrades.

Career Outlook for Network Technicians

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not directly track statistics for Network Technicians, the BLS reports that employment of network and computer systems administrators is projected to grow 2 percent from 2022 to 2032, about as fast as the average for all occupations.  

About 19,800 openings for network and computer systems administrators are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.  

Demand for network and computer systems administrators should continue, along with firms’ investment in newer, faster technology and mobile networks. The continued expansion of cloud computing and the demand for upgraded computer equipment and software will support a need for network and computer systems administrators to maintain these systems. 

The best way to get yourself recognized early in this field is with the proper credentials. That means education and certification. A networking technology associate degree from Bryant & Stratton College could be the perfect place to start.

What can I do with a Networking Technology Associate Degree? 

A networking technology associate degree from Bryant & Stratton College will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary for a career as a network technician. You will receive a diverse education focusing on both, theory and hands-on practice. 

In this degree program, you will learn to install, configure, secure, administer and troubleshoot network systems. All are important when becoming a network technician. You will also become familiar with networking components, gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to identify, install, and maintain components of an information system. And, you will obtain experience working with modern voice and data networks. 

Through the networking technology degree program, you will also gain the ability to design, install and administer nearly any organization’s computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and wireless networks. In addition, you will understand how to apply logical, legal, and ethical principles in the planning and implementation of information systems. 

Technology changes rapidly. So, instead of computer labs, which can become outdated almost immediately, students will learn through simulation labs that can be kept current with the trends and practices within the IT field. These are also updated each time one of the certification exams is updated. 

Having completed the networking technology associate degree curriculum, you will be prepared to take three important certification exams: the CompTIA A+, the Security+ and the Network+. The cost of one of these exams is included in your tuition.

Additional Training/Requirements

Becoming a network technician requires at least an associate degree. Some employers may prefer a bachelor’s degree. But, your degree isn’t the last word on your qualifications. In this career, certifications can be very important. 

The CompTIA A+ is a basic skills exam, but the Network+ exam not only shows that you have the basic skills to be a network technician, it showcases the fact that you are proficient in designing, configuring, managing and troubleshooting any wired or wireless networks. Those who hold this certification are in demand all over.  The Security+ exam measures your proficiency with IT security and risk management issues. 

As earlier mentioned, your networking technology associate degree curriculum prepares you to take these three exams, though, since the Network+ also covers basic skills, you may not need to take both. A successful career as a network technician will require continuing study if you want to stay ahead of technology and your competition, so don’t stop there. You should strive toward additional certifications, which are available through CompTIA, as well as several other well-known entities.

Employment Settings for Network Technicians

According to the BLS, network and computer systems administrators are employed by a variety of organizations and work in a variety of settings such as computer systems design and related services, educational services; state, local, and private, finance and insurance, information, and management of companies and enterprises. In addition, top employers also include manufacturing industries, healthcare providers, and government agencies.  

Network and computer systems administrators often collaborate with many types of information technology (IT) workers, such as computer support specialists, database administrators, computer network architects, and computer and information systems managers. 

This is generally full-time work. And, because of the vital importance of a network technician’s job, they may need to be available around the clock, sometimes working nights or weekends to keep things running smoothly. 

While this information may help you in determining the right career path for you, understand that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is intended to provide insight into occupational opportunities, and is not to be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Bryant & Stratton College cannot guarantee employment in any field. 

For insights into a career as a network technician, please visit the Technology & Design section of our blog. Here you will find valuable information about IT careers and certifications, as well as a more in-depth look at the networking technology associate degree. Explore the website and be sure to visit the Networking Technology Associate Degree page.

While these projections can help career-minded people evaluate potential employment fields, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is only intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities. It should not be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in any field.

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