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Are you a problem solver? Have you always wanted to learn more about how computer networks operate? Then the fun and challenging career of network technician may be right up your alley. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts that this field will continue to grow over the next decade. And, demand will be especially high in computer systems design.
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.
These professionals generally do the following:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this career is expected to grow by 8 percent between 2016 and 2026. That is a bit higher than the average for all occupations. Demand for network technicians is expected to continue as businesses try to keep up with the need to install and repair more and more complex equipment and software. IT consulting firms that service smaller businesses will continue to have a need for expert workers in this field. And, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for all computer support specialists, of which network technicians are a part, will grow by 20 percent in computer systems design and related firms over the next decade. Good opportunities for career advancement also create new job openings.
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.
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.
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.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top employers for network technicians in 2016 were computer systems design and related systems at 18 percent. Wired telecommunications carriers employed about 10 percent, while 8 percent were employed in finance and insurance. About 6 percent were employed in the management of companies and enterprises. An additional 4 percent were employed in data processing, hosting, and related services.
Additional industries in which network technicians were employed, as of May 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, were professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers, satellite telecommunications, wireless telecommunications carriers, natural gas distribution, support activities for mining, and securities and commodity exchanges. As you can see, employment possibilities vary considerably.
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.