Becoming a network analyst can be highly rewarding. Since so many companies rely on
the internet and their networks to perform daily tasks, you can work in any industry that interests you. In many organizations, this role is also a leadership position and salary often matches the level of responsibility. Check out the steps below to start your career in this field.
This type of analyst is responsible for a variety of roles related to computer networks. They ensure that computers within the organization can effectively communicate and perform the tasks needed by the company. Businesses hire these professionals to perform a plethora of technology-focused tasks. The list below includes some of the most popular responsibilities for this career field:
Network analysts also need to have problem-solving skills, the ability to work as part of a team, leadership qualities, and good communication skills. They are called “analysts” because they must be able to identify problems within the network and develop ideas to solve these issues. Analysts also look at data to monitor how well the network, routers, and other associated equipment are working.
These individuals may need to present and justify their solutions, especially if they involve updating equipment or software. Organizations look at these employees to continually keep their network operating at a standard speed and level of efficiency. While they work with computers and may spend a good amount of time at a desk in an office, network analysts also train other employees on how to use the network and programs properly. They also may lead teams of varying size, depending on the company.
The majority of companies write their job descriptions requiring a bachelor’s degree in a related field. That isn’t to say, however, that work experience can’t be a substitute. Employers are looking for professionals who know how to set up and maintain networks safely and are also able to problem solve and troubleshoot while communicating.
Have a bachelor’s degree that doesn’t focus specifically on network analysis? Consider attending a bootcamp to learn the needed skills at a relatively fast pace. Bootcamps can range from 8-36 weeks and are offered both in-person, online, and via hybrid options of both formats throughout the country.
When comparing bootcamps, look at their schedules, curriculums, and added perks. Schools offer extras such as mentoring, internships, networking resume consultation, and even job guarantees. Read more below about bootcamps to find the one that meets your scheduling needs and will help you reach your goals in this growing field.
As is evident by the list of job responsibilities and skills mentioned earlier, this is a field that is highly skilled and requires a very detailed oriented person. Because of this, a bachelor’s degree is usually preferred by hiring companies. There are cases where work experience can override a bachelor’s degree, especially if someone is up-to-date on the latest advances. Degrees in computer science, computer engineering, and information systems provide a great knowledge base. Some degree programs offer pathways that focus on network administration or analysis.
Certifications are not mandatory in this field but are highly looked upon. Cisco and Juniper are the most common network systems and both have certification programs. It is also a great idea to become knowledgeable in operating systems like Linux, MacOS, and Windows. Successful network analysts are also familiar with routing protocols and security protocols. Another way to learn the skills specific to this profession is to attend a related bootcamp. These bootcamps are concentrated courses with curriculum specific to this job field.
Internships and entry-level positions as help desk techs and trouble-shooters are a fantastic way to learn the basic skills needed to successfully enter this field. Practical work experience allows for hands-on practice while being mentored by seasoned professionals.
In order to stand out in this profession, it is critical to keep up with advances in related technology. It is also important to become an expert in the products your company or industry use. Attending training and acquiring certifications are a great way to continue this education.
While not required, earning a Master’s Degree in Network Analytics is another way to further your knowledge in this field and gain a “leg up” when compared to other applicants. Work experience and education are usually the two biggest determining factors in salary scale, so earning an advanced degree will also help increase your paycheck.
As the world continues to rely on the internet, the demand for these professionals will only continue to grow. Organizations want to guarantee that their system works efficiently and securely and having an on-site analyst is the best way to do this.
Also encouraging is that the Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that information security analysts, which this profession is related to, will grow 31% from 2019 to 2029. As cyber threats continue to work to expose networks, these jobs will only become more critical to businesses’ infrastructure.
While all industries need people with this skill set, government agencies, educational organizations, financial institutions, computer consultants, retail companies, and large corporations will continue to have a demand for these professionals in order to guarantee their networks are properly set up, efficient, and secure.
According to indeed.com, the average salary for this profession in the United States is $71,942. Salaries vary based on region, education, and work experience. The table below compares some of the major tech hubs in the United States. Note that many companies offer cash bonuses which increases the average yearly salary.
|New York, NY||$62,251|
|Silicon Valley, CA||$93,554|