|Recommended Degree Level||Bachelor|
|Number of Jobs, 2012||0|
|Annual Job Growth Rate||3.3%|
|Job Openings per Year (est.)||11,030|
- Most networking analysts hold a bachelor's degree in computer sciences or a related field.
- While some analysts enter the field without a degree, employers are increasingly emphasizing hiring individuals with formal education.
What you study:
While studying to become a networking analyst, you will learn about all of the following:
- Computer and Network Systems
- Visual Basic
- Systems Infrastructure
- Unified Modeling Language
- Network Troubleshooting
A Day in the Life
Your job as a networking analyst is multi-faceted. You'll need to use your computer network design skills in order to create new computing systems for your company or clients. You'll also need to use your business acumen to analyze company problems and determine a technological solution to those problems. Depending on where you work, you may be known as a network analyst, systems analyst or even business analyst.
You arrive at work on Monday morning right as the corporate headquarters of your company opens. On Friday, your boss let you know that the sales department was having difficulty entering important client data into their computer system. Checking the system in that department and understanding the problems that employees are having is your first priority.
Before you head to the sales department, you pull diagnostic and statistical data about the company's networking system from your work computer. You notice that there have been no problems with network speed or connectivity, so you determine that the sales staff must be having issues using the software program itself. You jot down a few notes about network performance and head to the sales department.
You first speak to the head of the sales department to get an idea of the problem that sales staff have been having with data entry. The sales manager describes some of the common issues to you, but you still need to see what the employees are seeing when they struggle. You sit down with a member of the sales team and watch as he attempts to enter client data. After spending about 30 minutes with the employee, you thank him and let the sales manager know that you're going back to your office to work on the problem.
When you return to your office, you let your boss know that there is a slight glitch in the data entry program that the sales department uses. You troubleshoot how to fix the program and ask the sales manager if everyone in the department can take lunch at the same time. You fix the software program and update the software while everyone is at lunch. You check in throughout the afternoon to ensure that the sales program is functioning as designed.
During the afternoon, you help employees with minor networking and connectivity issues. Since you worked through your lunch, your boss tells you to head home an hour early. You leave the office looking forward to the challenges and puzzles that will await you tomorrow.
Certifications and Licensing
No formal certifications are needed to become a networking analyst. However, the majority of professionals in this field choose to pursue certifications in a handful of different computer and networking systems. Many analysts also hold a Certified Networking Professional (CNP) credential, which is issued by the Network Professionals Association (NPA).
Full-time versus part-time:
On an average week, you'll work between 35 and 40 hours. However, you must be flexible as significant network problems or new network installations might demand that you work overtime. You may be on call during weekends.
You'll spend the majority of your time working in a traditional office environment. However, you may be required to travel to off-site company locations in order to address network problems.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for Network and Computer Systems Administrators: The U.S. Department of Labor regularly updates this site, which offers information about average salaries, job forecasts and position duties in the field of systems administration. Prospective networking analysts should keep in mind that this information covers individuals in a broad range of networking professions. It's important to consult sites with more targeted information about network analysis.
- The Network Professionals Association: The NPA website provides links to publications and conferences of interest to networking professionals. The site also hosts a widely used job board that new professionals in this field will find particularly helpful.
- The Network and Systems Professionals Association: On its site, NASPA offers links to publications of interest to computer networking professionals. The site also offers a job board and lists news of particular interest to professionals in this field.