Networking roles within the IT sector are wide and varied. The overall function of networking is to create accessible, secure and effective networks involving several computers, terminals and servers.
As there are several facets to IT networking, there are several key skills required. Most people working in this sector have a quality degree in a related computer science; however, there are many people who find entry-level employment with vocational qualifications or self-taught skills. A network analyst, for instance, will usually need a thorough knowledge of Cisco applications, CCNA, CCNO and data centre management. Recruitment agencies will be looking for skilled staff who have thorough experience in Internet control, network security and disaster recovery. Applicants will also benefit from a working experience of dealing with DNS, DHCP, firewalls and various routers that are currently on the market.
Large national operations such as retail companies often employ their own network engineers and analysts, as they usually have many thousands of different users and terminals connected to the same network. However, IT firms specialising in network solutions are probably the leading providers of employment in the sector. Candidates need to be self-motivators with a flare for problem-solving.
Entry-level network engineers will usually receive a starting salary of between £20,000 and £25,000. However, project managers, account managers and people with very specialised skills can earn in excess of £60,000 per year.