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How to Become a Network Engineer

The network used by a company’s computers to connect to each other is of the utmost importance as it is used to send vital information, such as files, between employees and also to connect to e-mail services, shared printers and, depending on the type of network, to connect to the internet. It is, therefore, very important for these networks to be maintained and kept up to date, as the company relies on a stable, secure and reliable network to complete many of it’s day-to-day tasks. This is where the expertise of a Network Engineer comes into play.

What does a Network Engineer do?

A Network Engineer (also known as a Network Administrator) will ensure that the equipment used to create an organisation’s network is well maintained and functioning in the way that it is meant to. Depending on the size of the organisation, they may be employed full-time as an in-house Network engineer or, in the case of smaller companies, an Engineer that is brought in from a support company.

Some of the typical duties that a Network Engineer may perform on a daily basis include the following:

  • The installation and configuration of software and hardware that is used by the computers on the network. This will include any new software or hardware that needs to be added.
  • Ensuring that everyone that needs access to the network is connected. This includes the set up of user accounts, granting appropriate permissions and setting up passwords needed to allow network access.
  • Maintaining the security of the network, ensuring that only authorised users have access.
  • Troubleshooting the network in order to find any faults that may occur and resolving any issues that are found or reported.
  • Scheduling and implementation of preventative maintenance.
  • Provision of ongoing technical support to the users that rely on the network.
  • Ensuring that users are fully trained in any new systems that are implemented.
  • Monitoring use of the network.
  • Ensuring that all preparations are done for any systems or developments that are to be implemented in the future.

All of the above will be covered in your Network Engineer training and will ensure that your organisation runs a network that is secure and well-functioning.

Is a Network Engineer career right for me?

A career as a Network Engineer will suit an individual that has a problem-solving mindset as they will have to analyse data that relates to any given problem at hand and, ultimately, solving the issue. They will also need to be able to plan effectively, identifying any possible issues that may occur and fully preparing for them. This will also mean that they need to be self-managing and focused on the priorities of the organisation.

People skills and the ability to communicate effectively are also very important as you will often have to explain technical issues to users that are not well versed in technological jargon. This can prove to be frustrating on the part of both parties, so a calm and understanding demeanour is required.

Your Network Engineer training will ensure that you are ready to take on the job of managing your organisation’s networks, but as time goes by there will be many new technologies that emerge which will not only improve your networks, but in some cases, are downright necessary. An outdated network could fall prey to unauthorised users or may become non-functioning. Therefore, it is vital that you keep learning about your trade and stay on top of any new developments in the field of networking.

Reputable Network Engineer Training Courses

When undertaking your Network Engineer training, be sure to choose a course that will cover as much of the relevant information that you will need to start your career as possible. Start by ensuring that the Network Engineer training course provider is accredited to offer that particular course and ensuring that the certification that you will receive is recognised by the correlating awarding body. If you are unsure, contact the awarding body directly and ask for a list of accredited training providers.

Cisco CCENT

The Cisco CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician) certification deals with the fundamentals of networking, the implementation of basic Ethernet LANs (Local Area Networks), working with Cisco routers, IPv4 (internet Protocol version 4) and IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6). You will not need to have any previous experience in order to study Cisco CCENT and, therefore, it is the perfect course to start your Network engineer training.

After you have passed your CCENT exam, you will have gained the ability to work with small enterprise networks, providing you with the perfect base from which to build your networking career.

Cisco CCNA

Another certification that does not require you to have any previous experience is the Cisco CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate). This will take your Network Engineer training from an entry-level certification to an associate level. You will be taught how to manage and maintain a medium-sized network using routers and switches.

It also deals with troubleshooting of networks as well as implementing effective security measures, working with wireless technology, working with WAN (Wide Area Networks) VLAN (Virtual Local Area Networks), SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocols) and OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) routing protocol.

Completing your Cisco CCENT and CCNA Network Engineer training will see you gaining certifications that are recognised the world over and will certainly lend a hand in starting a career as a Network Engineer.

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Recommended Cisco Training Path

Cisco offers a range of Networking Engineer training certificates that cater to everyone, from those that have never had any experience with networking, to seasoned professionals who want to further their careers by gaining a more senior certification. The recommended Cisco training path is as follows:

  • CCT (Cisco Certified Technician) and CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician) – Both of these certifications are intended for those that are just starting out in the field of networking and are looking to gain valuable Network Engineer training.
  • CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate) – This is the first of the associate level certifications that are on offer from Cisco. The CCDA certification focusses on network design.
  • CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) – There are a number of certifications that are grouped under the CCNA certification level.

These include the following:

  1. CCNA Cloud
  2. CCNA Collaboration
  3. CCNA Cyber Ops
  4. CCNA Data Center
  5. CCNA Industrial
  6. CCNA Routing and Switching
  7. CCNA Security
  8. CCNA Service Provider
  9. CCNA Wireless

CCDP (Cisco Certified Design Professional) and CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) – As the name suggests, these Network Engineer training courses are at the professional level of study offered by Cisco. Each of the certification focuses on a different technology in order to cater to those that have varying job roles.

CCDE (Cisco Certified Design Expert) and CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert) – Cisco’s expert level networking certifications are regarded as the most prestigious in their field and are intended for those that have many years worth of experience under their belts.

CCAr (Cisco Certified Architect) – This is the highest level of Network Engineer training that can be achieved through Cisco. Those that have completed this certification are able to to support massive networks such as those owned by global organisations.

For now, though, let’s focus on the two certifications that will help you to start a career in networking, namely CCENT and CCNA

Cisco CCENT Course Syllabus

In order to gain the CCENT certification, you will need to pass exam 100-105: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices – Part 1. The curriculum for this course is as follows:

  • Module 1: Networking Fundamentals
  • Module 2: Basic Ethernet LAN Implementation
  • Module 3: Designing Ethernet LANS
  • Module 4: Understanding IPv4
  • Module 5: Working With Cisco Routers
  • Module 6: IPv4 Design And Troubleshooting
  • Module 7: IPv4 Services
  • Module 8: Implementing IPv6

Cisco CCNA Course Syllabus

The Cisco CCNA certification consists of two exams, namely exam 100-105 ICND1: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices – Part 1 and exam 200-105 ICND2: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices – Part 2. The course curriculum is as follows:

Exam 100-105: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1:

  • Module 1: Networking Fundamentals
  • Module 2: Basic Ethernet LAN Implementation
  • Module 3: Designing Ethernet LANS
  • Module 4: Understanding IPv4
  • Module 5: Working With Cisco Routers
  • Module 6: IPv4 Design And Troubleshooting
  • Module 7: IPv4 Services
  • Module 8: Implementing IPv6

Exam 200-105: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2

  • Lesson 1: Troubleshooting VLAN
  • Lesson 2: IPv4 Troubleshooting
  • Lesson 3: Implementing EIGRP
  • Lesson 4: OSPF Overview
  • Lesson 5: Understanding WAN Technologies
  • Lesson 6: SNMP Overview
  • Lesson 7: Lab Review I
  • Lesson 8: Lab Review II

As can be seen above, if you have completed the CCENT exam, you will simply need to pass the second CCNA exam in order to gain your CCNA certification. Many choose to start their Network Engineer training by writing both exams at once – enabling them to skip over the CCENT and become CCNA certified straight away.

Network Engineer Jobs

Your Network Engineer training will set you on a career path that is very much in demand, given the importance of a reliable network. Possible positions that you may want to consider after your Network Engineer training, including their average expected salaries per annum, are:

Network Engineers typically work between 35 and 40 hours per week, but you will need to be flexible when the time comes for new systems to be installed. This cannot be done during normal business hours since the company will need their systems up and running in order to conduct business. If you are working in an organisation’s IT department, you will be mostly based in an office, however, if you choose to work for an IT support organisation, you may spend much of your time travelling from one site to another.

Networking has become a prominent part of business, regardless of the industry that you may be working in. There are those that use their Network Engineer training to find a career working within larger IT companies, and others choose to work with the networks of businesses in other industries such as retail, marketing, hospitality, construction or health services, to name but a few.

As your career grows, you will earn more experience, which will open doors to more senior level positions if and when they become available. This will elevate your career to new heights and you will be able to reap the rewards of your Network Engineer training and hard work.

Talk about experience

Any experience that you have built up in the digital marketing field will only count in your favour and you will undoubtedly be asked about this during your interview. When detailing any work that you have done, try to mention any problems that you have faced and which steps you took to overcome them. Don’t be vague when quoting numbers or statistics as these may seem “made up” or expansive.

The fact that you have experience in the industry and have overcome obstacles will count in your favour and will ensure that you stand in good stead when the time comes for a decision to be made as to which candidate to employ. Always ensure, however, that your information is accurate, since any discrepancies may seem like boasting or even an outright lie that will instantly derail your chances at being employed.

Remember the basics

It is all well and good to be as prepared as possible for an interview for a specific role, but don’t forget to adhere to the basic rules of the interview:

  • Do your best to be at least 10 minutes early for the interview. This will show that you are taking the process seriously and that you are eager to begin the interview.
  • First impressions do count and the first thing that the interviewer will notice is your appearance. Be sure to dress appropriately and professionally.
  • Introduce yourself to everyone that is attending the interview and remember to maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Sit up straight, speak clearly and concisely and be sure to listen intently to any questions that are asked to avoid the interviewer having to repeat themselves.

Growing your career

As you progress in you career as a Digital Marketer, you will want to set goals and priorities as to what you wish to achieve in the future. If you feel that you have become stagnant, you may want to undertake further studies to ensure that you can administer the latest and most effective marketing techniques.

Take factors into account that will not only benefit your career, but keep you happy at the same time. Is the location where you are working in an area that you consider to be appropriate? Are the people that you are working with relatable and friendly? Are you reaching the monetary gains that you set out to when you started your job?

These can all be deciding factors in whether you are happy in your role or whether you need to make a change in your career. No one enjoys working in an environment or situation where they feel uncomfortable, whatever the reason may be. If you find that you are not happy with your current situation, you may consider applying for a position at a different company, or starting your own digital marketing business. Remember that there is also the option of working for an agency.

Career progression can be a massive factor in whether or not you are enjoying your job. If a company promises that you will be afforded the chance at promotion, or offers to provide further learning opportunities and these promises prove to be false, it can have a major impact on the state of mind of their employees.

Once you have decided which direction you would like your career to take, it will be much easier to assess where you currently stand and what needs to be done to ensure that you reach the goals and objectives that you have set for yourself.

Potential earnings

A career as a Digital Marketer can prove to be very lucrative, depending on your experience and the position that you hold within an organisation.

Becoming certified

Judging from the numbers mentioned above, it is plain to see that a career in digital marketing can not only be rewarding in the sense of fulfilling your creative needs, but on a monetary scale as well. The best possible start that you can have to your career as a Digital Marketer is to invest in your own education. Your chances at landing your dream job will increase exponentially upon obtaining a reputable and up to date certification.

Once you have made inroads into your career and have built up enough experience, you will be regarded amongst your peers as a specialist in your field and you will become an in-demand professional, creating even more opportunities to grow your career to the heights that many have only dreamed of.

Become a Digital Marketer

As a digital marketer, you can enhance your potential with our project management resource! Our program offers top-notch, approved training and a dedicated support team to assist you in every stage of the process, from initial onboarding to securing your desired job. Don’t let this chance slip away to upgrade your abilities and attain your ambitions! Download now to take advantage of this opportunity.

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