There are many networking paths an individual can take. Networking professionals plan, construct and manage networks to make sure they are functioning as intended. Networks can be responsible for entire IT systems of an organisation, making them one of the most integral parts of the functioning of the organisation. A network professional would have to design, configure and monitor complex networks, as well as fixing any problems that may occur.
To do all this, a network professional would first require qualifications and the knowledge to give them the tools and capabilities. There are certification courses and education paths that can create a foundation for an individual to begin a career in networking. An aspiring network professional would also need to have the right innate skills required for them to excel at their jobs, such as the ability to think logically, solve problems creatively, excellent communication skills and even better interpersonal skills. often, network professionals would be working by themselves and so would need to have the ability to work independently.
A bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems or computer engineering are a good start to starting a career in networking. These degrees provide the individual with basic knowledge of computer systems and educate them on the basic theories used in the IT field. A degree also assures employers that the individual is capable of learning and improving themselves professionally.
Next, a certification for networking specialisations can help an individual stand out to employers. Networking certifications such as Cisco’s CCNA, CCENT and CCNP certifications provide individuals with the necessary knowledge on how to install, configure, monitor and administer networks. Important concepts such as routing protocols, firewalls, switch configuration and IP addressing can be learned and confirmed during certification. Other networking certifications include CompTIA Server+ and SolarWinds Certified Professional.
Secondary certifications can also make an individual more appealing to a potential employer. Certifications such as Information Technology Library (ITIL), Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and VMWare Certified Professional can give individuals an edge in their workplace and as a viable candidate when job seeking.
Finally, to be to the top, first you would need to climb from the bottom. A future network professional would first need to gain exposure and knowledge to the field. This can be done by initially working as a level 1 support technician before slowly working their way up to level 2 and level 3 before finally having the knowledge and experience necessary to move on to being a professional in their own right.