What Is Networking Technology?

Do you have a basic knowledge of routers and modems? Would you like to branch out further into the field of networking but need to learn more technical skills? Read on to learn how the growing field of networking technology allows businesses and institutions to transmit data digitally through information systems. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Networking Technology Defined

Networking technology allows for the exchange of data between large and small information systems used primarily by businesses and educational institutions. Network technicians, also known as network engineers or specialists, are responsible for the configuration, installation and troubleshooting of the technology used to transmit digital information, including audio, visual and data files. Through networking, end-users are able to transmit files, messages and other data through e-mail or various other channels, sharing information through Internet or Intranet connections, based on the needs of an organization.

The development of a network involves assessing the administrative and informational requirements of an organization and evaluating the costs for hardware, installation, training, security and account management. Once a network is deployed, networking technicians are usually responsible for ensuring the network remains operational and updated as needed. They usually provide technical support to company employees for any problems that may arise.

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for network architects is expected to see 15% growth from 2012 to 2022, while network and computer systems administrators are projected to experience 12% growth (www.bls.gov). Individuals with a degree or professional certification and relevant job experience have the best job opportunities for employment. Network and computer systems administrators earn a median annual wage of $72,560 while network architects bring in 91,000 per year, states the BLS as of May 2012.

Educational Requirements

You'll generally need at least an associate's degree in networking technology or a related field for entry-level employment as a networking technician. A bachelor's degree in network technology, computer systems or a related field is recommended for individuals who are interested in a career in networking technology. Also, many technology companies, including Microsoft and Cisco, as well as various industry associations and schools, offer professional certifications that give you the necessary skills to find entry-level employment as a network technician.

Continuous training is needed to keep current with the latest technology. This training is usually available through workshops and courses. As a networking technician, you may also need to have experience using various operating systems, including UNIX, Windows, Cisco and Novell. An understanding of the different types of networking models, protocol, media and hardware is also needed. This includes Internet systems, local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN).

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