What do Computer Network Architects do?
Computer network architects gather extensive knowledge of an organization's business plan in order to design and build data communication networks that can help the organization achieve its goals. This data communication network includes local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets.
They usually work with the organizations's chief technology officer (CTO) to decide where the organization may need new networks and can range from small connections between two offices or next generation networking capabilities like a cloud infrastructure that serves multiple customers. They spend most of their time in offices and sometimes server rooms normally on a full time basis.
How to become a Computer and Network Architect
A computer network architect typically requires a bachelor's degree in computer science, information systems, engineering, or a related field. These degree programs offer hands-on laboratory work in the classroom like network security or database design in order to prepare students to work with a wide variety of technologies used in networks.
Some employers prefer candidates to hold a Master's of Business Administration degree (MBA) in information systems which normally takes 2 years of further study and includes business and computer related courses.
In addition to having a degree, computer network architects usually need to have at least 5 to 10 years of experience from information technology (IT) systems or other computer-related fields. Certification may be required by their company in the products they use which are generally offered by product vendors or software firms.
Job Description of a Computer and Network Architect
The duties of a computer network architect include creating plans and layouts for a data communication network for their organization to predict where they will need networks and then present and explain why it benefits the organization to pursue them.
They work with engineers who help build the network they have designed. He or she considers security information when designing networks in case of vulnerabilities and implement security patches or other counter measures. They upgrade software like network drivers and hardware, such as adapters or routers.
They have the task of researching new networking technologies that may be beneficial for the support of their organization's future which means, analyzing current data to traffic and estimating how growth might affect the network.
A computer network architect should be analytical, detail-oriented, organizational and have interpersonal skills and leadership skills.