Computer Network Architects
Design and implement computer and information networks, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), intranets, extranets, and other data communications networks. Perform network modeling, analysis, and planning, including analysis of capacity needs for network infrastructures. May also design network and computer security measures. May research and recommend network and data communications hardware and software.
Sample of reported job titles: Design Engineer, Network Analyst, Network and Security Engineer, Network Consultant, Network Systems Consultant, Networking Systems and Distributed Systems Engineer, Solutions Architect, Telecommunications Analyst
Also see: Telecommunications Engineering Specialists
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Develop or recommend network security measures, such as firewalls, network security audits, or automated security probes.
- Develop disaster recovery plans.
- Monitor and analyze network performance and reports on data input or output to detect problems, identify inefficient use of computer resources, or perform capacity planning.
- Coordinate network or design activities with designers of associated networks.
- Develop conceptual, logical, or physical network designs.
- Develop and implement solutions for network problems.
- Determine specific network hardware or software requirements, such as platforms, interfaces, bandwidths, or routine schemas.
- Communicate with system users to ensure accounts are set up properly or to diagnose and solve operational problems.
- Visit vendors, attend conferences or training sessions, or study technical journals to keep up with changes in technology.
- Evaluate network designs to determine whether customer requirements are met efficiently and effectively.
- Participate in network technology upgrade or expansion projects, including installation of hardware and software and integration testing.
- Adjust network sizes to meet volume or capacity demands.
- Prepare detailed network specifications, including diagrams, charts, equipment configurations, or recommended technologies.
- Develop network-related documentation.
- Estimate time and materials needed to complete projects.
- Supervise engineers or other staff in the design or implementation of network solutions.
- Coordinate network operations, maintenance, repairs, or upgrades.
- Develop procedures to track, project, or report network availability, reliability, capacity, or utilization.
- Research and test new or modified hardware or software products to determine performance and interoperability.
- Communicate with customers, sales staff, or marketing staff to determine customer needs.
- Prepare design presentations and proposals for staff or customers.
- Design, build, or operate equipment configuration prototypes, including network hardware, software, servers, or server operation systems.
- Prepare or monitor project schedules, budgets, or cost control systems.
- Develop plans or budgets for network equipment replacement.
- Coordinate installation of new equipment.
- Explain design specifications to integration or test engineers.
- Develop or maintain project reporting systems.
- Use network computer-aided design (CAD) software packages to optimize network designs.
- Maintain or coordinate the maintenance of network peripherals, such as printers.
- Develop and write procedures for installation, use, or troubleshooting of communications hardware or software.
- Communicate with vendors to gather information about products, alert them to future needs, resolve problems, or address system maintenance issues.
- Maintain networks by performing activities such as file addition, deletion, or backup.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
- Access software — Access management software; Citrix ; Remote access software
- Administration software — Cisco Systems CiscoWorks; Netreo OmniCenter; Riverbed Technology; SolarWinds (see all 14 examples)
- Analytical or scientific software — Discrete event simulation software; Minitab ; Root cause analysis software; The MathWorks MATLAB
- Application server software — Docker ; Microsoft Windows Server ; Red Hat OpenShift ; Spring Boot (see all 9 examples)
- Authentication server software — Microsoft Forefront Identify Manager
- Backup or archival software — Computer Associates ArcServ Backup; System and data disaster recovery software; Veritas NetBackup
- Bridge software — Network bridge software
- Business intelligence and data analysis software — Apache Spark ; MicroStrategy ; Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition ; Qlik Tech QlikView (see all 6 examples)
- Communications server software — Email management software; IBM Domino
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD ; Autodesk Revit ; Dassault Systemes CATIA; Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
- Computer based training software
- Configuration management software — Chef; Perforce Helix software; Puppet ; VMWare (see all 9 examples)
- Content workflow software — Atlassian JIRA
- Data base management system software — Amazon DynamoDB ; Apache Hive ; Elasticsearch ; MongoDB (see all 13 examples)
- Data base reporting software — Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services ; Network reporting software
- Data base user interface and query software — Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud EC2 ; Amazon Redshift ; Oracle JDBC ; Transact-SQL (see all 10 examples)
- Desktop communications software — BroadSoft BroadWorks
- Development environment software — Apache Ant ; Apache Kafka ; Common business oriented language COBOL ; Go (see all 20 examples)
- Electronic mail software — IBM Notes ; Microsoft Exchange
- Enterprise application integration software — Atlassian Bamboo ; Extensible markup language XML ; IBM WebSphere ; Oracle Fusion Middleware (see all 6 examples)
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Microsoft Dynamics ; Oracle Fusion Applications; SAP
- Enterprise system management software — IBM Power Systems software; Splunk Enterprise
- Expert system software — Ansible software
- File versioning software — Apache Subversion SVN ; Git
- Financial analysis software — Oracle E-Business Suite Financials
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Fireworks; Microsoft Visio ; Trimble SketchUp Pro
- Helpdesk or call center software — Help desk software; Ticket information tracking software
- Human resources software — Human resource management software HRMS
- Industrial control software — Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
- Instant messaging software — Blink
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Internet directory services software — Domain name system DNS; Microsoft Active Directory
- Internet protocol IP multimedia subsystem software — Multiprotocol Label Switching MPLS; Open Shortest Path First OSPF; Session Initiation Protocol SIP; Voice over internet protocol VoiP system software
- LAN software — Local area network LAN software
- Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software
- Metadata management software — CA Erwin Data Modeler
- Network monitoring software — Nagios ; Network intrusion prevention systems NIPS; Symantec Intruder Alert; Wireshark (see all 22 examples)
- Network operating system enhancement software — Compuware dynaTrace; Infoblox NetMRI; Silver Peak; Wide area network WAN optimization software (see all 7 examples)
- Network security and virtual private network VPN equipment software — Content filter software; Firewall software; Network intrusion detection software
- Network security or virtual private network VPN management software — Intrusion prevention system IPS; LogRhythm; Network and system vulnerability assessment software; Virtual private networking VPN software (see all 11 examples)
- Object or component oriented development software — Advanced business application programming ABAP ; Apache Groovy ; jQuery ; Scala (see all 11 examples)
- Object oriented data base management software — Hibernate ORM; PostgreSQL
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Bash ; Oracle Solaris ; Red Hat Enterprise Linux ; UNIX Shell (see all 18 examples)
- Optical network management software
- Pattern design software — Diagramming software
- Platform interconnectivity software — Amazon Web Services AWS CloudFormation
- Portal server software — Apache HTTP Server
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Program testing software — Hewlett Packard LoadRunner; JUnit ; Segue SilkPerformer; Selenium (see all 5 examples)
- Project management software — Confluence ; Microsoft Project ; Microsoft SharePoint
- Requirements analysis and system architecture software — Capacity planning software; Network architecture design software; Requirements management software; Unified modeling language UML
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Storage networking software — Amazon Simple Storage Service S3 ; Network storage software; Storage area network SAN software; Storage management software
- Switch or router software — Border Gateway Protocol BGP; Cisco Systems Cisco Web Cache Communication Protocol WCCP; Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links TRILL; Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol VRRP (see all 8 examples)
- Time accounting software — Time reporting software
- Transaction security and virus protection software — CA eTrust; Encryption software; McAfee VirusScan; Symantec (see all 9 examples)
- Transaction server software — Customer information control system CICS
- Video conferencing software — Cisco Systems Webex; Videoconferencing software
- Video creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe AfterEffects
- WAN switching software and firmware — Wide area network WAN software
- Web platform development software — Google AngularJS ; Microsoft ASP.NET ; Microsoft ASP.NET Core MVC ; Spring Framework (see all 23 examples)
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Programming — Writing computer programs for various purposes.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Technology Design — Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
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- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Develop computer or information security policies or procedures.
- Recommend changes to improve computer or information systems.
- Maintain contingency plans for disaster recovery.
- Analyze data to identify or resolve operational problems.
- Monitor the performance of computer networks.
- Coordinate project activities with other personnel or departments.
- Maintain computer networks to enhance performance and user access.
- Develop models of information or communications systems.
- Develop specifications for computer network operation.
- Provide technical support for computer network issues.
- Resolve computer network problems.
- Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends.
- Evaluate project designs to determine adequacy or feasibility.
- Install computer hardware.
- Install computer software.
- Modify software programs to improve performance.
- Document network-related activities or tasks.
- Estimate time or monetary resources needed to complete projects.
- Supervise information technology personnel.
- Conduct research to gain information about products or processes.
- Test computer hardware performance.
- Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
- Communicate project information to others.
- Configure computer networks.
- Design integrated computer systems.
- Manage budgets for appropriate resource allocation.
- Manage financial activities of the organization.
- Coordinate software or hardware installation.
- Develop information communication procedures.
- Manage documentation to ensure organization or accuracy.
- Maintain computer hardware.
- Develop testing routines or procedures.
- Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues.
- Teach others to use computer equipment or hardware.
Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities
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- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 55% responded “More than half the time.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 45% responded “Very important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 45% responded “Some freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 45% responded “Some freedom.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 55% responded “Very important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 50% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 45% responded “Important results.”
- Contact With Others — 48% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Level of Competition — 50% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 50% responded “Important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 27% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 50% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Consequence of Error — 36% responded “Very serious.”
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|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: ICE Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
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- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
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