Computer Networking Careers: Career Outlook for the Computer Networking Professions

Published Nov 01, 2009

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Computer networks are an essential element of modern business operation. With Internet and local networking becoming more popular in homes, demand for jobs in the computer networking field has been expected to continue to grow. A bachelor's or master's degree program in computer science, information technology or management information systems can prepare graduates for these jobs.

Network System Administrator Overview and Career Outlook

A network system administrator is responsible for an organization's computer network. The administrator decides how the network is organized, repairs or replaces hardware, installs and updates software and oversees network operation to ensure it remains efficient and problem-free. It's possible to become a network administrator with only prior experience and proper certifications, but most employers prefer employees to hold an associate's or bachelor's degree.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), employment in this field was predicted to increase much more quickly than typical jobs from 2006 to 2016. The mean annual wage for network system administrators across the country was $69,570 in May 2008.

Information System Manager Overview and Career Outlook

Information system managers apply business skills to provide firms with computer solutions. There are several kinds of system managers. For example, information technology directors manage other IT employees in maintaining the quality and service of the company's computers and networks. Project managers create plans of action to implement hardware changes by determining necessary budgets and schedules. Chief technology officers decide what kinds of technology to use in a business. Companies hiring for this position like to see applicants with both computer and business training.

Job opportunities for information system managers could grow by 16% between 2006 and 2016, the BLS reported in 2006. Annual wages in this field averaged $118,710 across the nation as of May 2008.

Computer Systems Analyst Overview and Career Outlook

Businesses turn to systems analysts to help them develop and implement computer hardware and software that suits their particular needs. For instance, systems analysts may work with the finance department to create networks and database software to handle accounting tasks. Analysts with programming skills may create custom software. A bachelor's degree is the minimum required for this position, and employers look for job seekers who have experience with the newest technology.

Surveys conducted by the BLS show an average annual wage of $78,830 for computer systems analysts. Employment was expected to grow 29% between 2006 and 2016, with 146,000 new jobs created.

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