On many occasions, Network Analysis is used as a broad term to describe several fields of work that have connections to computer networks. Experts in these fields are sometimes referred to as network architects, web administrators and developers, and telecommunication specialists. However, the core of Network Analysis is carried out by a Network Analyst.
Network Analysts, also known as network engineers, are involved in the design, improvement, and implementation of computer networks. This includes the Internet, intranets, local area networks, and wide-area networks. They perform the analysis, configuration, installation, layout, and maintenance of an organization’s network components. This means that apart from installing, and configuring, they must upgrade system networks daily to ensure that they are functioning properly. They must analyse and resolve the technical problems that may arise in already established network systems.
Responsibilities of Network Analysts
Network Analysts look after both business and technical operations of organizations. They must identify the problems that arise in the business areas and rectify them with technical system-based solutions. They work closely with programmers and the staff in IT departments.
The responsibilities of Network Analyst can be different depending on the organisations in which they work. However, planning, implementation, maintenance, and support for computer networks are part of their essential functions.
Basic Responsibilities of a Network Analyst
Problem Identification: A Network Analyst conducts tests, responds to support cases, and keeps detailed records to understand a network system and find how to improve on it. These problems can arise in a lot of different forms. These can include failing cables, substandard installations, improper utilization of disk space, and many more. It is the job of the Network Analyst to identify these problems and understand them.
Suggest Changes: After the problem has been successfully identified, the Network Analyst must find ways to solve it. It is the responsibility of a Network Analyst to recommend solutions and changes to solve the problem(s). They will decide if the problem(s) can be solved by upgrading equipment, replacing them, or adjusting some wireless access points. Most times, the issues can be resolved with technology.
Maintenance: Internet speed and server utilization efficiency are part of the standard that organizations hold their network systems. Network Analysts oversee those standards and endure that they are met. They do this by monitoring communication protocols, evaluating router performance, optimizing a system’s storage capabilities, and recording data transfer speed.
Implementing New Technologies: Network Analysts do not only maintain software and hardware in their companies, but they also implement new technologies after considering the benefits. The new technologies could be hardware, software or an operating system. This adds constant research and learning as parts of the responsibilities of the Network Analyst, as they must find out about things that could improve the efficiency of the network system.
Documentation: the information contained in network systems is very large, and that information needs to be recorded so that whatever changes are made can be revised and problems can be adequately addressed. This responsibility falls on the Network Analyst. They record hardware configuration information, software configuration administration, network performance, and the layout of the network regularly.
Skills of a Network Analyst
- As a Network Analyst, you must have extensive knowledge of networking concepts, protocols, systems, and technologies to be successful.
- Network Analysts can handle the operating systems, so to pursue the career path, you must have an adequate technical understanding as it is the primary requirement to carry out your roles. This presents you as having the ability to install a wide variety of hardware and software components.
- As a Network Analyst, you must possess excellent interpersonal skills. You should be able to maintain coordination with other professionals when it becomes necessary.
- The responsibilities of a Network Analyst require multitasking. You need the ability to manage and execute multiple tasks simultaneously.
- Strong oral and written communication skills are a very essential requirement when pursuing a Network Analysis career. You will prepare oral and written reports regularly.
- Strong mathematics and analytics skills.
- As a Network Analyst, you need some level experience with scripting languages such as Perl, Ruby, and Python. This is because programming is usually a part of your job description.
- Equally, knowledge of trading tools is essential. These include recent versions of Microsoft Office software suites, telecommunications systems, standard office equipment such as printers and copiers, complex computer and network systems, infrastructure devices such as switches and routers among others.
In the Network Analysis career path, an associate degree is enough when applying to work at small-sized companies. However, larger organisations require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology or other related fields. Below are some reputable schools that offer degree programs in Computer Science and other IT related courses.
The University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom – BSc (Hons) Computer Science.
The program is ideal for individuals with an interest in technology and software development and how these can be of benefit to others. The program has core topics such as foundations of computation, programming, multimedia, networks, databases, operating systems, software engineering, and professional issues. The tuition for international students is £13000, while the course duration is 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement.
Marshall University in the United States of America – B.S in Computer Science.
The program prepares individuals for careers in Computer Science through learning based on practice and grounded in theory. The program will teach you how to analyse, design, build, test, and deploy computer-based systems by making technical trade-offs between performance, scalability, availability, reliability, security, maintainability, cost and societal impact. The computing facilities in the university are state-of-the-art and made available for students to use. The tuition for international students is $9,853 per semester.
The University of Debrecen in Hungary – Computer Science, BSc.
The program trains IT professionals and give them the solid theoretical knowledge necessary to further develop their skills. In the long term, it will improve performance capability at an advanced level. It will also help in understanding the typical software-oriented development processes. Asides these, graduates will be able to implement tasks related to IT equipment and systems, working either independently or as part of a team. The program duration is 6 semesters. The tuition for international students is $6000 per year.
There is no entry-level position for a network analyst in any organization. First, you must work as an associate, a technician, a help desk associate, or a trouble-shooter and after gaining three-plus years of experience, you get to be promoted to a Network Analyst.
Job Outlook and Typical Employers
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Network and Computer Systems Administrator positions are expected to rise at an average rate of five percent from 2018-2028.
Network Analysts typically work in industries such as e-commerce, defense, and utilities, among others. As a Network Analyst, your skills are in-demand in most countries. You’ll get opportunities to work on-site. Some other employers of Network Analysts are:
- Retail Groups
- Large Government Departments
- Schools, Hospitals, and Local Authorities
- Utility Companies
- Transport Providers
- Management Consultancies
- Banks and Building Societies.
The average salary for a Network Analyst in the United States is $71,105 per year. (indeed.com)
The average salary for Network Analyst jobs in the United Kingdom is £42,500. (cwjobs.co.uk)
The average Network Analyst salary in Canada is $78,761 per year. (neuvoo.ca)
Careers Similar to Network Analysis
Applications developer: As an applications developer you will translate software requirements into workable programming code and maintain and develop programs for use in business. You will work in a specific development field such as mobile phone applications, accounting software, office suites or graphics software, etc. expertise in at least one programming language is important.
Cybersecurity Specialists: Cybersecurity Specialists are responsible for keeping cyber-crime at bay, using analysis, forensics, and engineering skills to monitor and diagnose malware events and vulnerability issues. They also recommend solutions, including hardware and software programs that can help mitigate risk.
Software engineer: As a software engineer, you will work in dynamic environments. However, this depends on the strategic direction of the organisation you work with. Working as a Software Engineer, you will maintain, audit, and improve systems to meet needs, often as advised by a systems analyst or architect. You will test both hard and software systems to diagnose and resolve system issues.
Postgraduate Options for a Network Analyst
Master of Science in System and Network Engineering – Innopolis University in Kazan, Russia.
The program is very extensive, and students need to devote their time fully to the study process. The program requires at least 1.5 years of experience in security. Due to the complexity of homework assignments and topics covered during the year, the university has a comprehensive admission procedure, which includes tests and presentations. Instructors use the English language to teach and it has a duration of 2 years (full-time). The tuition for international students is RUB 800,000.
MSc in Information Technologies – Track in Communication Systems and Network Engineering (CSNE) – IMT Atlantique in France.
This program prepares future experts that will work in the design and/or administration of high-performance telecommunication networks. The program requires a wide range of knowledge including wireless, wired and optical transmission systems, digital communications, network architectures, and project management of complex systems. English and French are the languages of Instruction. You can choose either. The duration is 2 years full-time. The tuition is EUR 10,200.
MSc Communications Networks and Software – The University of Surrey in Guildford, United Kingdom. The program provides insight into the advances in next-generation 5G mobile and the continuous evolution of internet technologies. The duration is 1-5 years in either full-time or part-time study mode. The tuition for international students is GBP 21,700.
Professional Certifications for a Network Analyst
Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician: The CCENT certification is designed to validate the skills required for entry-level network support roles, which is the starting point for individuals with careers in networking. CCENT certified professionals possess the knowledge and skill to install, operate, and troubleshoot a small business branch network, as well as basic network security. The 90-minute test involves 50 to 60 questions, and it costs $125.
Cisco Certified Network Associate: CCNA program is designed to prepare individuals for today’s associate-level job roles in IT technologies. CCNA now includes security and automation and programmability. The program has one certification that covers a broad range of fundamentals for IT careers, with one exam and one training course to help you prepare. The exam and certification cost $325 to $600.
The CCNP certification caters to those with one or more years of networking experience and is ready to advance their skills and work independently on complex network solutions. Those who achieve CCNP Routing and Switching must have demonstrated the skills required in enterprise roles such as network engineer, support engineer, systems engineer, or network technician. The routing and switching protocol knowledge acquired from this certification will provide a strong foundation as these skills are equally relevant in the physical networks of today and the virtualized network functions of the future. CCNP Certification Exam Costs $900 to $1,200.
Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Routing and Switching: The CCIE certification validates the skills required of expert-level network engineers to plan, operate, and troubleshoot complex, converged network infrastructure. The written exams are $450 and Lab exams are $1,600 per attempt.
CompTIA A+ certified professionals are proven problem-solvers. The certification validates their experience in supporting today’s core technologies from security to cloud to data management and more. CompTIA A+ is the industry standard for launching IT careers into the present digital world. The cost of CompTIA A+ exams varies depending on the country, but the average price is $170. This translates to $340 for the two exams required to become fully certified.
CompTIA Network+: This certification proves that professionals can design and implement functional networks, configure, manage, and maintain essential network devices. It teaches how to use devices such as switches and routers to segment network traffic, create resilient networks, and identify the benefits and drawbacks of existing network configurations. Equally, it teaches how to implement network security standards and protocols; troubleshoot network problems and support the creation of virtualized networks. The certification requires CompTIA A+ Certification and at least 9 to 12 months of networking experience. The fee for the exam is $329.
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