Network analysis positions are flexible positions poised for growth. Nearly every large company requires a network analyst to manage their IT infrastructure, opening up doorways throughout many industries. As companies become increasingly more reliant upon their technology,
Required Education for a Network Analyst
A network analyst can have a broad spectrum of education and experience. Some network analyst positions require a Bachelor’s Degree, but it’s also very common to see an Associate’s Degree. In addition to degrees, certifications are also generally considered to be very important. Some network analysts may not have any formal education at all, but will have higher level certifications that relate to the position. To command the highest salaries, however, most Network Analysts should have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. Master’s Degrees can improve standing in a competitive market.
Required Experience for a Network Analyst
A network analyst is usually a position that requires 3 to 5 years of experience within the industry. Many network analysts have worked in networking before as an associate, technician, or troubleshooter; it is not generally considered to be an entry level position. Because of this, those interested in becoming a network analyst should look for experience within their industry first. One of the most common entry-level positions for network analysis is help desk work.
For network analysts, experience with specific types of network and infrastructure often correlates to better marketability within that specific niche. Network analysts that are more familiar with Cisco systems will be more likely to get positions within Cisco-centric companies, while those more familiar with Microsoft’s networking fundamentals are more likely to be able to manage and monitor Microsoft-based systems. Consequently, the type of experience is as important as the length of experience.
Required Skills for a Network Analyst
Network analysts need to be extremely knowledgeable about both modern networking technology and potentially legacy systems that are used throughout many industries. Network analysts should have firm foundational knowledge about both optimizing and securing networks, and they should be able to create and streamline networks as needed. Functionally, a network analyst will need to be able to think quickly and interface with many different departments. Network analysts often need to work with upper management to make decisions and may need to push upper management to make decisions that will benefit the company technologically. Network analysts in larger companies may also need to be able to work with employees and will have to be able to effectively direct and motivate them. Network analyst contractors will have to be able to self-motivate and be clear and confident in their communications.
Once hired, a network analyst may make anywhere from $40,000 to over $100,000 a year, depending on the amount of experience they have and the company that they are employed with. Network analysts generally enjoy a wide array of benefits, though this can be offset by a need to be on-call or on-demand out of hours. If you’re interested in a position in networking, our list of job listings is likely to have something ideal for you.