Career Profile: Computer Network Architect

Career Profile: Computer Network Architect
Computer network architects design and build data communication networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and intranets. The networks can be simple, such as a small connection between two offices to global communication systems (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Computer network architects are some of the highest-paid professionals within the tech industry. Payscale reports that the average annual salary for computer network architects in the United States is $119,780.

Where are they needed?

A computer network architect holds a senior position within the I.T. department. They lead teams of network architects and other I.T. professionals. Computer network architects also supervise teams of engineers and workers who do the actual work of building communications networks. Network Architects also work closely with an organization’s Chief Technology Officer to plan communication network needs, optimize the existing infrastructure, and predict where new networks will be needed.

Skills needed

Network architects should have five to ten years of experience in designing, developing, and implementing large enterprise networks. They should also have a deep understanding of network services and storage and server technologies.

The job requires a mix of hard technical skills and soft skills and proven leadership as team lead, manager, or technical expert. They’ll need excellent communication and writing skills, leadership skills, and the ability to speak to groups of others up to the executive level.

It is also good if a network architect has experience leading a project in a large-scale environment that incorporates both data center and WANs.

Hard skills necessary for a computer network architect are:

  • Develop and implement test plans
  • Develop project deadlines for projects
  • Contribute to budgeting for and understand the financial impact of technology decisions
  • Write specs documents
  • Keep up to date on the latest technology
  • Assess competitors
  • Guide the implementation and deployment of new technology

How do you become a network architect?

Computer network architects need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, engineering, or related fields. Some employers may prefer computer network architects to have a Masters of Business Administration in information systems.

Where to get experience?

Network architects should have experience in a related occupation such as information technology systems. They should also have experience as a network administrator, database administrator, or computer systems analyst.

Where to get training?

To obtain training and experience to prepare for a network architect position, we recommend working with a job recruiter to place you in an adjacent position. If you’re looking for on the job experience while you’re finishing your degree, Genuent and Talent Path can place you in a consulting position where you will build experience.
If you have 3 years or more of on the job experience, visit Genuent to explore all of our job openings.

The team at Genuent are the top technology recruiters in Texas and across the nation. We’re experts at delivering talent and resource solutions within the IT space and have been doing so for over 10 years. Visit us for more information on our services.