Network engineers are responsible for providing the business with the network systems, data speeds and security needed to facilitate daily operations and to support new initiatives.The job involves working with physical network equipment, like cables, routers, switches and devices, and logical topologies, like network protocols. The role is often divided into lead network engineers (team leaders) and network engineers (2nd or 3rd line support). They work alongside network analysts or NOC analysts, who provide the 1st line of support. A network engineer keeps everyone in the business connected using a mix of intranets, extranets, LANs and WANS. They monitor the business’ data throughput rate and assess whether upgrades are needed in order to meet future demands. Engineers work alongside infrastructure engineers, infrastructure architects and product/sales teams, and report to the CTO or infrastructure manager.Network engineer duties include:Installing and maintaining network devices and servicesProviding support and troubleshooting in accordance with SLAsAssessing the technical needs of staff or clientsManaging firewallsPerforming software and firmware upgrades to help maintain securityWorking alongside the IT security team to uphold policies and proceduresDocumenting operational processesMaintaining operational status by working with third parties/vendors

Network engineer job qualifications, skills and experience

To gain a role in network engineering, employers will be looking for a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or similar, and experience with network administration.Desirable skills include:CCNA, CCNP OR CCIE certification (dependent on role level)Cisco, Palo Alto or Juniper routing/firewall experiencePublic cloud experience (Azure/AWS certified, Office 365, Dynamics)Knowledge of IP networksExperience in physical network engineeringEmployers will also look for some of the following soft skills and characteristics:Good problem-solving skillsExcellent time managementOrganisational skillsCritical thinkingGood attention to detailExcellent communication skills, both written and verbalThe ability to work as part of a team
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