Almost all organizations rely on efficiently organized computer networks to accomplish day-to-day business. Computer network architects design those networks, and computer systems engineers run them. Computer network architects create plans and layouts for data communication networks, ranging from building small connections between two offices to accessing the vast networking capabilities of cloud computing that connects customers around the globe. Network architects develop a deep understanding of a business’ plans in order to design networks to best suit their current and future needs. They analyze the organization’s data traffic, and work with chief technology officers and hardware engineers to predict future demand, and determine where to build new networks. Computer systems engineers implement the network architects’ designs, and solve the complex problems involved in the day-to-day operations of networks. They frequently test system operations, identify security risks, and research new products or processes that will improve system function. Network architects need to be effective leaders, and both roles require strong communication and teamwork skills. Work schedules are often more than 40 hours a week. Network architects and computer systems engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field, along with several years’ experience working with information technology systems. A master’s of business administration in information systems is needed for some network architect positions.
What they do:
Design and develop solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions.
On the job, you would:
Verify stability, interoperability, portability, security, or scalability of system architecture.
Develop system engineering, software engineering, system integration, or distributed system architectures.
Collaborate with engineers or software developers to select appropriate design solutions or ensure the compatibility of system components.
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
product and service development
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
reading work related information
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
communicate by writing
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
create new and original ideas
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Web platform development software
Hypertext markup language HTML
Development environment software
Integrated development environment IDE software
National Instruments LabVIEW
Object or component oriented development software
bachelor's degree or master's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.