Network analysts maintain large scale computer networks. They design, build, test, implement and evaluate network systems including Internet, local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN) and other types of data communications systems. They also perform network modeling, analysis and planning. Network analysts analyze network traffic and offer capacity planning solutions. In addition, some network analysts oversee computer programmers.
Network analysts research and provide recommendations for network and data communications software and hardware. They evaluate the effectiveness of the current network and if appropriate, make improvements to software and hardware. Hardware changes might include manipulating cables, wireless adapters and routers. They may also install network drivers and programs for software.
Some of the job titles are systems administrator, network specialists, systems analyst, systems specialist and network and communications analyst.
- Maintain needed files
- Monitor system performance
- Provide security
- Troubleshooting and maintenance
- Create user accounts
- Design and implement network configurations, systems and network architecture
- Train users in the use of the equipment
- Adapt and make modifications of existing software to meet particular needs
- Test and evaluate software and hardware
- Identify areas of operation that need upgraded equipment
Network analysts are often working with software such as administrative, configuration management, network monitoring, network security, transaction security and virus protection. Network specialists use tools such as integrated services digital network ISDN analyzers, network multi-meters, wide area network analyzers and fiber optic power meters.
Network and data communications analysts sometimes work in teams with computer engineers, computer scientists, database administrators and others. Network and communications analysts should be skilled at investigating, analyzing, problem solving, communicating, organizing, working in teams and making assessments.
There is a growing demand for network systems and data communications analysts to assist companies and organizations maximize their efficiency with available technology. The average salary for a network analyst in 2007 was $68,220. The projected growth for network analysts from 2006 to 2016 is 53%. Some network and data communications analysts are self-employed and work as contractors or consultants.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Most network analyst positions require at least a bachelor's degree in a subject related to computer science, information sciences or management information systems. Network and communications analysts jobs in large corporations may require additional courses in subjects such as finance and business. Some corporations might be looking for someone that has a Masters of Business Administration degree. However, lower-level positions such as a webmaster may require only an associate's degree or a relevant certificate.
Although not required, many employers want network analysts to have additional training and related certifications. Most employers expect network and communications analysts to be knowledgeable with the major software packages published by Oracle, Microsoft and Cisco. These companies provide preparation classes and materials and provide certification exams.
- Association for Computing Machinery
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society
- Software & Information Industry Association
Network analysts are employed by most large organizations including multinational corporations, public schools and governments. Computer system and design, and insurance are popular industries for employment.
Schools for Network And Communications Analysts are listed in the Browse Schools Section.