Network engineers and network administrators are considered to be common positions in the IT field, and both could hold a lot of clouts. While it is possible that the jobs sound similar in descriptions and functions and would have some real overlap in responsibilities, but they are different. In general, the network engineer would be responsible for the design and development of a computer network whereas a network administrator would be responsible for ensuring and maintaining the network once it has been developed.
The terms network engineer and network architecture may be utilized interchangeably. A network administrator, on the other hand, is typically considered to be differentiated from engineers and architects. As in any field, a title is considered to be less important than the specifics of the job description. The larger the company, the more specific would be the job. The smaller a company, the more duties would be assigned to one single job.
Also, to become one, you will need to have a good IT Certification, for which you could opt the training offered at a good and reliable training center such as SPOTO Club.
Roles and Responsibilities
The first part of a network engineer role must do is to gain the understanding, at a macro level, the structure as well as network necessities of the entire organization. Armed with this knowledge, the network engineer should be then designed and maintain any network that would be supporting the company lifecycle as well as growth opportunities. A network engineer might need to analyze what is working and what is not to search for the room for improvement – all while working within a predetermined budget.
Roles and responsibilities which are common for a network engineer would include:
- Design and implement both the physical and wireless networks, including those for computer communications and telecommunications
- Maintain network performance
- Manage the electronic equipment that activates any network pieces
- Troubleshoot network problems
- Research and integrate new technologies into the network lifecycle
- Interface with network administrators to manage or assist problems
An ideal network engineer would often need, at minimum, a BS or MS in a computer-related field like computer science, computer engineer, or programming. Some employees would also prefer an MBA in information systems. Hands-on experience, particularly in IT systems or network administration is always considered helpful for a candidate.
Roles and Responsibilities
The network administrator role is considered to be as a pick up where the network engineer’s responsibilities would have ended. Whereas the engineer focuses on lifecycle network implementation, the daily operations and maintenance (O&M) of the network would be often falling to the network admin. Still, the administrator’s role is considered to be a proactive one, helping prevent security comprises before they would happen, instead of reacting afterward.
The depth and breadth of a network administrator’s responsibilities could be depended on the size of the organization. In larger organizations, one or several network administrators could share the roles and responsibilities, mentioned below:
- Monitor and maintain computer infrastructure, particularly emphasizing:
- On-site servers
- Interactions between the network and the software
- Network resilience and integrity
- Test networks for potential sites of compromise or weaknesses
- Stay abreast of necessary updates
- Implement security programs with software and hardware
In smaller organizations, a network admin would be also responsible for:
- Procure new hardware
- Roll out new software
- Manage email and internet filters
- Maintain disk images for new installs
- Ensure licenses are current
- Address poor data management practices
While a BS in a computer-related field is considered to be very helpful, it might not be necessary for a network admin role. Many organizations would prefer to have specific training and certifications alongside the relevant hands-on experience. Common training and certifications for network administrators could include Juniper, Cisco, Brocade Certified Network Engineer, Microsoft, and Red Hat.
Thus, if you wish to have this role, you should check out the IT Courses, which are being offered at the SPOTO Club for better chances to gain this Role.