Computer Network Architect Career

Job Description: Design and implement computer and information networks, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), intranets, extranets, and other data communications networks. Perform network modeling, analysis, and planning, including analysis of capacity needs for network infrastructures. May also design network and computer security measures. May research and recommend network and data communications hardware and software.


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Computer Network Architect Career

What Computer Network Architects do:

  • Adjust network sizes to meet volume or capacity demands.
  • Coordinate network or design activities with designers of associated networks.
  • Determine specific network hardware or software requirements, such as platforms, interfaces, bandwidths, or routine schemas.
  • Develop and implement solutions for network problems.
  • Develop and write procedures for installation, use, or troubleshooting of communications hardware or software.
  • Develop conceptual, logical, or physical network designs.
  • Develop disaster recovery plans.
  • Develop network-related documentation.
  • Develop or recommend network security measures, such as firewalls, network security audits, or automated security probes.
  • Estimate time and materials needed to complete projects.
  • Evaluate network designs to determine whether customer requirements are met efficiently and effectively.
  • Explain design specifications to integration or test engineers.
  • Monitor and analyze network performance and reports on data input or output to detect problems, identify inefficient use of computer resources, or perform capacity planning.
  • Participate in network technology upgrade or expansion projects, including installation of hardware and software and integration testing.
  • Prepare detailed network specifications, including diagrams, charts, equipment configurations, or recommended technologies.
  • Visit vendors, attend conferences or training sessions, or study technical journals to keep up with changes in technology.
  • Communicate with customers, sales staff, or marketing staff to determine customer needs.
  • Communicate with vendors to gather information about products, alert them to future needs, resolve problems, or address system maintenance issues.
  • Design, build, or operate equipment configuration prototypes, including network hardware, software, servers, or server operation systems.
  • Develop procedures to track, project, or report network availability, reliability, capacity, or utilization.
  • Research and test new or modified hardware or software products to determine performance and interoperability.
  • Design, organize, and deliver product awareness, skills transfer, or product education sessions for staff or suppliers.
  • Prepare design presentations and proposals for staff or customers.
  • Supervise engineers or other staff in the design or implementation of network solutions.
  • Develop plans or budgets for network equipment replacement.
  • Prepare or monitor project schedules, budgets, or cost control systems.
  • Use network computer-aided design (CAD) software packages to optimize network designs.
  • Coordinate installation of new equipment.
  • Coordinate network operations, maintenance, repairs, or upgrades.
  • Develop or maintain project reporting systems.
  • Communicate with system users to ensure accounts are set up properly or to diagnose and solve operational problems.
  • Maintain or coordinate the maintenance of network peripherals, such as printers.
  • Maintain networks by performing activities such as file addition, deletion, or backup.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Holland Code Chart for a Computer Network Architect