Becoming a Network Architect
One may become a network architect by achieving various degrees and certifications. Most professionals have a Bachelor’s degree in an IT-related field. Senior architects have a MBA, additional certificates, and years of work experience behind them (from 5 onwards).
As for the fields of study, it is up to one’s preferences. The usual degrees include engineering, information systems, and computer science. Since a network architect is expected to work with varied networks and technologies, additional certification is also recommended.
When it comes to certificates, the absolute leaders in the field are Cisco and Microsoft. The CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) credential is recognized by all companies. To such an extent, in fact, that the achievement is considered a must-have for any serious network engineer. The downside is that it is quite expensive. The upside – that your company might be willing to finance it. It is common practice in large companies to provide further education for its employees; and a Cisco engineer is always a welcome addition to any work environment.
At a glance, these are some of the most common network architects’ duties:
Creating layouts for data communication networks;
Keeping security in mind when designing networks;
Upgrading hardware (routers) and software (drivers) to attain best network performance;
Presenting designs to management.
Sometimes, network architects may be required to work closely with computer hardware engineers. The engineers help build the networks designed by the architect.