Ankit Dixit
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Codeblogger

The Future Scope of a Network Engineer

Ankit Dixit's photo
Ankit Dixit
·May 4, 2022·

10 min read

The domain of network engineering is growing at the speed of light, and consequently, the demand for network engineers is also following the trend. Careers in this domain are stable, and opportunities abound. It's also a domain that's undergoing significant changes as companies automate and virtualize their networks, move them to the cloud, and integrate new technologies into their networks.

Who is a Network Engineer?

A network engineer is a technology specialist who is responsible for managing network connectivity in terms of data, voice, calls, videos, and wireless networks. The responsibility for formulating, implementing, and executing an organization's whole computer network is a major component of a network engineer's job description.

In addition, the network engineering description highlights their job in ensuring that all network systems are running efficiently. A network engineer's primary objective is to deliver a seamless network infrastructure, security, and performance to end users. Network engineers design, create, install, and handle the computer networks that businesses and organisations rely on. Phone systems, intranets, extranets, and other networks are examples of these networks.

The following are some of the key tasks that a network engineer has to undertake:

Safeguarding sensitive data, maintaining firewalls, updating virus protection software, implementing data security measures, and performing data backup.

Continuously monitoring and troubleshooting network performance while identifying new methods to improve it.

Handling computer networks and all associated systems, including software, hardware, and applications.

Installing and configuring network hardware such as switches, routers, load balancers, VPNs, proxy servers, and WAN accelerators.

Working with third-party support services and service providers to ensure that networks run smoothly.

Scheduling updates, completing network upgrades, managing security setups, and installing patches or service packs are all examples of routine maintenance chores.

Requirements for becoming a Network Engineer

Education

A bachelor's degree is one of the requirements to become a network engineer. Information technology, computer science, network security management, and computer systems engineering are all good options for anyone interested in this industry.

Network engineers must also maintain their education. This subject is rapidly evolving, with new systems and applications being launched regularly. Throughout their careers, network engineers must keep up with industry trends and reports, explore new developments, and pursue continuous education.

Before pursuing this career, network engineers often have several years of experience in comparable areas. While working in entry-level IT employment, they will obtain on-the-job training.

Training

When network engineers begin working for a company, they often get a limited period of on-the-job training because most employers expect them to have a thorough understanding of a variety of programmes and systems.

Also, online courses, training, and tutorials can help network engineers enhance their existing expertise and stay up-to-date on the latest IT advances. Skills required for Network Engineering

Customer Service

You could well be assigned to troubleshoot networks for clients or manage front-end network issues, depending on the type of firm or organisation where you work. Interpersonal skills, the ability to convey technical challenges to non-technical people, and the capacity to comprehend and form relationships with the clients you serve are all required.

Security and Firewalls

The security of a network is critical, especially if it carries regulated data. While many companies employ a designated IT security officer, end-to-end security requires everyone on the IT team to participate in keeping the network secure. Firewalls are frequently deployed and maintained by network engineers.

Collaboration and networking

The task necessitates networking and routing abilities. Engineers must be familiar with various network and architecture types (such as WAN, LAN, SD-WAN, SD-branch, and so on) and how to incorporate them into an existing system. It's critical to be informed about new network types as they arise.

Troubleshooting and Analytics Network engineers identify and resolve network issues both before and after they occur. It's critical to have analytical skills to figure out where a problem is coming from, as well as a dedicated troubleshooting approach to properly address the issues and prevent it from occurring again in the future.

Languages of Programming

Engineers should be familiar with general-purpose scripting languages like Python, Ruby, and Perl, which are by far the most widely used in enterprise networks. Since these network functions become automated, it's beneficial to master automation-friendly languages like Java, Terraform, and Ansible. Bash for Linux is also growing in importance as more networks use open-source networking tools.

Infrastructure & Hardware

Making decisions about the hardware that the network and its functions will run on is one of a network engineer's responsibilities. While you may not be making the purchasing decisions directly, you should be equipped with knowledge of the different network hardware vendors and the solutions they offer.

Automation

For modern networks, particularly SD-WAN, automation is the go-to technology. Engineers must be able to work with automated network operations so that network and IT resources can be best allocated. You may be required to assist in the development of automated functions yourself, but this is normally the responsibility of an automation engineer.

How to Become a Network Engineer?

Here is the ideal way to become Network Engineer:

  • First of all, get a bachelor's degree in IT (specializing in networking and computer security)
  • Then you can go for an esteemed certification in network engineering while doing your bachelors
  • Then create a specifically tailored resume that emphasises your technical skills to attract the right company
  • Subsequent to that, apply for a network engineer position
  • Lastly, prepare for and attend an interview.

This was just about the process of becoming a network engineer. If you wish to know about the salaries that the marketplace offers network engineers, click here. You'll get a clear idea how network engineer salaries vary in accordance with the experience level as well as location. Along with this, you'll also understand the other nitty-gritties regarding network engineer salaries.

Here we have listed some of the network engineering trends that are expected to be on the horizon. These are the trends that you must be prepared for, in order to exploit the opportunities that follow them.

The Rise of CloudOps Teams

At this point, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform are common among IT students. In comparison to on-premise resources, public clouds have proved to be stable, scalable, and cost-effective. Some of these resources have also returned to on-premise data centres in recent times.

Additionally, the industry has landed on a hybrid cloud strategy, which combines local and cloud resources. However, there have been several difficulties with this design. With legacy networking technologies, it's proven challenging to sustain a hybrid design. They're uncoordinated, lack basic functionality, and are often limited in scope.

As a result, a rise in CloudOps teams would be evident as a group of technology professionals tasked with generating completely new facilities on the public cloud and integrating them with on-premise infrastructure.

Autonomous Networks will become Mainstream

Based on network data, ML can make near-perfect predictions. In a larger sense, AI can also operate intelligently based on those predictions.

Analytics solutions that use artificial intelligence and machine learning will improve and become more robust. They'll be embedded straight into networking platforms, rather than being yet another administration platform that no one logs into.

That doesn't rule out the possibility of routers and switches performing network analysis for us. Remember that there's a trend towards fully automated networks controlled by some form of controller. Advanced analytics will probably be incorporated right into these automation systems as they evolve into validation systems.

5G Vs. Wi-Fi 6

In the coming years, there will be an interesting contest between 5G and Wi-Fi 6 for residential as well as commercial uses.

Typically, 5G will enable use cases that are independent of range, while Wi-Fi 6 will be used in homes and offices. For household customers, 5G could provide a broadband option to fibre and cable.

Based on particular needs, edge computing applications and IoT for industries such as manufacturing, retail, and healthcare may leverage both Wi-Fi 6 and 5G technologies.

SD-WAN Will Become the Industry Norm

SD-WAN has grown from a new innovative industry to one of the fastest-growing sectors of the networking market. SD-WAN will become the norm for how we perform wide area networking in the orthcoming years, rather than being on the cutting edge.

In addition to this, it will no longer be a viable alternative, relevant only in exceptional circumstances and for the most technologically advanced enterprises. SD-WAN will instead become a major entity for connecting branch offices to public cloud services.

The leading networking vendors took a couple of years to implement acquisitions into their portfolios. Over the last year, feature parity, compatibility, and visibility, all previous key concerns, have been tackled head on by many organisations.

Networking Embraces Automation

As we approach more technological developments, we may finally arrive at a stage where automation will become the preferred means of network management in the future. Companies are increasingly adopting automation into their platforms, not as a bonus, but as the standard for how to run networks.

We might expect to see more one-click WAN, campus, and data centre network deployments, similar to what we're seeing with public cloud providers. This may not imply that the typical network engineer is no longer needed. However, it does imply that networking and application teams will surely collaborate together.

The Scope of Network Engineering

If you're an IT professional, you're probably aware that networking, and therefore a network engineer, is in great demand nowadays. Esteemed certifications like the CCNA will help you prepare for a successful career in IT networking, which is one of the highest-paying sectors in the industry. Will it, however, be the same as it is now? If you want to pursue a profession in networking, or if you currently do, you'll want to know what's coming and how to prepare for an unavoidable transition that is significant in the IT sector. So read on…

What does network engineering look like now and in the future?

While some may believe that automation will eliminate the need for network engineers, industry data overwhelmingly contradicts this view. True, automation will become more prevalent in the next few years, but it does not imply network engineers will lose their employment all at once; they will most likely need to change their work style or upskill their expertise through short-term courses.

Is the Demand for Network Engineers Here To Stay?

In fact, the demand for network engineers is never-ending, so even if your job role or responsibilities change, you shouldn't be concerned. Why? Today and in the future, network engineers have and will continue to have good job security. Similarly, in the upcoming years, network engineering growth is sure.

According to networking specialists, network engineers have always been in a state of perpetual change. In retrospect, i.e., the days before cloud computing, you'll recall that people used dial-up internet, which is no longer available. Network engineers have done a good job of adapting to changing technology over the years. This could be the reason why network engineering is so important.

Conclusion

In today's information era, organisations have increasingly depended on computer networks to communicate files, data, programmes, and other digital information. Computer networks enable centralised data access across all departments of a company. As a result, computer network engineers are in more demand, and their function is becoming increasingly important.

Network engineers will continue to have greater opportunities as they construct new networks or upgrade existing ones. Furthermore, the advancement of technologies will expand network engineering possibilities. Overall, the job market for fresh network engineers is highly promising. Because there are usually more jobs than aspirants in the sector, network engineers have a low unemployment rate. Organizations are in the pursuit of highly trained, educated, and experienced IT employees, which is one of the main causes of the scarcity of competent talent in the network engineering industry. Network engineers are often required to have at least a bachelor's degree, with master's degrees recommended. Many firms additionally demand certain network certifications and years of expertise from candidates.

 
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