Network system analysts design and implement network systems, configurations and architecture, including hardware and software, site locations and integration of technologies. They maintain peripherals — such as printers — that are connected to the network; identify areas of operation that need upgraded equipment such as modems, fibre optic cables and telephone wires; train users to handle equipment properly; develop and write procedures for installation, use and troubleshooting of communications hardware and software as well as adapt and modify existing software to meet specific needs.
What do I have to do?
Network systems and data communications analysts — also referred to as network architects — design, test and evaluate systems such as local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), the Internet, intranets and other data communications systems. Systems are configured in many ways and can range from a connection between two offices in the same building to globally distributed networks, voice mail and email systems of a multinational organisation.
They perform network modelling, analysis and planning, often requiring both hardware and software solutions. For example, a network may involve the installation of several pieces of hardware, such as routers and hubs, wireless adaptors and cables, while also requiring the installation and configuration of software, such as network drivers. Network professionals may become telecommunications specialists who focus on the relationship between computers and communications equipment, or Internet developers, web developers, or web designers.
What should I study?
A network systems analyst should have a bachelors degree in computer science or information systems / information science. Increasingly, employers are looking for systems analysts with an MBA that has a concentration on information technology. In addition, recruiters prefer certain global certifications such as the MCSE, UNIX Admin, LINUX Admin and CNE for LAN administration and CCNA, CCNP, CCDA, CCDP, CCIE for WAN administration.
Network systems and data communications analysts must be logical thinkers and be able to multitask as well as pay close attention to minute details. Because they often work in teams, network systems and data communications analysts must be able to communicate effectively with other personnel, such as programmers, managers and users.
The largest number of jobs is found in computer systems design and related services. Many network systems analysts are employed by Internet service providers, web search portals and data-processing, hosting and related services firms. Others work for the government, manufacturers of computer and electronic products, insurance companies, financial institutions and universities.
With continued adoption and integration of new technologies and rapid growth in computer system design and related services, there is increasing scope for network analysts. Demand is also fuelled by the scaled up use of Internet applications in business, growth of electronic commerce and introduction of wireless Internet.
These professionals can also find work as network engineer, systems engineer, systems administrator, telecommunications manager, network consultant, network manager, networking systems and distributed systems engineer.