Computer network engineering extends beyond the theoretical design for work station and server interconnects. A computer network engineer is going to become involved in a number of critical functions. These will include data management, security and system analysis. For most of these functions, most employers will be looking for a candidate with a bachelors’ degree in computer science, systems engineering or management information systems (MIS). Some maintenance or network expansion positions may only require an associates’ degree, but the higher the degree, the more responsible – and lucrative – the job will be.
The key to a successful career in computer network engineering is the ability to implement new technologies and expanded or updated systems. For that role, the technical side of the job is critical; it is the systems analyst that can replace an old data management system with a new one and execute the changeover while minimizing the office chaos.
Once the new system is in place (or the old one updated) it is the MIS function that becomes important. For that role, it is usually desirable that the network engineer have at least a fundamental understanding of customer relations support and, increasingly, an understanding of the most current security technology for databases.
Sometimes a certification program is enough to get an experienced employee up to speed on a new data management system. However both computers and business support software are becoming far more complex. People who have had extensive training in network engineering still must engage in ongoing education in order to keep pace with new equipment, new software and new protocols.
Salaries with Computer Network Engineering Degrees
Average annual earnings of Computer Network Engineering in May 2004.
- Lowest 10 % earned $46,520
- Median $74,980
- Highest 10% earned $113,830
Related occupations with Computer Network Engineering Degrees:
- Scientific research and development services $91,390
- Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing 87,800
- Software publishers 83,670
- Computer systems design and related services 79,950
- Wired telecommunications carriers 74,370