Networking specialists are the unsung heroes of offices across the country. They’re responsible for the day-to-day operation of computer and information networks, which most organizations require to run effectively. In fact, in many offices, work comes to a screeching halt if the network goes down.
That’s why Cisco networking specialists are in such high demand—and that momentum isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon. Network administration roles are an increasingly popular (and important) career choice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of network and computer systems administrators is projected to grow 5 percent from 2018 to 2028.
So, what’s the secret to finding a great networking gig?
Although there’s really no secret sauce, there are certain skills that employers look for in a networking specialist. The best networking specialists are agile and inquisitive, with natural troubleshooting abilities and a love for innovation. If you can relate, a network administration role might be the perfect career path for you!
What other skills do you need to succeed? Here are five characteristics that are essential for landing a career as a Cisco networking specialist:
1. Be enthusiastic about lifelong learning.
Computer networks are ever-evolving and increasingly complex. They require frequent updates to add new capabilities and ensure the organization is prepared for what’s to come. The ideal Cisco networking specialist is innately curious—someone who is always learning about new developments and ways to improve.
2. Thrive in a high-pressure work environment.
Great networking specialists are the type of people who thrive in a high-pressure work environment. Because networks are such a critical part of doing business for many companies, a problem with them can quickly become an emergency. For example, networking specialists have to work under pressure to quickly resolve system outages before significant time and money are lost.
3. Be ready to get creative with coding.
People who work in the networking field often write scripts to automate certain tasks and processes. Popular programming languages such as Python allow networking specialists to create programs that automate tedious tasks.
For example, you might write a script to automate everything from sending reminder emails and filling out online forms to updating spreadsheets and files.
4. Be handy with hardware and equipment.
It goes without saying that a Cisco networking specialist will come in frequent contact with computer hardware and equipment. Installing, configuring, and troubleshooting basic networking hardware are regular responsibilities for those in network administration roles—not to mention maintaining the security of those devices, which is a major challenge for many organizations.
5. Be excited to get certified.
Of course, even with the right soft skills and personality traits, potential employers are still likely to seek out certified networking specialists. According to IDC, 71 percent of information technology (IT) hiring managers feel that certifications increase confidence that candidates possess the relevant skills and knowledge. Networking certifications can help round out your resume and increase your earning potential.
Here are some of the most common networking certifications:
- Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) is perfect for those just starting out, demonstrating that a technician knows how to build a network, establish connectivity, and manage device security.
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching covers basic mitigation of security threats and offers an introduction to wireless networking concepts and terminology and performance-based skills.
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) shows that the individual can install, configure, and troubleshoot local and wide area networks for enterprise organizations.
- CompTIA Network+ recognizes an individual’s ability to describe the features and functions of networking components and to install, configure, and troubleshoot basic networking hardware and protocols.
Career training and certification can be an excellent path for anyone and can be applied immediately to find a job as a Cisco networking specialist. Whether you’re looking to reach the next level in your career or make the transition to a new one entirely, hands-on career training programs and certification courses are a great way to move forward and achieve your goals.
Contact us today to learn how you can hone your skills, stand out in the crowd, and become a highly qualified Cisco networking specialist.