Network Analyst

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A Network Analyst performs the analysis, configuration, installation, layout, and maintenance of an organization’s network components.

These individuals are also referred to as network engineers, network administrators, and network architects. Mostly, network analysts will need to work closely with programmers, the staff of information technology (IT) department, and designers to come out with a blueprint for computer systems, and are also responsible for training staff on how to use them properly.

Network Analysts have one of the fastest rising careers in the tech industry. They work with different industries and projects, such as retail, government, and healthcare, to name a few.

The responsibilities of network analysts are very crucial because they must look after the business as well as the technical sides. They have to identify the problems that arise in the business areas and rectify them with technical system-based solutions.

The essential functions they have to perform include planning, implementation, maintenance, and support for computer networks.

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Responsibilities

Analysts are involved in designing, improving, and deploying computer networks. They must install, configure, and upgrade system networks on a daily basis to ensure that they are functioning properly. They have to analyze and resolve the technical problems that may arise in the established network systems.

Network Analysts maintain network security, gather and analyze the data to detect issues efficiently. They will then troubleshoot and fix the misbehaving network related connections.

The job description of analysts also requires them to be responsible for using the latest and best possible technologies to develop and design the network systems. They need to perform maintenance and monitor data servers, mail servers, firewalls, routers, anti-virus systems, and security appliances, and so on.

Analysts also research and evaluate network infrastructures and make suggestions for purchasing of network equipment. They will also work to integrate the internet and phone systems at the help desk to make it convenient for the staff to handle inquiries better. Analysts monitor the installation of the networks and then test and assess to find out if they are functioning well. Following that, they train all personnel to make sure that they are properly used.

In addition to the above, analysts need to be responsible for safeguarding network and data security, must possess extensive knowledge of various applications, including switching, routing, spam filtering, web servers, server clustering, virtual private network (VPN), local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), internets, intranets, and many more. During critical times, they must work with vendors to resolve the acute problems of a network.

Included in their responsibilities are aiding in installing wireless networks, video surveillance, and all switches and routers of their organizations, among others. Analysts maintain other equipment needed for network ecosystems, such as printers and fiber/copper cabling. They prepare and evaluate statistics on utilization and availability of networks.

Analysts carry out planning activities for tuning and capacity to improve the network resources’ performance. They conduct product assessments of new or upgraded hardware and software.

Finally, an analyst needs to work with teams and work as per an organization’s policies and procedures.

Prospects for Network Analysts

Network Analysts are required in most industry verticals, such as e-commerce, defense, and utilities, among others. As their skill sets are in demand in most countries, they get opportunities to work on-sites abroad. Demand for computer network architects is predicted to increase six percent during the ten-year period 2016-2026, as organizations will look to grow their information technology (IT) networks continuously, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Education Qualifications and Other Requirements

The education requirement for a network analyst depends on the type and complexity of the job; for a low-profile associate degree, any relevant certificate is enough, but when applying for large organizations, bachelor’s degree is essential in a field related to computer science and information technology. If candidates possess a master’s degree, it adds value to them in the competitive market.

They have to have certifications, such as CCNA, CCNP or equivalent ones given one by Juniper or Microsoft. Besides, they should be conversant with different operating systems, Windows, LINUX, or macOS. Desirable for them is also to have experience with routing protocols like OSPF and BGP.

There is no entry-level position for a network analyst in any organization. First, they have to work as an associate, a technician, a help desk associate or a troubleshooter. After gaining three plus years of experience, they will be promoted as Network Analysts.

Salary

As network analysts gain experience, their wages increase considerably over time. The annual pay of a Network Analyst is $58,721 per year in the United States. If they freelance, they can earn about $23.04 on an average, according to payscale.com.

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