How to Become a Network Engineer?
Every large and small organization has its IT team, and network engineers are a crucial part of this team as well as the company. With every passing year, the paradigm of this profession is evolving, and today we can witness this industry as the hub of new technologies and employment opportunities. If you have a strong interest in technology and problem-solving, becoming a network engineer might be the perfect career path for you. In this blog, we will guide you on how to become a network engineer and embark on a fulfilling journey in the field of networking.
Network engineers play a crucial role in designing, implementing, and maintaining the complex infrastructures that enable seamless communication and data exchange in today’s interconnected world. From building secure and reliable networks to troubleshooting connectivity issues, network engineers are at the forefront of ensuring efficient and optimized network operations. So, before discussing how to become a network engineer, let’s first find out what is a Network Engineer?
What is a Network Engineer?
A network engineer or a team of Network Engineers is a group of technical professionals meant to set up high-level network infrastructures to carry out smooth communication and connection in terms of wireless network services such as data, voice, and video.
These professionals implement, configure, administrate, troubleshoot networks and ensure the integrity of the network infrastructure with their expertise in networking. They are highly skilled at planning, designing, and managing different types of networks. Now that you know what a network engineer is. Here is the Network Engineer job description for you to read.
The Job description of a Network Engineer is as follows,
- They are required to provide necessary hardware and software tools for efficient, rapid, secure connection and communication across different areas.
- To offer support to network users such as staff, clients, customers, or suppliers.
- To troubleshoot every network problem.
- Some network engineers are also involved in network design.
- To ensure the integrity of the network infrastructure.
- They ensure the security of an entire network system.
How to Become a Network Engineer?
A network engineer is one who understands the inside out of a computer network system, hardware infrastructure, and other related systems. So, the industry demands a professional with specialization courses that could validate their skills.
So, one must strategize the whole process of learning, find their speciality and then they could bag a network engineer job position for themselves. Here are the steps to become a network engineer that one can follow –
5 easy steps to become a Network Engineer in 2023
1. Start with Cisco’s Associate-Level Certification Training:
The core responsibility of a network engineer is to work beforehand to find the problem and work after to find the problem’s solution. Here, having on-tip networking fundamentals skills helps, and this is when the evergreen CCNA comes into play. Even though the CCNA exam by Cisco got recently updated to CCNA 200-301, the course content is pretty much the same, along with an addition to the overview of automation & programmability.
Engineers interested in automation can take CCNA DevNet training (a recent addition to the associate level certification by Cisco) and learn the fundamentals of software development and design for Cisco platforms.
2. Learn Automation:
Automation is taking over the network industry. Today, no network engineer desires to spare their minute doing the repetitive and manual task that ends up having multiple errors. Even organizations believe that they can save money, time, and resources better when their network is automated. That leaves network engineers with no choice but to learn automation rather than depending on a team of developers to write them a script.
With the Cisco DevNet track introduction, the network automation learning path is quite clear. Starting from associate to professional (DEVCOR 350-901) and professional to expert, each certification level discusses automation from basic to its depth. That lets network engineers achieve expert knowledge and proficiency in network automation, programmability, and secure automation tools.
3. Work with recent technologies:
The only alternative for enterprises/businesses/industries to walk hand-in-hand with digitization is implementing the latest technologies to their network and working on them.
Cisco, no doubt, has covered the latest technologies like SDN (Software-Defined Networking) in its certifications such as ACI, SD-Access, SD-WAN, and DevNet, on which Datacenter managers and network managers must focus.
- Cisco SD-WAN:
Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is on the top of the list.
Traditional network result in poor user application experience as the abundant cloud traffic causes management complexity, application-performance unpredictability, and data vulnerability. SD-WAN offers bandwidth and ensures high-performance levels for critical applications without sacrificing security or data privacy.
Network Engineers can learn SD-WAN technology and its designing, deployment, configuration, and management from ENSDWI 300-415 / Cisco SD-WAN training.
- ACI (Application-Centric Infrastructure):
After small to large businesses, it was data centers that needed agility & resiliency, and ACI provided the same by simplifying, optimizing, and expediting the application deployment lifecycle.
Today, network engineers are learning to broker, connect, build, and govern their networks with ACI across a vast multi-cloud landscape to meet the increased demands on the network for speed and agility.
The recommended ACI training by Cisco is DCACI 300-620.
4. Gain advanced networking training:
Advanced networking training is the next logical step that comes after gaining expertise with the CCNA certification. You can still find people suggesting you learn the most popular CCNP Routing and Switching, but the fact is it got replaced with CCNP enterprise. And this professional-level under enterprise track has much more advanced networking skills to offer.
The most demanded Cisco certifications under enterprise track are:
5. Find a training program that guarantees you a job:
The final and most crucial step in becoming a Network Engineer is finding yourself a reliable institute that offers you training and guarantees you a job.
Here, we would like to recommend PyNet Labs’ 100% job guarantee program for freshers and experienced professionals. Isn’t it interesting to have a team of professionals training you, guiding you through each interview step, and finally getting you placed in the company or package you deserve? Yes, it is. And the best part is you get training according to your skills and experience.
If you are a fresher –
You will have the following Cisco certifications training one by one within one program by PyNet Labs.
- CCNA 200-301
- CCNP ENCOR 350-401
- CCNP ENARSI 300-410
- Python for Network Engineers + CCNA DevNet (DEVASC 200-901)
- AWS Basic
- Spoken English
- Resume Writing
- Realtime Networking Tools
Similarly, the experienced professionals seeking Network Engineer jobs can learn following Cisco courses,
- CCNP ENCOR
- Basic to Advance SD-WAN
- Python for Network Engineers + CCNA DevNet
- Ansible Basics
- AWS Basics
- Spoken English
- Resume Writing
- Realtime Networking Tools
So, these are the steps that you can follow to become a Network Engineer.
Is networking a good career?
Everybody is stuck with the same question before opting for a career in networking, Is networking a good career? In the times we live in, everyone is hooked to a network – exploring, sharing, communicating, storing, and doing whatnot with information and data. Behind all this, there is network engineering and network engineers who work to improve users’ experience. Every field, from medicine to banking, insurance to education, needs network engineers to take their network through technological advancement and to be able to communicate with their peers over a secure connection.
All these requirements highlight the demand for a Network Engineer; in fact, it’s the most responsible position one can have in an organization. So, one with the skill and potential to work with recent technologies and enhance an organization’s working can take this job role.
Skills that stands you out of the rest.
- Since there is this massive gap between the workforce without the required recent technological skills and the workforce ready for the position, one with the right skillset can stand out and have more probable chances to get a higher salary range.
- Talking about educational background, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field of computer science or any other related field can work to become a Network Engineer.
- Also, an aspiring engineer dedicated to upskilling in the latest technologies like cloud computing network security can have endless possibilities of growth in the network engineering career path.
But what qualifications one must seek to become a sound Network Engineer? Let’s understand this first.
What qualifications do you need to be a network engineer?
Network engineering is a profession that could shape your future better than you could have imagined. But first thing first, which is improving your technical and communication skills. Like experience matters in every field, having fundamental networking skills, analytical skills, and spoken English matters for a network engineer.
Therefore, besides your education qualifications, a network engineer must focus on having,
- Comprehensive understanding of the Foundation of Networking
Before applying for Network Engineer job roles, prioritize having rock-solid knowledge about the IT industry. As long as you have an in-depth understanding of the basics, you can face whatever comes next.
- Acquire programming skills
Today we use programming in every bit and byte. Whether you seek to become a Network Engineer, software developer, or anything else, the skill of a few programming languages could give you some extra points on your resume.
- Advance your soft skills/communication skills
Soft skills are an essential part of any job role or profession, and when your job role includes tasks like supporting staff, clients, customers, or a supplier regularly, then smooth conversation skill becomes the foremost need. And not just communication skills, a network engineer should have time management skills, documenting skills, creative skills, and multi-tasking skills.
- Stay current with the latest technologies.
It’s been a long time since networking has been practiced, and with every passing year, new technologies are replacing the older ones. No books are enough to stay updated and technically sound with the latest technologies. So one must find a community of people or social groups to discuss issues, debate on topics, and everything. Taking on extra learning besides just networking courses will help learners to broaden their perspectives and reach their goals sooner.
Network Engineer Salary
To motivate you better, look at the Network Engineer’s salary Based On skillset, Company, and Location.
Networking jobs Salary based on a skillset in India
The networking jobs salary in India based on skillset ranges from 3 lac to 6 lac.
|Skills||Average Base Pay/year (in INR)|
|WAN Networking Skills||₹590,000|
|Switches & Firewall Installation and Administration Skills||₹379,638|
|Switching and Routing Skills||₹348,643|
|Network Design Skills||₹642,642|
Network Engineer salary by Top Technical Giants
The Network engineer salary by some of the top tech. giants are as follows:
|Company||Average Base Pay/year (in INR)|
|Cisco System Inc||₹884,372|
|HP Enterprises Services||₹800,000|
|AT & T Inc.||₹731,500|
|IBM India Pvt. Ltd.||₹540,449|
|Tata Consultancy Services||₹530,000|
|Tech Mahindra Ltd.||₹425,000|
Network Engineers Salary in India based on Top Cities
This table shows the network engineer’s salary in India across different cities.
|Location||Average Base Pay/year (in INR)|
|Bangalore, Karnataka||₹302k – ₹1m|
|Mumbai, Maharashtra||₹245k – ₹650k|
|Chennai, Tamil Nadu||₹294k – ₹900k|
|Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh||₹261k – ₹800k|
|Gurgaon, Haryana||₹252k – ₹1m|
|Ahmedabad, Gujarat||₹180k – ₹592k|
|Chandigarh||₹141k – ₹450k|
|Indore, Madhya Pradesh||₹117k – ₹500k|
These are the salaries a network engineer can get after successfully completing their training.
How long does it take to become a network engineer?
After completing your graduation, it takes around 3 to 4 months of training to become a network engineer. However, if someone takes the new route, i.e., Job Guarantee Courses, it can be achieved much faster. It mainly depends on person’s learning ability and how many interviews they take.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1 – What qualifications do you need to be a network engineer?
As of 2023, the qualifications one needs to become a network engineer are as follows –
- Knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
- Programming skills
- Communication Skills
- Graduation in any stream
- Staying Current to latest technologies
Q2 – How many years does it take to become a network engineer?
Since most network engineer jobs require a bachelor’s degree, it will take around 3 years to become a network engineer. You can actually prepare for a network engineer job role in the last year of your graduation, which will help you become a network engineer fast.
Q3 – How do I start learning to be a network engineer?
To start learning to be a network engineer, begin by gaining a solid understanding of networking fundamentals, such as TCP/IP protocols, network architectures, and routing protocols. Explore online resources, enroll in networking courses, and consider earning certifications like CCNA to enhance your knowledge and credibility in the field.
Q4 – Is network engineer an it job?
Yes, network engineer is an IT job that focuses on designing, implementing, and maintaining computer networks to ensure efficient and secure communication and data exchange within an organization.
In this blog, we have discussed how to become a network engineer in 5 easy steps. In conclusion, embarking on the path to becoming a network engineer offers a world of possibilities in the IT industry. By acquiring a strong foundation in networking concepts, pursuing relevant certifications, and gaining hands-on experience, you can set yourself up for success in this dynamic field. Remember to continuously update your skills and stay abreast of emerging technologies to remain competitive.