4 answers

How do you end up being a network architect?

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4
100% of 4 Pros

4 answers

Nisha’s Answer

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Hi Lanasia,

A Network Architect's responsibility is to put together the overall design of a network. These Architects will usually communicate with customers about their networking needs and propose a solution that will "fit" and/or enhance their current IT environment. The Network Architect role is a higher level than my current role, which is Network Engineer. A Network Architect will need to have solid knowledge, skills, and understanding of the architecture that is relevant to the technology that he/she specializes in (for me, it is Voice Networking/VOIP).

There are different type of Network Engineers, so an architect is an advanced Engineer with expert level knowledge in that area of Network Engineering. This will come after many years of experience in the field. The Network Architect will design the solution, but the Engineer will build/implement it. The type of Engineer depends on what you would like to have expertise in : Data Center, Collaboration/Voice, Security (Firewalls), Servers, CyberSecurity, Routing & Switching.

To get started in IT Networking, I would recommend that you find a trade school or community college that offers courses in IT Networking. One of the best programs (the one that I went through) is the Cisco Network Academy. https://www.netacad.com/

Next steps after getting formal education in your desired area of networking, would be to acquire the IT Certification relevant to that area of networking. https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training-certifications/certifications.html

Final step is to secure a job as a Network Engineer and continue to progress with development of your skill set in order to reach the knowledge level of an architect.

I want you to know that you are not limited to only the Cisco brand. There are many other network vendors, but Cisco is a BIG one. There is a shortage of females in this field and we are high in demand. The salaries are awesome, but that can also depend on which industry you are working in (Public sector, government, private entity, etc).


Good luck to you!

Nisha recommends the following next steps:

  • Research Community Colleges that offer programs in IT Networking
  • Research certification programs in desired area of Networking
Thank you very much for this helpful information. Lanasia G. Translate
I agree with Nisha. It starts with a love of math. I learned hands-on (since the Internet didn't exist when I went to college) but then learned my specific "Subject Matter Expert" area (firewalls and traffic analysis) at the SANS Institute, paid for by a company generally when you show promise (since very expensive). At the least, read Network+, Security+, A+, (all fast reads) then CCNA. Once routing and switching are understood, start watching traffic, download WireShark and watch yourself surf the web. A "helpdesk" job can teach you a great deal as you troubleshoot network problems for other people. Suzi VanPatten Translate
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Eric’s Answer

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Network architects are more senior than network engineers and network engineers are more senior than network analysts. To become one, it's best to naturally progress through the profession.

I suggest starting out with education including certifications including CompTIA A+, Network+ and potentially Security+. Look for an entry level job as a NOC (Network Operations Center) analyst. This role involves substantial troubleshooting to diagnose problems usually around connectivity, access and availability. Help Desk is another place to start; however, those roles usually deal with a much wider swath of technical issues with a lot of desktop support. NOC analysts easily can progress to network engineers and then to that of an architect.

Architects need to understand large types of technologies and their inter-workings and relationships. Architects also need skill in documentation, communication and presentation ability as oftentimes they brief executives and/or may work directly with clients for sales opportunities and/or explaining root cause analysis.

My #1 advice, start small, grow, learn, advance - don't expect an architect role within the first 5-7 years of a career, it takes time to gain the necessary skill and experience.

Eric recommends the following next steps:

  • Certifications - A+, Network+, Security+
  • Find a help desk or network operations center position
  • Move up to engineer where you design and implement solutions
  • Advance to architect once the skill and experiences are there
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Gopal Prasad’s Answer

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Network Architect is senior level role which required to have good knowledge on routing/Switching technologies, IPv4 and IPv6 and with currently virtualization, automation and Software defined network, one should have understanding on software knowledge is added advantage.

Network Architect should also have understanding of overlay application going to be used in environment will be very important as this will help in designing or providing solution.

Career to get into networking start with network operation or network support and with knowledge and experience and of course one is looking into the career in technical field will be moved to a ladder in Architect Role.

There are some very good and advance level industry certification is available few to be named as CCIE or CCDE.
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Ragil’s Answer

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To become a computer network architect you need to have below qualities at present situation

Mandatory to have below :-
Expert level of knowledge in computer networking topics like IPv4 and IPv6 addressing , OSI model, Switching , routing ...etc
You should have at least 8 year of experience in networking and that should include network designing and planning .

As a Basic foundation , you should have below :-
A Graduation ( better to have this in IT or computer science) , Good communication and presentation skill

Its good to have below but not Mandatory:-
Vendor Certifications like CCIE or CCDE or CCAr..
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