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How to get a network engineer job: Tips, life hacks, examples

Are you looking for tips & tricks on how to get a network engineer job? Here are some useful hacks to make your job hunt easier.

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Maybe you quit your job or were laid off. Perhaps you have moved to a new city or just graduated. Regardless of the circumstances that caused you to join in the job-hunting process, there is no denying that a job search is a full-time job. Whether you are a fresh graduate or someone who has been in the market for years, job hunting is tough. Therefore, to avoid unnecessary job search challenges, this article will help you make the right career choice. 

If you are planning to become a network engineer, there is good news for you. Network engineers are in high demand. The IT industry is growing at full pace, and most companies are investing in newer and faster technology. The result is an increased demand for professional network engineers. Multiple other reasons encourage a new generation to become network engineers, including competitive salaries, big companies, or simply to work with great technology. In other words, once you get into the IT field, the sky’s the limit.

But then again, always remember, it is not easy to start a career as a network engineer in this competitive environment. Every candidate has additional certifications in the relevant field. So to help you begin your career as a network engineer, we have listed some tips and hacks that will surely make a difference.  

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1. Network Engineer Certifications

The first and the best way to get a job as a network engineer is to do some self-study. Try to get your hands on vendor certifications such as CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate), but before appearing for such certification tests, prepare yourself. You will not pass such certifications without preparation, and those who have attempted these tests know the difficulty level.

For the CCNA test, the candidate is evaluated based on practical knowledge. To pass the CCNA test, we recommend preparing by using different books on CCNA. You can find books online; there is no need to pay for them. Besides, try to take online practice exams, since these questions can be tricky, you will become familiar with their complexities.

2. Get a Handle on the Basics of Networking 

You must have heard this very famous saying, “Rome was not built in a day.” It fits with network engineer jobs as well. Completing your certification in a relevant field does not guarantee your dream job. If you really want to become a professional and work for a reputable company, master networking skills. Companies do not consider candidates with few skills or a lack of basic knowledge in this fast-paced world.

So, to get hired at the position you have always dreamed of, develop an understanding of networking fundamentals. Most importantly, to call yourself a specialist, you must know how things work. For your convenience, we have listed some basic concepts of networking: 

  • LANs/WANs
  • Topologies
  • Router/Switches / Hubs
  • OSI Model
  • Transmission Modes
  • Firewalls
  • Application Protocols
  • IP Addresses
  • Network Security

3. Complete Necessary Education Requirements

Before getting a network engineer job with no experience, it is highly recommended that the candidate first completes their bachelor’s degree before applying for the role. However, it should be into the relevant field you are planning to pursue. Besides, a degree in computer science & systems engineering would be a plus and add value to your professional background. 

To get a job as a network engineer, most companies prefer applicants with a master’s or bachelor’s degrees as per the position level. There are many different schools to choose from that offer degree programs related to network engineering, and with this degree, you may earn additional certifications. Not only this, but qualified candidates also get an edge over the non-qualified applicant and more easily get hired. 

Along with the proper educational requirements, it is vital to have a catchy cover letter with an updated resume. View a network engineer cover letter and find some good examples.

4. Explore the IT Industry

Completing the necessary educational requirements will get your foot in the door, but it is not enough to get a network engineering job. You must earn IT experience to become a network engineer. First, build a networking foundation. It could be a help desk or maybe entry-level IT support. In this manner, you quickly develop the fundamental skills that you need during your practical work. Not only this, but most companies prefer candidates who have experience in the IT industry so they can save on their training costs.

It is better to start with an internship program or entry-level job. Many people do not realize the value they gain from an internship program. So they usually refuse to work as an intern. With internship programs, you can learn about the setup & installation of network systems and many other operations under experienced professionals’ guidance.

You may also opt for the following entry-level networking jobs:

  • Network Technician
  • Network Analyst
  • Network Operations Associate 
  • Technical Support Engineer

Try to get connected with small business ventures that are looking for fresh network engineers. If you are not comfortable working with new people, volunteer to work for your friends. There is a possibility that you may get the chance to work with a reputable company, or maybe they can get you connected with a team of specialists.

5. Identify the Career Path

After getting your hands-on relevant experience in the IT field, identify your career path. Network engineering positions and career opportunities vary widely depending on the company, technology, and industry. Once you decide your career path, it will become easy for you to look for opportunities and new job openings. However, if you are a newbie just starting, here is a list of networking jobs:

  • Network Administrator
  • Network Specialist
  • Network Manager
  • Network Technician
  • Network Analyst
  • Network Solutions Architect
  • Network Engineer

6. Specialize Networking Role

You can specialize further in your career path to be more specific. Not only this, but your specialization will also narrow down your job search, and the whole process will become more comfortable for you. However, roles range from security & cloud specializations, including cloud network architect, network security specialist, to VoIP engineer & wireless networking quality assurance. If you are unsure what to choose, reach out to another professional network engineer or senior level network engineer for advice.

7. Apply to Giant Networking Firms

After having adequate knowledge, certification, experience, and exposure apply to more prominent firms. Make a list of network companies that you are willing to work with and visit their website to determine eligibility criteria and other requirements. Keep in mind that you may not get a job immediately after sending your CV. The hiring process is lengthy, so be patient. In addition to this, getting hired at a larger firm may not be your final destination. Look for a job that offers you the opportunity to move up to higher positions, such as Chief Technology Officer (CTO), network manager, and others.

Wrapping It Up!

Network engineering is an exciting yet challenging field. But it requires a lot of hard work, knowledge, certifications, and experience. It is not easy to get a relevant job in this industry. And if you are lucky enough to get a job as a network engineer, keep yourself updated on new trends and developments. Also, continue developing your networking skills, work on as many different projects as possible, and build a connection with engineers and vendors to boost your career opportunities and stay competitive.

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