Computer networking is one of the hottest fields around.
Companies have long relied on computer networking experts to build, maintain, and support the digital systems that keep employees and customers connected.
But with the enormous shift to remote work during the pandemic, the demand for networking professionals really took off.
In fact, computer networking careers are some of the fastest-growing roles in Canada, according to market research by Randstad.
So what kinds of jobs exist in this field? Where could you start out as a total beginner, and what opportunities are there to advance your career?
Keep reading to explore 5 different computer networking careers, entry-level and beyond!
Computer Networking Career #1: TECHNICAL SUPPORT SPECIALIST
A technical support specialist role is one of the most common starting points for computer networking program grads.
Also known as help desk technicians, tech support specialists assist customers or staff members whose computer systems aren't working properly.
They respond to phone calls and online messages about failed logins, dropped network connections, printer problems, slow Internet, hardware and software issues, and more.
The goal is to resolve problems quickly and efficiently so users can get back on track.
Salary: According to the Government of Canada Job Bank, the median salary for user support technicians in Montreal is roughly $53,000. The top techs in the city earn more than $91,000.
Canada-wide, the median salary is about $62,000. The high end is $100,000. There is definitely room to grow in this role!
Computer Networking Career #2: NETWORK TECHNICIAN
This is another popular entry-level computer networking career.
Network technicians set up and maintain the physical infrastructure for both local and wide area networks.
They install, configure, and repair everything from routers and switches to cables and servers.
They also back up data, carry out security updates, troubleshoot issues, and look for ways to improve network performance.
Salary: PayScale says network technicians in Montreal have median earnings of about $43,000. The highest-paid techs in the city make $55,000 or more.
Across all of Canada, the median network technician salary is $51,000 and the top end is $68,000.
Computer Networking Career #3: NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR
The role of a network administrator is very similar to that of a network technician. In fact, the two job titles are often used interchangeably.
But there can be some important differences.
Administrators can do all the same things as technicians. But they tend to have additional tasks like managing network access, planning for future capacity, researching network improvements, and optimizing security.
A computer networking course will prepare you to start out as a network technician or junior network administrator.
Certifications like the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) can help you move into more senior roles.
Salary: According to PayScale, network administrators in Montreal make a median salary of $60,000. The top earners take home around $77,000.
Network admins across Canada earn $60,000 as a median, and about $80,000 at the high end.
Computer Networking Career #4: NETWORK SECURITY SPECIALIST
Also known as information security analysts, network security specialists are in charge of protecting an organization's data and systems.
Their job is to stay ahead of the hackers by looking for system vulnerabilities and plugging any holes before they can be exploited.
Network security specialists install security controls, monitor network activity, create disaster recovery plans, and investigate breaches.
This is a more advanced role that may require additional training or cybersecurity certifications.
It's quite common for a network technician or network administrator to advance into a security role over time.
The truth is, almost any role in IT and networking requires some knowledge of cybersecurity.
Salary: PayScale data shows that information security analysts in Montreal earn around $60,000 as a median salary. The top earners make $87,000 or more.
Across Canada, the median salary for network security specialists is about $70,000 and the high end is $94,000.
There is massive demand for cybersecurity professionals in Canada and worldwide, so it's an excellent way to advance your computer networking career.
Computer Networking Career #5: NETWORK CONSULTANT
Network consultants are paid to design or improve a company's computer network.
They can develop new networks from scratch, come up with an emergency fix, or recommend ways to expand or boost the performance of an existing network.
For every new project, they analyze a company's networking needs and create a plan that fits the organization's budget and goals.
They then oversee implementation, testing, and maintenance.
Most network consultants gain experience as technical support specialists or network administrators before moving into consulting.
Salary: The Job Bank says IT consultants in Montreal have median earnings of about $83,000. The highest-paid consultants make $119,000 and up.
Median earnings Canada-wide are roughly $82,000, with the top consultants making as much as $120,000.
Consulting can be a really interesting way to evolve your computer networking career. You'll get to work with a variety of organizations, solve different kinds of technical challenges, and learn many new skills along the way.
How do you start A COMPUTER NETWORKING CAREER?
Your first step is to develop the cutting-edge skills today's employers need. That means taking a quality computer networking training course.
There are several options out there, from certificates to university degrees.
At Herzing College, we offer computer networking diplomas at all our campuses, including Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Montreal.
The Networking program at Herzing College Montreal is popular among both local and international students. This course can be completed in 15 - 24 months, and includes a 3-month internship for real work experience.
Our students get hands-on training in installing, optimizing, maintaining, and securing computer networks. They also prepare for key networking certifications like CCNA and CompTIA.
Herzing networking graduates have landed roles with Jesta I.S., DMS Consulting, Group Access, Michael Kors, and other companies throughout Canada.
Click below to learn more about the networking program and chat live with an Admissions Advisor. We're here to help!