What exactly is computer networking? The term itself is broad because it is used to describe a number of devices and systems in various configurations and sizes.
The industry also includes many different career paths.
Organizations of all kinds rely on computer networks, from schools and hospitals to businesses and government agencies.
In this post, we’ll explore typical jobs in this field, pros and cons of a career in computer networking, and the latest job outlook and salary information for networking professionals in Ontario.
By the end, you’ll know what computer networking is all about and whether it’s a good career choice for you.
How does Computer Networking Work?
In basic terms, computer networking refers to devices and systems that are linked together to share information and resources.
These systems are connected by cables (wired) or WiFi (wireless). Networks are built using hardware and software and in different configurations depending on the needs of the users.
For example, a LAN (local area network) connects computers in a small space like an office or home, while a WAN (wide area network) can connect computers across continents.
As a networking professional, your job is to establish, operate, and maintain these networks. You might work for a company or organization that uses networking for daily operations.
Or you might be employed by an IT services company and contracted out to help various clients install and maintain their networks. More on job options next.
Types of computer networking jobs
The field of computer networking offers a great variety of positions, from entry-level to senior roles. Some of the most common job titles include:
☑️ Network Technician (helps to install, configure, and maintain computer networks)
☑️Technical Support Specialist (provides first-line technical support to users experiencing difficulties with computer applications, hardware, software, and network access)
☑️ Network Administrator (responsible for the entire network, including regular maintenance, optimization, network security, troubleshooting, and disaster recovery operations)
Like any career, working in computer networking has its ups and down. Here's a look at typical pros and cons of the industry.
PRO: Connecting with and helping people. Part of your job is helping clients understand difficult concepts and solve problems. This can be very rewarding and important work. Many organizations are totally reliant on computer networks, and truly appreciate the skilled professionals who help maintain them.
CON: The job involves a lot of troubleshooting, which can be tedious and time-consuming. It's great if you’re a natural problem-solver. But if you lack the patience and focus needed to fix complex issues, this career probably isn’t for you.
PRO: It’s a secure job with steady hours and good demand. Many network specialists have long careers with one company. As long as people keep using computers, computer networking experts will be in demand.
CON: Constantly changing technology means you’ll need to stay up-to-date with the latest systems and software. If you’re not interested in innovation and learning, you won’t be able to keep up.
Computer Networking Job Outlook in Ontario
Network Administrator and Technical Support Specialist are two of the most in-demand jobs in Canada. The Government of Canada Job Bank also predicts strong employment growth for computer networking occupations throughout Ontario.
At the time of writing, the Job Bank lists dozens of computer networking job openings in Ontario. The median wage is $32/hour. Examples include:
☑️ Computer Network Technician for a school division ($48,000/year)
☑️ Network Support Analyst for an IT solutions company ($32/hour)
☑️ Computer Network Technician for an undisclosed company ($24 to $34/hour)
☑️ Network Administrator for an IT services and consulting company ($32 to $34/hour)
☑️ Computer Network Technician for a post-secondary institution (salary N/A)
☑️ Network Administrator for a federal health organization ($51,000 to $66,700/year)
Meet a Recent computer networking graduate
Computer Networking graduate David Thibodeau says he landed the "perfect job" after graduating from Herzing’s Computer Networking Technology program.
Within a month of completing the program, he got hired as a technical support specialist at a sleep diagnostic company.
"By graduation, pretty much all of my classmates had found jobs. It was great seeing everyone secure a position. Everyone had jobs within a month or two....some even got hired before they finished the training."
David chose computer networking after doing some research and discovering it's one of the most in-demand fields in Canada.
"It's really important to study the employment forecast for the position you're going for. I found that computer tech is really booming, so I knew the training would be a good investment.”
Check out the full interview with David here: Meet David, Computer Networking Grad Who Landed the Perfect Job
important computer networking skills
Computer networking professionals need excellent technical knowledge combined with strong communication skills. Some of the fundamental skills you need to succeed in this role are:
☑️ Customer service
☑️ Clear communication, oral and written
☑️ Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure
☑️ Strong analytical and research skills
☑️ Ability to explain difficult concepts to users and provide training
☑️ Willing to continue learning and developing new skills
☑️ Proactive and independent problem-solver
Is computer networking a good career for you?
If you’re genuinely interested in IT and possess the skills listed above, computer networking could be your ideal career.
This is a challenging and fulfilling job with steady hours, plenty of opportunity for growth, and competitive pay.
Your next step? Learn more about Computer Networking Technology training and get started on your diploma.
Learn more about Computer Networking Technology Training
Herzing College offers a 12-month Computer Networking Technology diploma.
Training includes preparation for leading industry certifications, including COMPTIA (A+, Net+, and Linux+), MCP, MCTS, MCSA, MCSE and CCNA.
The cost of the A+ certification is included in the course.
Click below to explore the program and chat live with an Admissions Advisor. We're here to help!