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 Canada.
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 wi-fi (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)
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."
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
pros and cons of a computer networking career
Like any career, working in computer networking has its ups and down. Here's a look at some 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: Tedious troubleshooting
The job involves a lot of trying to figure out what went wrong, which can be 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: Strong demand
Computer networking pros have essential skills that are consistently in high demand. The Government of Canada Job Bank gives most provinces three stars for this field--its highest rating for projected outlook and growth.
And data from the Labour Market Information Council reveals that in the fourth quarter of 2021, job postings for network technicians were up 18 per cent compared to a year prior.
CON: Constant change
Ever-advancing 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 salaries across canada
The Job Bank says the median salary for network techs and administrators in Canada is about $66,000.
But that can vary depending on where you live. For instance, these four provinces all have median salaries that are higher than the national median:
☑️ Alberta: $77,500
☑️ Saskatchewan: $72,000
☑️ Ontario: $71,000
☑️ Manitoba: $70,000
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 competitive pay and plenty of opportunity for growth.
Your next step? Learn more about Computer Networking Technology training and get started on your diploma.
Learn more about Computer Networking Technology Training
Training takes no more than 14 months and includes preparation for leading networking certifications.
Need more details? Click below to learn more about Herzing’s programs and chat live with an admissions advisor. We’re here to help!