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How to build a career in IT networking

By Fi Darby | 03 July 2019

More and more Australians are recognising the excellent prospects that a career in IT networking can offer. Computer networks are at the core of most Australian businesses. 

With increased globalisation, the growing importance of data and the infiltration of artificial intelligence into our work systems, demand is set to increase. 

The good news is that there are jobs out there for those willing to gain IT networking qualifications. How exactly can you find your way into this complicated industry? We take a look and answer your questions.

IT networking career questions

  1. What first steps should I take to get into network engineering?
  2. What pathways are available in IT networking?
  3. What are the career prospects in IT networking?
  4. What skills are required for IT networking jobs?
  5. How can I find IT networking jobs?
  6. Is there room for progression in IT networking?

1. What first steps should I take to get into network engineering?

There can be no doubt that network engineers are highly trained specialists. Some people might find this off-putting but this title covers a range of jobs and gaining qualifications is easier than you think. Many people put off training because they think it might not fit into their busy schedules and existing careers. 

Flexible online learning has solved this problem and offers access to a surprising range of technical qualifications. Although most companies are looking for candidates with a computer based Bachelor degree, the steps towards IT networking qualifications start at Certificate level and are easy and affordable to take. 

Once you have started one of Upskilled’s IT courses online, you may be able to take your first career steps and perhaps get into a junior networking role.

2. What pathways are available in IT networking?

woman IT specialist

Once you have gained some experience in a junior IT networking role, it can be helpful to talk to colleagues and advisors about the different network engineering paths that are available. You might want to work for a specific company or have an interest in a certain technology. 

With such a variety of paths available, the chances are that you will be able to tailor your qualifications and ongoing experience to suit your career goals.

3. What are the career prospects in IT networking?

For those with an interest in IT networking, the job prospects are good. The job role of computer network professionals is one of Australia’s largest occupations and is expected to show continued growth in the years to 2023. 

With approximately 3,400 job openings a year expected in the next few years, there is going to be plenty of choice for those with relevant qualifications. IT networking covers a broad range of industries and offers interesting career opportunities. Job roles are varied and include network engineer, network security specialist and systems administrator.

4. What skills are required for IT networking jobs?

skills concept

Computer network professionals need to have a unique mixture of specific and personal skills. A detailed knowledge of computers and telecommunications is essential with certain vendor specific skills being highly sought after. 

Upskilled’s ICT40418 - Certificate IV in Information Technology Networking includes vendor specific training and delivers a range of ICT skills, as well as key training in network security and network and data integrity. This course is suitable for those looking to work as network support technicians and in similar roles. 

For those requiring a higher level of knowledge in ICT networking in order to further advance their career, Upskilled’s ICT50418 - Diploma of Information Technology Networking can be recommended. This flexible online course includes learning content for some key Microsoft certifications and has been designed for those wishing to move up the career ladder and gain higher-level employment.

IT networking careers often require a high level of customer contact. This means that IT professionals with excellent customer and personal service are sought after. Other personal skills for this profession include a passion for learning, good communication skills and problem solving ability. A positive job outlook is also important in IT networking careers, as is a flexible attitude towards industry and development. 

5. How can I find IT networking jobs?

Traditional recruitment websites such as Indeed and Seek are a great way to get a feel for the IT networking jobs market. It is also a good idea to keep a close eye on the recruitment pages of any organisations that interest you. 

Top Australian IT companies for employee satisfaction include Telstra, InfoTrack and SAS. If you are still in the early stages of taking IT networking courses, it might be a good idea to consider a role that will lead to your ideal role. This tactic can work particularly well in a larger organisation where there will be more promotion prospects available.
As recruiters seek out exceptional talent, they select a range of methods to find and recruit new staff. A huge percentage of jobs are never advertised in traditional ways. This hidden job market can be tricky to access, particularly if you don’t do any significant networking. 

Engaging with people who work in the IT network field or in organisations that interest you can help you find out about these hidden job opportunities. Networking through social media, professional associations or voluntary work are also great ways to get yourself known and respected.

6. Is there room for progression in IT networking?

As with any career, the key to progression in the IT industry is a combination of quality work experience and ongoing qualifications. If you want to impress and find IT networking jobs that really suit your skills, you need to do two things. The first of these is to build a portfolio of diverse experiences to showcase your talent. The second is to demonstrate your commitment to progression and learning by studying for key qualifications. 

By studying IT networking courses online, you can fit learning in around your existing work and family obligations. Upskilled’s ICT50118 & ICT50418 - Dual Diploma of IT and IT Networking is a good example of related qualifications that will help you achieve your goals. 

Studied over 12-months and including several vendor specific training elements, this course is suitable for those interested in job roles such as network security specialist and network security engineer. Upskilled’s dual qualifications allow you to graduate in two related subjects in a time-effective manner and with reduced costs. In the case of the ICT50118 & ICT50418 - Dual Diploma of IT and IT Networking you will gain skills in both network management and ICT support.

Want to study IT networking course online?

Upskilled is one of Australia’s largest Registered Training Organisations (RTO) and offers a wide range of information technology courses. Most Upskilled courses take around 12 months to complete. This 12-months of flexible learning could help significantly improve your skills and knowledge levels. 

It will also help open up career options that you might not have previously considered. With a wide range of courses, Upskilled has something for everyone. Start searching today and find out more about how online study can benefit you, your employees and your career.
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