Summary: A network manager is the person who oversees a company’s entire computer network system. The purpose of a network is to allow a company’s staff to share access to records, documents and files instantly, which would otherwise make the retrieval of these files time consuming. The network also enables user access to computer systems, email programs or the internet as well as print documents from any department. Network managers set up localized networks or international networks via satellite linkage.
Duties: Network managers design network and install network systems then troubleshoot them if there are any bugs encountered. They create back up data and make sure they are stored safely and retrievable as needed. A network manager also creates a recovery plan for worst-case scenarios like virus infiltration and physical destruction of the system. They maintain integrity of these systems by setting up firewalls, passwords and fail safe mechanisms against hackers and unauthorized users. Network managers formulate system records, train and advise technical people working on the network. They are responsible for developing or analyzing budgetary costs.
Education and Training Requirements: Most employers hire network managers who own bachelor degrees in computer science. For entry level positions, an associate degree in computer science have a degree may suffice. Some acquire this position through experience, beginning as trainee network managers, then moving up the ladder though experience and acquiring the expertise to become a qualified network manager. Training is on the job. Continuous education is mandatory as new forms of network systems, security and protocols are being created constantly.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: Apart from sharp technical IT skills, network managers needs to acquire good communication and people skills. They must be good team players but also able to work independently, are leaders, are meticulous and precise, have good budgeting skills and have the ability to manage projects.
Working Conditions: Network managers work on regular office schedule. Overtime may be required when installing and testing new systems or upgrading, which could involve weekend work and evenings. They need to be on call when unforeseen issues crop up like network outages or failures. They work in an office setting in a quiet and comfortable environment. Some traveling may be required and casual dressing is often the norm.
Salary: The median salary of network managers is $74,000. Benefits come in profit sharing, bonuses, healthcare and pension and paid leaves. Some companies offer car and vacation plans.