Magazine article The Elementary STEM Journal

21ST CENTURY SKILLS: COMMUNICATION: Computer Network Architect

Magazine article The Elementary STEM Journal

21ST CENTURY SKILLS: COMMUNICATION: Computer Network Architect

Article excerpt

introduction

Computer network architects design and build data communication networks, including Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), and intranets. Communication and technology skills are paramount in this particular career.

computer network architect

Computer network architects are involved with the process of building and designing networks for the purpose of communication. These networks include LANs, WANs, and intranets. These types of networks can be very large, spanning across the globe, or they can be very small, which could allow for communication between two offices. Individuals who work in this career are also involved with reviewing the amount of data being used amongst current computer networks. Based on this data usage, prediction models are developed to help determine the future needs of a communication network. Computer network architects are also involved with making sure communication networks are secure (U.S. Department of Labor, 2014).

becoming a computer network architect

A bachelor's degree in a computer-related field is typically required for employment as a computer network architect. These computer-related fields may consist of engineering, information systems, or computer science. A Master's of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems is highly desired for someone who wants to work as a computer network architect. Such a degree typically requires two years of coursework beyond the bachelor's degree. It is important to have several years' worth of information technology system experience prior to working as a computer network architect (U.S. Department of Labor, 2014).

pay and benefits for a computer network architect

The U.S. Department of Labor (2014) reports compensation facts current as of 2012 for computer network architects. The 2012 median pay was $91,000 per year. Salary.com (2014) reports the median annual salary for a computer network engineer IV as $99,311, or an hourly wage of $48.00 per hour. This reference indicated that bonuses, 401 k/403B, disability insurance, healthcare insurance, pension, and time off are typical benefits that accompany the base compensation, which brings the total compensation from $99,311 to $141,424 annually.

job outlook for a computer network architect

The U.S. Department of Labor (2014) reports job outlook facts current as of 2012 regarding computer network architects. The number of jobs in 2012 was stated as 143,400. The job outlook from 2012-2022 has a growth rate of 15%, which is faster than the average when compared to all occupations. The employment change from 2012-2022 is estimated at 20,900.

interview with Dr. Stephan Jones

Dr. Jones is Director of the Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS) at Ball State University (http://cms. bsu.edu/academics/collegesanddepartments/cics) and Professor of Information and Communication Sciences. CICS is located in the Ball Communications Building 221, Ball State University, 2000 University Avenue, Muncie, IN 47306.

What kinds of fun technology do computer network architects get to use?

"Computer network architects get to use a lot of cutting-edge things such as technology for military, security applications for retail stores, and designing networks that connect companies on a global footprint. …

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