Careers: Computer Networking

Computer networking is simply connecting one or more computers so that they “talk”to each other!

Of course one might wonder why computers would need to talk with each other. Computers connect to each other in order to facilitate transfer of information. For you to access this site, your computer or phone had to connect to our server which hosts the site. A server is just a powerful computer which allows other computers to connect and download information from it.

Not all information is transferred online over the internet. As an example: organisations will usually have an email server where all emails sent by/to employees are processed, your computer will then connect to that email server and send or download the emails belonging to you only. In fact emails are one of the major reasons why organisations network computers. In addition a network allows people to share documents and files by simply connecting to shared folders and placing the files there. In many cases this is more convenient than carrying a flash drive to someone, particular if they are far away from your office.

In general there are two types of networks:

·         Local Area Network (LAN): this links computers which are close together such as computers at a school or in one building. The linking is usually performed via Wi-Fi or Ethernet cables.

·         Wide Area Network (WAN): this connects computers which are far away from each other. Such computers can be in different cities, countries or continents. The internet is a good example of a WAN.

Some of the jobs in the area of Computer Networking include:

·         Network Engineers: These are specialists who design and maintain a network. This means they should be knowledgeable about the software and hardware components required to achieve the task at hand. Often they will have an academic qualification and then certifications such as those offered by CISCO, A+, N+, Microsoft amongst others

·          Network Security Engineer: focus on designing, implementing network security policies. In an age where hackers are constantly stealing information from organisations, this job is a necessary role in many high profile organisations. There are many specialist certifications which focus on security implementations and security audits

·         Network Administrators: focus on the day to day running of a network