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Occupation Details

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Network Engineer

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, electricians typically complete four years of training in order to perform the job.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€25k > 80 
Network Engineer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 - 80 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
Morgan McKinley / Brightwater / Sigmar

Last Updated: April, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Shortages are identified in the National Skills Bulletin 2016 for:

 Networking and infrastructure: networking engineer

-3%
Occupational Category

ICT Professionals N.E.C.

Also included in this category:

IT consultants; software testers; systems testers (computing); telecommunications planners

Number Employed:

8,000

Part time workers: 8%
Aged over 55: 4%
Male / Female: 83 / 18%
Non-Nationals: 31%
With Third Level: 90%
Return to List
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At a Glance... header image

Plans, designs, implements and troubleshoots computer networks.


The Work header image

Network engineers, also referred to as computer network architects, are responsibile for the planning, design, building, and operation of computer networks - the hardware, software, and servers that support the network.

The particular role of the Network Engineer is mainly to plan the network, they might also perform tasks such as deciding which types of hardware are needed, layout for data communication network design, and the types of security the network needs.

With today’s IT networks, management operations are mostly carried out by people. The new, emerging software-defined IT networks (SDNs) are going to change that by automating many processes to reduce human input and the mistakes that can be made.

With these changes, IT professionals will need new skills. They will be at the front lines where SDNs are designed, operated, and managed. They will also be implementing policies that increase performance and troubleshooting programs that go awry.

IT and network engineers will need to acquire a “systemic” mind-set aimed at integrating design and operations in data centers and telecommunications networks, as the border between the two domains blurs.

These engineers will be in charge of enabling successful SDN deployment.

Network engineers need new skills to develop new SDN tools, products, infrastructure, and applications:

  • Ability to incorporate know-how from traditional IT and network domains, which have grown independently of each other over the years but are now converging
  • An understanding of industrial mathematics, a branch of applied mathematics. Those with this knowledge will be better able to understand technical issues, formulate precise and accurate mathematical models, and implement solutions using the latest computer techniques. An understanding of this field will help in developing systems by applying machine learning and cognitive algorithms, which are expected to lessen the complexity and dynamic nature of SDNs.
  • A mastery of software architecture and open-source software, which is needed to develop SDN tools and applications. It will also be helpful to understand software verification and validation processes, which ensure that software meets specifications and fulfills its intended purpose. Some engineers assume they’ll need programming skills, but that’s not necessarily so, because software applications for SDNs from third parties are already available
  • A background in big-data analytics in order to understand how to handle the huge amounts of data expected from SDNs. Someone skilled in big-data analytics will not only be able to manage more data but also know the right questions to ask should problems arise. Such analytics will also help engineers make smart, data-driven decisions.
  • Expertise in cybersecurity, because security must be everywhere within SDNs. It needs to be built into the architecture and also must be delivered as a service to protect the availability, integrity, and privacy of connected resources and information. 
 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Adjust network sizes to meet volume or capacity demands.

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Communicate with customers, sales staff, or marketing staff to determine customer needs.

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Communicate with system users to ensure accounts are set up properly or to diagnose and solve operational problems.

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Coordinate installation of new equipment.

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Coordinate network operations, maintenance, repairs, or upgrades.

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Coordinate network or design activities with designers of associated networks.

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Design, build, or operate equipment configuration prototypes, including network hardware, software, servers, or server operation systems.

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Design, organize, and deliver product awareness, skills transfer, or product education sessions for staff or suppliers.

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Determine specific network hardware or software requirements, such as platforms, interfaces, bandwidths, or routine schemas.

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Develop and implement solutions for network problems.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

bullet

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

bullet

Interacting With Computers:  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

bullet

Thinking Creatively:  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

bullet

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

bullet

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

bullet

Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

bullet

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others:  Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

bullet

Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

bullet

Telecommunications:  Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

bullet

English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

bullet

Engineering and Technology:  Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

bullet

Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

bullet

Operations Analysis:   Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

bullet

Systems Analysis:   Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

bullet

Systems Evaluation:   Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

bullet

Quality Control Analysis:   Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

bullet

Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

bullet

Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

bullet

Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

bullet

Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

bullet

Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Entry Routesheader image

Network engineers often start out in technical support roles and then progress to the position of network engineer.

A Bachelor's degree is beneficial for career development and advancement. Relevant degree courses are available from most Institutes of Technology and a range of private colleges. Relevant subject areas include: Computer science, information technology, engineering and computer-related fields. 

Cisco and Microsoft offer advanced certification for professionals with extensive experience designing and managing computer networks.

Apprenticeship Route

FIT - ICT Associate Professional Network Engineer is a new IT apprenticeship-style (learn & earn) pathway to a career in the technology sector. FIT ICT AP is a ‘learning by doing’ format of ICT skills development which has been endorsed by the industry and government. This is a two-year programme during which candidates who are competent tech enthusiasts attain a Level 6 ICT and Professional Development Award. More

Last Updated: April, 2016


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Network Engineer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Network engineer - from:  GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

bullet

Organisation: Smart Futures
  Address: Discover Science & Engineering, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin, 2
  Tel: (01) 607 3171
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: Engineers Ireland
  Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 665 1300
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Industry Expert



Apprenticeship Information

Network Engineer

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Computers & ICT
Electrical & Electronic Engineering

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