It is common knowledge that networking could be one of the most important things you can you for your career development. This is true on both levels: Not only is it useful to remain linked into a network of professionals in your field, the high-tech profession of networking is becoming... a fast-growing career in many industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of network and computer systems administrators is expected to grow a whopping 23 percent through 2018.* This growth is testament to the increasing importance of networks within businesses, which are integrating new technologies like mobile communications, as well as new security measures against data breaches.
Thanks to the "anytime, anywhere" multimedia format of online certification and training programs, busy working students can now pick up the techniques to join or enhance their current career in Information Technology (IT). The beauty of a career in networking is that it rarely pigeonholes its professionals or students. The breadth and depth of curriculum is such that the array of choices is endless, translating to an equally wide selection of career titles that motivated, qualified professionals may later pursue: Entry-level positions such as support specialists, as well as senior network management and executive IT management positions.
Broadly speaking, networking refers to a group of computers or devices that are securely connected and in communication with each other. In real-world terms, what this means is that our global economy relies on this interconnectivity for many functions, such as streamlining operations, managing or sharing massive amounts of corporate data, and doing business with other businesses. Networking's wide range of functionality means that courses are equally varied. For example, a degree in network administration and security could position you to become a problem-solving asset in organizations that rely on maximum "uptime" and minimal incidents that require user support of networks. In this case, students may learn how to design, install, configure and maintain enterprise-wide networks. That includes learning operating systems, networking security protocols, wide area networking, as well as public and private network interfacing.
With the pace of change in today's IT and networking world moving so quickly, most certification and training programs are designed so that students can get the insider's scoop without the hassle of commuting. One topic of focus may be the internal and external security threats against today's networks, as well as tools for security and disaster recovery.
Specializing in networks could be a valuable asset in a world where the Internet and privately-owned intranets and extranets keep everyone connected. In all kinds of industries, employers demand qualified networking technicians to install, deploy maintain, manage, repair and secure complex network systems. For example, the fast-growing healthcare industry needs qualified networking professionals to design systems to manage patient records and to run certain medical processes.
* The preceding information was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) online resource, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition," available at: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos305.htm#outlook
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