Network Systems and Communications Analyst

DESCRIPTION
Network systems and communications analysts analyze, test, design and evaluate network systems (i.e. LAN, WAN, Internet and intranet) and perform network modeling, analysis and planning. They also research and recommend network communications hardware and software. Day to day tasks include server maintenance, system performance monitoring, problem diagnosis and assistance, user account setup, peripheral maintenance, equipment upgrades, user training and troubleshooting.

Generally, network systems and communications analysts should be knowledgeable in computers and electronics, the English language, telecommunications, mathematics, customer and personal service, administration and management, education and training, and engineering and technology. They need to possess originality, near vision, high written and oral comprehension levels, problem sensitivity, and category flexibility. The ability to listen and pay full attention, good judgment, a willingness and ability to learn, critical thinking and problem solving skills, and the ability to troubleshoot are all desired skills in a network sSystems and communications analyst. They should also be investigative and realistic, along with dependable, cooperative, able to tolerate stress and persistent. Being goal-oriented and independent are also highly important.

Network systems and communications analysts spend most of their time working in an office or laboratory. They generally work normal hours (40 hour work week) in a well-lit office and comfortable surroundings, however some weekend and evening work may be required in order to solve problems or meet deadlines. Telecommuting has enabled some network systems and communications analysts to work from locations outside of the office, such as the home, but some work will always be done in the office for security reasons. Network systems and communications analysts are, by the nature of their work, at an increased risk of developing health problems/annoyances such as eye string, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, back discomfort and wrist problems.

EMPLOYERS
Network systems and communications analysts are employed in all kinds of businesses, but most are employed in the following industries: wired telecommunications carriers, management of companies and enterprises, state government, computer systems design and related services, and management, scientific and technical consulting services. However, a growing number are employed on a contract or temporary basis, and are brought into a company for one project (such as installing a new server). Thus, an increasing amount of network systems and communications analysts are self-employed.

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
Most entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree, although some technical positions will accept an associate degree. Relevant work experience is also important. For network systems and communications analysts, most employers seek someone with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information science or management information systems (which are typically a part of the business school). Many technical and community colleges offer associate degrees in computer science and related fields, and a good number are geared more towards local businesses and their needs. These programs are also more occupation-specific than four-year programs. Continuing your education as a network systems and communications analyst is of the utmost importance. As technology is ever-changing, keeping current on new software, compatibility issues, etc. is a necessity. Many employers ask their network systems and communications analysts to earn certifications in various programs, which can be done through private companies, various organizations, and continuing education courses.

LINKS TO CAREER/INDUSTRY RESOURCES
Network and Computer Systems Administrator Career Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3kIfqDCY14
O*NET Online: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1142.00
O*NET OnLine: Network Systems and Communications Analysts: http://online.onetcenter.org/link/summary/15-1081.00
Software and Information Industry Association: http://www.siia.net/

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