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How to become a computer network architect: Full Guide for Students

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  • 5 min read

The IT industry is a hotspot for a vast number of opportunities. However, network architecture is one of the most sought-after. Businesses need computer networks to maintain their competitive advantage in this modern age. Big companies and start-ups rely on them to design communication solutions that solve operational needs.

It is a good idea to start moving towards this position while still in college. One should take all the possible extra courses and classes. If you are swamped with your tasks, delegate them to professionals, tell them: write papers for me with PapersOwl, and do not worry about that. Instead, concentrate on the most important thing: improving your technical skills and earning valuable experience. Also, take into consideration the following ideas.

What does a computer network architect do – roles and responsibilities

A network architect designs and develops new networks for computers. A certified network associate facilitates the transmission and sharing of digital data by building data routes for small interoffice connections to large and modern solutions like cloud infrastructure with multiple institutions. The architect or engineer links operating systems and allows people to share and receive information seamlessly. He also supports software behind an organization’s internet browser, email, memory, and other IT functions.

Below are the expected roles of a network architect:

  • Data transmission route planning and layout, including LAN
  • Decide the services needed to support the computer connection
  • Evaluate and redesign security protocols
  • Decide cable layout within the building
  • Support computer structure with hardware and software upgrades
  • Research new technologies to support future organizational growth
  • Design, develop, and implement computer networking models with a complex program
  • Oversee network structure and implement security initiatives.

What do you need to become a network architect?

You need a combination of formal education, work experience, and certification for a job as a network architect. Let us examine them below:

1. Education Qualification

The educational requirements for the network architect role vary from one position to another. However, the fundamental requirement is a bachelor’s program in a computer-related field like programming, management information systems, or information technology. Apart from this, a graduate program is a great way to enhance your qualifications. For example, a master’s program in IT or computer science provides a higher in-depth tech foundation.

2. Professional work experience

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most organizations hire IT architects with 5 – 10 years of IT experience. Most of them gain 5 years of work history in entry-level positions

before applying. During this period, they practice developing IT solutions and working with different systems. You can explore some of these roles to improve your resume:

  • Help desk manager
  • Computer system analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Computer network administrator
  • Any IT-related role

3. Certification

This comes immediately after earning a degree for most people, as it increases the chance of securing a job. According to Veno, “computer engineering programs expose you to new skills and set you apart from other candidates with the same academic background.” Some of the popular ones employers ask for include:

  • CompTIA: Security+, CompTIA A+, etc.
  • Cisco: Cisco Certified Architect, DevNet, etc.

How much does a network architect earn?

According to Payscale data from October 2021, the average base salary is $121,498. This ranges from $80,000 to $158,00, depending on the level, role, qualification, and job history. However, profit add-ons and bonuses can amount to $81,000 – $176,000.

What is the job outlook for computer network architects?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer network architects is projected to grow 4% from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Not only this, but an average of 11,800 job openings will be added over the decade. Currently, 95% of network architects are male, a reduction from 97% some time ago. Therefore, it is safe to expect growing job openings for female computer network architects in the future.

Choosing a career as a computer network architect

Computer network operators often work at least 40 hours a week full-time in offices. These architects are responsible for designing, maintaining, and improving connections computer systems rely on for daily operations. As a result, it is a job role that will be in demand for a long time. To fill the role, you need specific essential skills like attention to detail, analytical skills, leadership skills, interpersonal skills, and organizational skills. But first, you must complete a degree and work relevant jobs and obtain technical skills.


Network architects work in teams, but most of their tasks involve solo work. Therefore, you can explore this career if you prefer to work independently, manage your work, and make decisions. Earn your school certificate and work-related jobs to build your job history. If you are eligible for employment, we advise you to check out online job sites for employment postings and start your career on a pedestal. We believe this job is here to stay and will continue to thrive into the foreseeable future – definitely worth your investment.

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