Network Manager – Career Advice
Network managers are the main administrators of a system or network, overseeing who gains access to email, internet, security and file systems, preventing attacks and occasionally writing programmes.
Other duties include staff training and technical support, system monitoring, back-up management and setting up new user accounts across local, national and global networks. Devising and refining system recovery plans in the event of a major IT meltdown is another key part of the job.
Team-working, budgeting, project management and negotiation skills are all key requirements.
GCSEs in English, maths, IT and science can secure you an entry-level network position, but it’s more common for graduates or BTEC/HND holders to catch an employer’s eye. Apprenticeship schemes are also available.
To land a managerial role, you’ll need plenty of relevant experience, preferably at management level.
IT is an ever-shifting world, so studying for qualifications, from NVQs to BTEC/HNDs to City & Guilds diplomas will give you an edge, as will courses run by Cisco, Microsoft and the British Computer Society.
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Other recommended resources:
British Computer Society (BCS)
Offering a chartered status for IT professionals, the BCS provides a number of qualifications towards continuing professional development. They also strongly support exchange of knowledge and expertise, and membership can get you access to this community of information.
Institute for the Management of Information Systems
Involved in information and research development to support IT professionals, the IMIS also offer a strong education network with links to universities and regarded qualification programmes that cover the spectrum, from providing a foot in the door to continuing professional development.
IEEE Computer Society
A division of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Computer Society provides access to a wealth of information developed through knowledge exchange and research allowing you to keep abreast of latest trends and developments. They also offer some training in addition to networking opportunities through conferences.
Cisco Networking Academy
Providing certification qualifications at a number of levels for students up to network professionals, Cisco’s Networking Academy portal is great for assessing what training is right for you and how to get involved.
The UK Sector Skills Council for IT, connecting you with the training and qualifications you need to get ahead in the industry.
National Skills Academy for IT
A portal to short and long courses, apprenticeship schemes and information about careers, standards and systems. Great for figuring out if network management is the job for you and how you can get there.
Offering certification to help you progress to management level and stay at the height of your game when you get there, CompTIA are a great association to be a part of during your network career.