Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts

Last updated December 31, 2014

As a network systems and data communications analyst, you'll play a crucial role in the workplace, making it possible for others to do their jobs. Without networks -- and analysts -- computers would be unable to share information. Also called network architects and network engineers, analysts make sure that emails can be sent and received, employees can work together on the same document, and private information is protected from prying eyes.

Smooth day-to-day operations are only the beginning, though. In this job, you'll also strive to predict the future needs of your users and improve the network so that it can meet those needs.

Network systems and data communications analysts plan, design, build, maintain, and test networks and other data communications systems.

Did You Know?

Some analysts, called telecommunications specialists, make sure communications and computer equipment work well together.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Plan LANs and WANs
  • Use special software to model and test new networks or changes to existing networks
  • Ensure network speed and privacy
  • Advise managers on hardware and software purchases
  • Set up an office's email system
  • Think clearly during virus threats and other tech emergencies
  • Answer the questions of clients or coworkers
  • Analyze the needs of your company or client's company
  • Supervise other computer professionals
  • Work on your own and with a team
  • Keep up with constantly evolving technology through continuing education

It Helps To Be...

A patient problem solver who's equally fluent in computerese and English.

Make High School Count

  • Consider taking AP Computer Science A.
  • Look into computer summer camps.
  • Compete in one of the ACM High School Programming Contests if you're a seasoned programmer.
  • Take as much math as your high school offers.
  • Do your best in science classes. They train you to think logically.
  • Build communication skills in debate, drama, and speech and English classes.
  • Make the most of assigned research projects so that you learn how to learn on your own.

Did You Know?

Because technology changes so quickly, your college degree is most valuable as proof that you can learn –- not that you've picked up skills in a particular technology.