We are living witnesses of the major transformations that technology is inducing, in today’s world industries. It’s changing market norms, communication norms, and life as we know it.

No wonder that the employment of Computer Specialists is projected to grow at 11%, whereas that of Information Security Analysts at 28%, much faster than the average for all occupations. But do you have what it takes to become a computer network professional?

Computer networking skills

Computer networking makes the foundation of every business. It’s what connects devices and allows an organization to communicate internally and with the outside world. Also known as IT networking skills, they involve the following:

  1. Analytical skills
  2. Computer skills
  3. Communication
  4. Problem-solving
  5. Multitasking
  6. Research
  7. Interpersonal skills

1. Analytical skills

Setting up, installing and maintaining computer networks is not all the knowledge you need. To become a computer specialist, you must also possess other abilities, like the ability to analyze data.

Analytical skills refer to the ability to collect and analyze information, problem-solve, and make decisions. These strengths can help solve a company’s problems and improve upon its overall productivity and success. In our context, analytical skills mean that you will learn to evaluate network or system performance, by also detecting and monitoring changes to computer systems.

2. Computer network skills

This set of skills involves working with a variety of technologies, including local area networks, wide area networks, network segments, intranets, hardware, and software. Some of the basic skills required from you on this matter will be proficiency in using Microsoft Windows, Linux and UNIX operating systems. Then, we rank the fundamentals of knowing how computers work, building computer systems, techniques needed to install computer components, and protocol used in upgrading systems. Administrators up-to-date in cloud computing and mobile technology will be especially in high-demand on the upcoming years.

Note: In some cases, you may also be required to have Computer programming skills. In other words, be prepared to write code and develop software for computers and network systems.

3. Communication skills

How will you provide IT support and solutions to administrators and less tech-savvy employees, if you don’t have proper communication skills? All the critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities you have may sometimes go to waste if you can’t communicate with them properly. In some cases, you will be able to get off the hook through writing reports, but in others, you’ll be asked to inform audiences orally. So work on your effective communication skills that can help you explain the patterns in all the data you receive.

4. Problem-solving skills

When we speak about problem-solving skills, we refer to the ability to handle difficult situations and unexpected scenarios in the workplace. From a computer specialist’s perspective, the expectations will be that you resolve problems that arise with computer networks. It is specifically an asset if you possess the calmness of assessing the situation without being impacted by the potential consequences. Organizations rely on this kind of professionals, but problem-solving skills are highly useful in all aspects of your day-to-day routine.

5. Multitasking skills

When you’re involved with computer networking, you’re inevitably involved with multiple projects at the same time. You will most likely run periodic updates and prepare for a new software rollout, or you will be improving the network’s security protocols. All that while you’re still phasing out an underperforming piece of hardware. However, being a multitasker will shape your versatile skills even further, so try to see the good aspects of it, when you feel like you’re drowning in tasks.

6. Research

People who are responsible for IT support are usually very self-sufficient and prone to be self-taught. If there is something that they do not know yet, they will make sure to dig deeper and find potential resources to provide themselves with practical skills. Besides, researching is an essential skill that relates directly to problem-solving. Once you have identified the problem, it is up to you to find the best possible ways to solve it. Research usually involves these steps:

  • Investigation
  • Metrics
  • Data collection
  • Prioritization
  • Data Entry
  • Taking Inventory
  • Checking for Accuracy

7. Interpersonal skills

Computer network professionals can be individuals or a whole group of people working together on the same field. In order to have a sense of understanding between one another, you should have healthy interpersonal skills. Those will contribute to your work relationships, or if you want to be respected and valued as a team member. It is important to understand other people’s points of view and express your ideas and directives clearly. After all, you’re spending most of your hours with those individuals. Why not invest in healthy communication, which will most likely lead to productivity.

So, you still want to be a Computer specialist?

At the University of the Potomac, we can show you how. Browse one of more than 100 technology-based Education 2 Employment programs offered through The Potomac Workforce Training & Development Center to get started in your career as a computer network professional today. Get started with a flexible, online course to become a Cisco Certified Network Associate or Cisco Certified Network Professional.

We have three options at your disposal:

  1. Talk to a training advisor about a new career as a computer network professional.
  2. Call: 1-844-­235-­9108
  3. Email [email protected]c.edu