I get asked the question quite a bit: Are Networking Careers Worth Pursuing?
For several years, it was always a curiosity to me why network engineer future prospects or really anyone wanting to go into the I/T Networking field would question this and think this.
But as I began talking to other experts in the field of networking about this topic, it became clear to me WHY the question gets asked so much…
Are Networking Careers Worth Pursuing?
I’m gonna start out with the Big Anwer: YES!!
Not only are network engineer jobs and computer network-related jobs of any kind worth pursuing, but there are now more jobs than qualified people to fill them! There have been since 2015!
And I live in the U.S. where our economy (right now) is growing by leaps and bounds - But let me just exempt the U.S. and our currently growing economy from the equation altogether here.
Multiple other countries around the world are seeing an absolute explosion in demand for those with computer networking expertise and the trend doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.
I’ll give you more stats on that a little later in this post 🙂
Why Is This Question a Concern?
So going back to me talking to other experts in the I/T Networking Field, I began to notice some less-talked-about things in the industry, and I immediately understood why this question gets asked.
Concerns in the industry that cause this fear:
- The primary thing behind this fear is the same as it is in ANY industry...Is this career path viable? Is there enough demand by society, progress and technology to warrant studying for years in this field and gaining experience? Or is it going to vanish in 5 to 10 years and leave me with experience and knowledge in something that’s no longer needed?
- The next thing fueling this concern is the prominent changes occurring in the technology field itself (continuously and drastically)...Will networking technology get so good within 5 to 10 years that it’s all plug-n-play? Will SBN take over? Will experts in networking be needed if the technology becomes more self-repairing, self-designing, self-anything?
- The third thing fueling the concern leading to the question “Are networking careers worth pursuing?” is the assumption that those who currently have expertise and high-paying prominent careers in the networking field will be the only ones called on and depended on to run everything, so why would new networking technicians, engineers, admins be needed?
Now, all of the above can be somewhat realistic concerns for someone just entering the I/T Networking field.
But they’re also concerns for someone entering ANY field of study and career path. Really. Think about it for a second.
I don’t want to (and don’t have the TIME to) go into the full psychology of this, but just know when it comes to wondering if a network engineer salary is going to change or “Is networking a good career in 2020?” or “What is the network engineer job outlook in the near future?” YOU CAN REST EASY!!
By pursuing a career in I/T Networking, the chances of it going “wrong” for you are extremely slim to none!
Keep Calm and Continue Learning Networking
Let me reassure you RIGHT NOW that networking careers and opportunities are not only hot in demand, but this expertise will be around and much needed for decades and decades to come.
“Here’s a comforting little reminder for you: Computer networking is at the core of most of the latest advances and progress in society, and society has crossed so far over that line of need vs. want that society can no longer live without network technology...maybe EVER”
Some Great Statistics For You...
You want some great statistics you can easily reference?
I remember reading an article in Forbes back in 2015 when this supply & demand issue first started to form a “chasm” between careers available and qualified applicants applying in the computer networking field.
The article confirmed that beginning that year (2015) the job postings for I/T overall had increased by 74% over the previous 5 years and at that time there were over 200,000 job vacancies in the I/T field.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed that 3/4 of those 200,000 job vacancies were network engineering positions.
I’m here to tell you those statistics are much higher here in 2020 than they were back in 2015!
Based on that alone, there simply aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill the ever increasing need, giving candidates much more and much better choices when it comes to employment.
To top off all of those figures, a growth rate of 6% is expected just for network engineers between 2016 and 2026.
So, I know I just fire-hosed you with all the facts and figures.
(And I know, it can get boring and tedious)
But if you’re the type of person interested in the networking field, you have no problem reading through those facts and figures above and seeing the hope and optimism on the horizon!
Am I right?
Some of the things you may work on as a network engineer include:
- Computer Network Maintenance
- System Design
- Managing Implementation
- Staying Up-to-Date
If you pursue this career to its fullest, you can expect a higher-paying career position.
But there are some factors that may affect the level of that salary:
The Size of the Organization - Whether they are in the public or private sector
Your Location - The geographical location of your organization can depict your salary, and this depends on the local economy
Your Education - The more education and certifications you have, the higher your salary will likely be
Your Experience - The more experience you can gain, the higher your salary will be
Are Networking Careers Worth Pursuing? I hope you take my word for it (and the word of most experts in the field) when I shout a resounding “YES!!”
If you’re technology-minded, have good communication skills, you work well on a team or by yourself, and you’re good at troubleshooting and problem-solving, a career in I/T Networking may very well be a smart choice!
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