Network Engineering

Salary: £18,000 – £60,000

Network engineers, also known as network administrators, build and support Local and Wide Area Networks that interconnect a wide variety of computers. These can span a floor of a building or several countries and employ a multitude of technologies including copper to optical to microwave technologies. As an increasing volume of data is shared with larger groups with more demanding security requirements, Network Engineers will have to find new solutions to those changing requirements.

As a network engineer, your key responsibilities would be to make sure that the network has the capacity to meet the client’s needs and that it is secure.

You would work with four main network systems:

  • local area networks (LANs) – connecting computers within a limited area like an office or building
  • metropolitan area networks (MANs) – joining LANs together across a city
  • wide area networks (WANs) – linking systems across national boundaries
  • global area networks (GANs) – combining networks over an unlimited geographical area, often using wireless and satellite technology.

Your duties might include:

  • installing new software and hardware
  • setting up user accounts, permissions and passwords
  • maintaining adequate security, especially where networks link to the world wide web
  • finding and fixing network faults
  • putting in place preventative maintenance schedules
  • giving technical support to end-users
  • providing training on new systems
  • carrying out day-to-day administration and monitoring network use
  • planning and implementing future developments.

Career Entry Requirements

While some individuals progress into the role of being a network engineer from non-graduate roles such as being a network technician it is advised that you study a Network Engineering Degree which includes:

  • A 12 Months Work Placement
  • Professional Certification e.g. Cisco Certified Network Associate or Microsoft Certified Systems Associate

The entrance requirements onto a Network Engineering Degree vary from a double ‘E’ to gain entrance to a foundation year or  CCC for direct entry.

University Course Entry Grades* Placement CCNA
Birmingham City University Telecomunications with networks Direct: 280pts

Foundation: 200pts

Yes Yes
Brunel Computer Systems Engineering Direct: 300pts Yes No
Edinburgh Napier Computer Systems and Networks Direct: 240pts Yes Yes
Nottingham Trent Computer Systems (Networks) Direct: 280pts Yes No but contact with technologies
Portsmouth Computer Networks Direct: 220pts

Foundation: 120pts

Sheffield Hallam Computer and Network Engineering Direct: 280pts Yes Covered in MEng Course

* All require you to have done one A-level from Mathematics, Science or Computing