People often tend to confuse two different terms due to some same words or phrases, which turns out to be a major problem especially if it is related to careers like the career options network engineer and network administrator. They are somewhat related to each other but are certainly not the same. Both the job titles refer to the professionals into information technology who play vital roles to keep the functioning of computer network smooth and effective. Their duties might overlap, but a network engineer has extended responsibility and a wide scope of work. Accordingly, the things go in terms of education and experience.
The main line of difference between a network engineer and an administrator lies in their job description. A network engineer takes care of analysis, design, installation and troubleshooting (including maintenance) of networks. He/she may serve as a consultant and should be comfortable in interacting with clients. His/her role is more about developing and maintaining the network in order to provide users with efficient performance and reliability.
On the other hand, an administrator’s jobs sounds much simpler including administration, maintenance and management of system networks. Nonetheless, it is still among high profile position. He/she also handles the network security from numerous thefts like data theft.
The scope of work for both network engineer and an administrator has a huge dependency on the size and complexity of the network. An engineer may work for small as well as large networks whereas an administrator handles small scale networks like LAN and WANs.
Network engineers have an endless list of responsibilities. They are responsible for installation, configuration, testing, and maintenance, email management, resolving network problems, technical support and getting required certifications from the relevant vendors. On the contrary, Network administrators have quite lesser responsibilities than engineers. They primarily don’t function like consultants. However, they share some responsibilities with engineers – in upgrading, installing or troubleshooting, maintaining inventories and documenting the activities, keeping records of system standards, and scheduling the repairs of the network.
Coming on to the qualification aspect, to obtain a bachelor’s degree is minimum education qualification required to be a network engineer preferably engineering majors while an administrator must have an associate degree for the least. Also, a network should have an experience as an administrator before. It is not wrong to say that a network engineer is the promoted position of a network administrator. Certifications are same for both the professionals, like Cisco Certified Network Associate, Microsoft Certified System Administrator etc.
Last but not the least, career options are undoubtedly great. With certain years of experience and good performance, a network administrator can get a position of a network engineer. Further, he/she can grow and advance towards a higher position such as IT Manager or Vice President IT services etc.
Also, it is very important that you chose a right institute or college for your studies. A pool of options available online may distract you from making a right choice. Here, you need to do a little homework to search the best institute.
Kaylyn Gabriele is an online blogger, staying in Canada. Whether it is about best Network Technician Training institutes or the career scope of networking, her articles can turn out to be the best guiding source. Catch her of Facebook or follow at @kaylyngabriele.