A network manager is typically responsible for setting up and overseeing the hardware and software utilized by a company or organization to create local and nonlocal networks. This will usually include servers, routers, and similar devices to allow large local area networks to be established for the various users of a company. Connections to the Internet will also typically be established in this type of setup, and large company networks may also be created, allowing employees to connect and utilize a network from all across a country or the world. A network manager will typically also oversee other network staff members to ensure proper maintenance and stability of servers and networks.
The specific duties of a person with this job will typically vary depending on the type of business he or she works for, though certain basic tasks are quite common. In general, he or she will usually oversee the establishment, maintenance, and security of networks within a company or organization. How this is done and what aspects of networking are emphasized will typically depend on the company.
A network manager working for a college or university, for example, may be expected to consider the networking needs of the school and make recommendations regarding hardware and software the school should purchase. If the school follows his or her recommendations, then he or she will likely be responsible for setting up the actual networks. This will usually include internal networks that allow students and staff to access class lessons, online class coursework, internal messaging systems, and numerous other communication and educational applications.
The network manager will also typically be responsible for helping set up larger external networks that allow computers on the campus to connect to the Internet. This can include computer rooms with multiple terminals, as well as wireless hot spots that can be used by faculty and students. A network manager will also typically have to consider network security and work to ensure that the students and staff can use the local and nonlocal networks safely, and that confidential data is secure.
Once all of this is initially set up, a network manager will usually oversee the continued operations of the network. This will often include training other network staff members to handle routine maintenance and other technical issues. In case of a major systems crash or security issue, however, the network manager may handle such a problem directly while directing staff members to deal with secondary issues or complaints from network users.