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What is a Network Specialist?

By A. Leverkuhn
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A network specialist is someone who deals with computer networks professionally. The general category of network specialist professionals includes individuals who do a lot of different work with various computer networking systems. Networks are a major part of information technology that business leaders and others should know about in order to profit from a modern hardware and software system.

In a network, different computer workstations are connected by cabling or wireless systems. This allows them to communicate with each other, including mass electronic mail capabilities. Workstations are sometimes attached to data handling hardware such as servers, which hold a large amount of data, and distribute it as needed to other parts of the network. all of these complex systems require staff to set up, maintain and troubleshoot the entire network to make sure that the business always has the capabilities that the network was intended to support.

A network specialist helps to create and maintain these complex systems. In the course of his or her job, the network specialist will learn a lot about technologies like the Unix operating system, which is often used in network administration, as well as other proprietary software packages. Network specialists also learn about the right ways to set up a server, and how to diagnose different hardware and software problems.

Network specialists are skilled in various kinds of computer repair and computer maintenance. They are a vital addition to an information technology department, because they can respond quickly to various network issues. When part of a network malfunctions, it can create an extreme problem for a business very quickly. Network specialists may be called in, for example, when a server malfunctions and other staff members are not able to acquire the client data that they need in order to work. If a business is serving clients with a server, the problem becomes a customer service issue, where fixing the network problem quickly can save a business a lot of money.

Business leaders understand how having experienced network specialists can lead to better customer retention, more productivity, and a better bottom line for their enterprises. Network specialists can benefit from a two-year or four-year degree in computer science, and specializations in network administration are often even more valuable to employers. Network specialists can also become certified by various education providers to showcase their experience and skill sets. Knowing how to get the right qualifications to become a network specialist will help ambitious young professionals to become valuable in this field, and to become a very important asset to a business.

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Discussion Comments
By indemnifyme — On Apr 11, 2012

It sounds like an IT network specialist has a really important job, especially from a business standpoint. After all, most businesses can't operate if their network goes down!

I remember one incident at my old job where our network went down. Customers were calling us all day trying to make transactions, and we literally couldn't do a thing because our network was done. We had a lot of irate customers and lost out on thousands of dollars worth of business. I'm sure out network specialists did the best they could, but that day I couldn't help but wish they would work a little bit faster!

By starrynight — On Apr 10, 2012

@strawCake - Yeah, most jobs these days involve some kind of continuing education. Like you said, it's great if the employer will offer to pay for it! Some of those classes can get expensive.

Anyway, it seems like there are a few different options if you want to be a network specialist. I used to work in a small office, and we didn't have a network specialist on staff. However, my boss paid someone to set up our network when he set up the office. Then if we ever had a problem, he would call up the network technician to come back and fix it. The technician got paid on a project by project basis.

By strawCake — On Apr 10, 2012

I have a friend who is a network specialist, and he tells me that continuing education is really important for people who have network specialist jobs. We all know technology changes all the time, so I wasn't surprised by this in the slightest.

Luckily, a lot of employers will pay for their network specialists to get continuing education in their field. After all, it benefits them to have network specialists that are up to date on the latest network technologies. I think this is a win-win for everyone. Also, it really enhances a network specialist resume to have additional training.

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