The hacker attack on Sony’s PlayStation network, affected 77 million users and cost the company $170 million. Successful attacks like this are rare thanks to vigilant network managers.
We live our lives on networks - everything from Google searches to mobile texts. In 2010, a typical hour of Internet traffic in North America sent 27 terabits of information rushing across networks. That’s equivalent to 22.5 million hours of streaming HD video! Our ever-increasing dependence on information feeds a growing need for network vigilantes to monitor, maintain and protect the vital arteries that make it all possible.
The network and everything connected to it – servers, computers, printers and phones – fall under the watchful eyes of network managers. Even when networks hum to perfection, managers lead teams that use the latest in technologies and software tools to achieve better and faster communications. It’s a fast-paced career that’s never satisfied with the status quo as organizations continually demand the most from their networks – speed, ever higher bandwidth and zero tolerance for down time. That’s what network managers deliver.
For people who
- Are resourceful and creative
- Have strong analytical and problem solving skills
- Thrive under pressure and manage stress well
- Are great collaborators across technical and non technical teams
- Are motivational leaders
Network managers often have university degrees in computer science, information technology or electrical and computer engineering. There are specialist concentrations within degree programs such as networks and security at the University of Windsor; communications networking at York University; or a networking and IT security stream in information technology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
Carleton University and Algonquin College partner to offer a degree and diploma program in network technology. It provides courses and practical experience in such areas as remote access network, design, IT security, the physics of communications and network simulation and modelling. Many colleges offer diploma programs in network engineering, computer networking communications networks or telecommunications technology. And, there are both university and college co-op programs to earn while you learn.
Every business, institution, the military and all levels of government has networks for internal use that connect to global telecommunications networks. Network managers work in all sorts of organizations enterprises – like hospitals, universities, police forces, banks and retail stores. They also work for telecom and consulting companies that provide network advice and services.