How To Become A Network Architect In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become network architects in Australia.


Do you like designing new computer networks and enjoy technical work? If yes, a career as a Network Architect could be perfect for you.


Network Architects design efficient, affordable, and reliable network infrastructures to meet organisations' long-term IT business goals.


To become a Network Engineer, you must have a bachelor's degree in computer science, networking, information technology, or a related field. Prior work experience and professional certifications in networking are favoured.


This blog will help you discover what working as a network architect can be like and how to get started. You will learn about the network architect's skills, qualifications, courses, certifications, what they do, salary, and more.



1. What Are Network Architects?


Network architects examine, design, and develop new data communication networks such as intranets, local area networks (LANs), and wide area networks (WANs).


They use personal computers and software to verify network integrity, review network requisites and capabilities, and validate high-level design plans for optimal network implementation.



2. Network Architect Job Description


Here is what you can expect to perform working in this position:


  • Develop local area networks, wide area networks, and intranets of an organisation

  • Evaluate existing network systems to find areas that require performance, efficiency, and security enhancement.

  • Assess network performance and updates the network with the needed modifications 

  • Create and design relevant solutions for the client's needs and environment

  • Leads the design procedures, manages current networks, and supervises traffic

  • Coordinate the installation and maintenance of hardware and software tools

  • Provide technical guidance and assistance on network solutions, product plans, and roadmaps 

  • Manage client expectations by adhering to strict network protocols and standards

  • Implement new technologies to develop high-level designs and supervise performance based on project requirements

  • Prepare accurate reports, professional project proposals, and design documentation to avoid future connectivity problems.

  • Install and upgrade hardware, that includes VPNs, routers, adaptors, and software such as network drivers, to ensure the proper functioning of computer networks systems

  • Perform continuing troubleshooting, detecting and resolving computer system issues as and when they arise.

  • Research innovative networking technologies to enhance the performance and efficiency of computer networks 

  • Collaborate with the Network Engineer, Network Administrator, Network Architect, and other professionals

  • Network architects working in a management role overseeing teams of system administrators, network engineers, and application developers

  • Create models that forecast network trends for the future

  • Replace outdated hardware and revise vulnerable software to sabotage ever-changing cybersecurity issues in network security



3. Network Architect Skills


A good network architect has the technical expertise to foresee the computer network needs of the future and the soft skills to succeed under the pressure of making difficult decisions daily. 


The following skills will help you perform your duties efficiently in this role:



Technical Skills


  • A background in information technology 

  • Good knowledge of computer operations, security systems, wireless systems, and networking components such as modems, routers, switches, adapters, and servers

  • Good understanding of network requirements and strategic goals of the organisation



Soft Skills


  • Critical thinking abilities

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Strong communication skills to interact with IT and network professionals and convince stakeholders to commit resources to that vision.

  • Able to perform well in a team setting and work independently with minimal supervision

  • Organisation skills

  • Strong attention to detail to avoid network incompatibility and other issues 

  • Sound analytical skills to understand how mechanical systems work.

  • Good numeracy skills to pre-determine the project cost and how the company benefits from it

  • Good writing and designing skills to prepare and present papers in an easily understandable way for teammates

  • Able to work in sensitive work settings where a minor technical error can cost you a fortune in no time

  • Project management skills

  • Like staying updated with the recent developments in components of computer networking



4. Network Architect Education Requirements


To work as a Network Engineer, you need a bachelor's degree in computer science, networking, information technology, information systems management, or a related field.


For any degree, you need to gain your Senior Secondary Education Certificate in one or more pre-requisite subjects such as English, maths, science, and physics.  


Previous work experience in networking and higher-level network architect courses like an MS or PhD and professional network architect certifications are preferred. 


Candidates with such credentials have better chances than graduates applying for the same role.



5. Steps To Become A Network Architect In Australia


Do you want to pursue a Network Architect role? - Follow these steps to reach your career goals: 



Step 1: Get The Education


Complete a 4-year Bachelor's Degree in computer science or a related field to gain in-depth knowledge of the network's technological requirements and necessary on-the-job skills experience before entering the workforce.


  • Bachelor of Technology (Computer Systems and Networking) – Curtin University

  • Bachelor of Information Technology – Curtin University

  • Bachelor of Networking - Melbourne Institute of Technology

  • Bachelor of Networking (Cyber Security)- Melbourne Institute of Technology

  • Bachelor of Engineering (Computer and Network Engineering) (Honours) – RMIT University

  • Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology (Professional) – Swinburne University of Technology



Step 2: Gain Experience


Apply for IT internships focusing on internet technologies, programming languages, computer networking, system design, etc. 


It is a great way to gain industry exposure and supervised hands-on Experience in computer networking and strengthen your resume


Furthermore, you can connect with business owners and managers who may need IT services.



Step 3: Become A Certified Network Architect


Choose a speciality within your fields. Some of these could be Cisco Network Architect, Enterprise Architect, and IT Security Systems Architect. Take active steps toward progressing in your chosen Network Architect speciality. 


One of the ways could be obtaining Professional Certifications based on the type of Network Architect role you are pursuing. 


For example: If you want to know how to become a Systems Architect, consider completing a technical certification from a school that helps you develop capabilities to perform system architect duties.


It also helps develop a professional network with classmates and instructors to learn about open network architect positions and the job market for IT professionals in your area. Additionally, you can attend professional events like seminars to connect with other IT professionals.


Here are the most relevant professional certifications for those who want to know how to become a Solutions Architect. Some of them have different levels of credentials benefiting IT professionals during their careers.


  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert

  • Cisco Certified Technician

  • Cisco Certified Design Expert

  • Cisco Certified Network Associate

  • CyberOps Associate

  • Cisco Certified Network Professional Enterprise

  • Cisco Certified Architect

  • Salesforce Certified Technical Architect

  • Red Hat Certified Architect 

  • Zachman Certified—Enterprise Architect



Step 4: Create Your Resume


With a degree and certifications, you are ready to apply for jobs. Start by writing a network architect resume. Including the following things will improve your chances of acquiring a role fast.


  • Include in-demand network skills to help your resume stand out from the competition.

  • Include only the most relevant skills for the job you are applying for and categorise them by type 

  • Avoid overuse of technical terms in your resume and make it simple and easy to understand

  • Prioritise accomplishments over duties performed in past projects. It will give a better idea to employers of what you can accomplish in a new role.


Once you have created your resume, you can apply on online job search portals and online forums for IT professionals.



Step 5: Get An Entry-Level Network Architect Job


Start your career as an entry-level Network Architect.


As a junior-level Network Architect, you will learn about creating, modifying, and maintaining IP network software, hardware, and virtual components.



Step 6: Consider Advancing In Your Career


After gaining some experience as an entry-level Network Architect, you can advance to the next senior-level position. As a Senior Network Architect, you design and review network requirements and validate high-level design plans.


As you advance through different network architect career paths, earning an advanced degree in systems architecture, such as a Master of Engineering (Software), may be essential.


Professional bodies




6. The Most Common Jobs For Network Architects


Based on the SEEK job data, the following job openings are available for qualified Network Architects across Australia:


  • Network Architect

  • Principal Network Architect

  • Solutions Architect - Network & Security

  • ICT Security Architect

  • Infrastructure Architect

  • RAN/Mobiles IP Transport Senior Architect

  • Network Architect (Firewall)

  • Technical Architect (Network Services)

  • Network Solution Architect

  • Domain Architect, Compute, and Network

  • RAN Solution Architect for Network Design and Optimisation

  • Network Security Consultant

  • Network Architect (Cisco Network) 

  • Security Architect



7. Where Does A Network Architect Work?


As network architects work with systems that facilitate communication, they work in IT departments in industries that experience massive volumes of communications, such as insurance, finance, and telecommunications.


Besides these, they also work for computer systems design companies and enterprises that develop innovative designs for newly built computer networks.



8. Work Environment Of Network Architects


Computer Network Architects generally work on a full-time basis in an office setting. They may sometimes work in server rooms to access hardware to build the organisation's information and computer network.


Network Architects don't have to travel or do fieldwork. They may work on both contract and permanent basis in a day shift that starts from early mornings until late evenings. They may occasionally need to work overtime in specific circumstances.


The job usually involves working under time pressure. It is because any unnecessary delay or technical glitch can lead to a breakdown of computer systems, which may lead to mismanagement in all departments that function on a computer network.



9. How Much Does A Network Architect Earn In Australia?


According to PayScale data, the average network architect salary in Australia is AU$138,078 per year or equivalent to AU$152.94 per hour.


In addition to the base pay, network architects earn cash bonuses and qualify for employee benefits such as health insurance, work-from-home opportunities, and referral programs.



Annual Average Network Architect Salary Based on Experience


  • Mid-career Network Architects (5-9 years of Experience): AU$144,098 

  • Experienced Network Architect (10-19 years of Experience): AU$131,230 

  • In their late career (20+ years of experience): AU$160,333



Top 5 paying Cities For Network Architects in Australia


  • Canberra: $190,473 per year

  • Brisbane: $164,886 per year

  • Perth: $157,133 per year

  • Melbourne: $146,657 per year

  • Sydney: $107,844 per year



10. Job Prospects Of A Network Architect


The flow of data across an interconnected computer network drives the engine of modern business. With a reliable and efficient computer network, they will retain their competitive advantage in the market. 


It can also impact their profit margins and revenue generation over time. Every small or large-scale modern enterprise needs Network Architects to operate smoothly.


With the expansion of the IT industry, the demand for Network Architects is also increasing. Companies nowadays are increasingly focussing on improving their information technology departments and networks. 


For example, the developments in healthcare information technology need network architects to design, install, and maintain secure, scalable, and efficient networks and equipment.


In Australia, network architects will likely increase by 5% between 2019 and 2029.



11. Conclusion


A network architect profession is considered highly valuable in the Information Technology field. Besides its high demand, it also offers competitive pay and creative work opportunities. 


If you like the job profile and find fit to work in this role, the above steps will help you attain your career objectives.


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