How to Become a Network Engineer

Network engineer helping a company

Network engineer helping a company

If you are interested in informational technology, one career path you could take is to become a network engineer.  Network engineer jobs are increasing, with an expected growth of six percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Here are the steps you need to take in order to become a network engineer.  But before we get to that, what exactly do network engineers do?

Network Engineer Job Description

Network engineers plan, build and manage networks within a company.  They are in charge of the business’s IT system and keep it running smoothly.  Network engineers may design new networks for a company or improve upon those already in place.  These can be both physical and wireless networks.  With the advances in technology, network engineers are foundational to the functioning of many companies today.

First, Get a Degree

The first step to becoming a network engineer is to get a bachelor’s degree in a related field.  That means majoring in computer science, information systems, or computer or systems engineering.  Some schools have specific network engineering programs.  Depending on your career aspirations, you may also want to get a master’s degree in computer science or business administration before going into the workforce.

Next, Get Some Experience

A network engineer is not a job you can get right out of college, no matter how well you did in your schooling.  Most engineers have five to ten years of related experience before landing the position.  Any entry-level IT support job will help you gain important skills.  Focus on clients and servers, IP addresses, network hubs, cables and switches, and firewalls and routers.  These are all essential parts of networks you will need to be able to understand – and build – when you become a network engineer.

While you are working, you can start figuring out what you want to specialize in.  There are many different networking roles, including:

  • Specialist
  • Network Administrator
  • Technician
  • Network Analyst
  •  Manager
  • Network Engineer
  • Solutions Architect

Even beyond these roles, there are specializations in everything from clouds to security to wireless.  Finding what area of networking you want to work in and gaining skills in that area is an essential part of this time in an entry-level position.

Get Certified

At some point before, during, or after your experience-building jobs, you will need to become certified as a network engineer.  This means taking an exam, or sometimes more than one.  It can take anywhere from six to 18 months to complete the certification process.  There are three certifications you can choose: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network +, and CompTIA Security +.  Each one demonstrates slightly different skills.  They are all vendor-neutral, meaning that the networks they require you to know about aren’t tied to any particular company.

Once you have some experience in the field and know where you want to apply to be a network engineer, you will take vendor-specific certifications.  These vary from company to company and require you to know the ins and outs of the network that a specific business uses.  Some examples of these are Cisco, SolarWinds, and Microsoft.

Find a Job

The last step in becoming a network engineer is finding a job.  After working in the field, you should be more knowledgeable about the types of networking engineer jobs available and which ones appeal to you.  The skills you have already gained will help boost your resume and give you content for your interviews.

Looking for Network Engineer Jobs?

Hacking Solutions can help network engineers find companies that need them.  Visit their website to learn more. 

Environmental Engineer: The Main Responsibilities They Hold

Environmental engineer working on site

Environmental engineer working on site

If you are interested in helping the environment, you might look into becoming an environmental engineer.  It takes around four years to become qualified for this position. However, most jobs require a bachelor’s degree in the subject.  Here are some of the main responsibilities of an environmental engineer.

Help the Environment 

By definition, an environmental engineer is someone who designs and implements solutions to environmental problems.  These problems can include everything from recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control to unsafe drinking water, climate change, and environmental sustainability.  The engineers use many types of science to do this, including biology, chemistry, soil science, and, of course, engineering.  Environmental engineer jobs involve both office work and construction work, depending on what stage of the process the project is in.

Design Projects

Environmental engineering involves a lot of creativity.  Environmental jobs involve designing systems and structures to help reduce harm to the environment and help people.  Projects may be designed in a group or individually.  They may be for a relatively small problem or a large one.  To be an environmental engineer, you need to be solution-oriented and ready to tackle any problem that comes your way.

Run Construction Sites

In order to build the things they have designed, an environmental engineer needs to get the proper permits and licenses for construction.  It is their responsibility to make sure the construction site is up to code and follows standard operating procedures.  Environmental jobs often take place on construction sites. Not to build, but to make sure that their design plan is being followed and to help troubleshoot any problems that arise in the building process.

Data Analysis

Before you can solve problems, you have to find them.  Another responsibility of an environmental engineer is to analyze scientific data about things like climate and pollution.  This may be done before a project in order to determine what needs to be done or after to figure out if the solution worked.  To be an engineer, you need to be comfortable with statistics and able to draw conclusions from data.

Inspect Facilities

Some jobs involve checking municipal and industrial facilities to make sure they are following environmental codes.  However, you may be asked to help implement plans for companies who are not up to code or to check on those who have recently upgraded their compliance methods.  Environmental regulations vary from state to state, so you should be familiar with the laws in the area you will be working.

Advice After Catastrophes

In the case of environmental contamination, the involved corporation or government agency may enlist the help of an environmental engineer to figure out how best to implement the clean-up process.  This may include accidents like oil spills or planned processes like where to put landfills.  An environmental engineer is very helpful in situations like this because they know all the procedures for contamination cleanup. As well as the best way to follow regulations.

Minimize the Effects of Pollution

Many environmental engineer jobs these days are all about how to minimize the effects of climate change.  The scientists study things like acid rain and car emissions. As well as ozone depletion.  If you are passionate about trying to reverse the negative effects humans have had on the environment, you might consider becoming an engineer.

Environmental Engineer Jobs Near Me

Ready to become an environmental engineer?  Hacking Solutions can help.  Their staffing team connects qualified engineers with companies that need their assistance.  Visit Hacking Solutions’ website to learn more.

The 8 Main Responsibilities of a Software Engineer

Software engineer testing software

Software engineer testing software

Software engineer jobs can be fun and exciting if you are into things like programming and developing apps.  There are many different responsibilities software engineers hold.  These vary across companies, depending on what the business needs the employees to do and what they are working on.  Here are some of the main responsibilities of software engineers.

1. Design Software

Many software engineer jobs involve designing software.  This may mean working to add on to an existing system, but it could also be creating something from scratch.  Software engineers are expected to be creative thinkers who can bring new ideas to a company.  Drafting proposals and using design software to create blueprints are tasks you may have in this position.

2. Develop Software

As engineers, you would expect developing software to be part of the job description for software engineers.  Again, this could mean additions or totally new applications.  You may be asked to create software for use within the company or for customers.

3. Test Software and Apps

Some software engineer jobs focus almost solely on testing the product that others in the company create.  If you are releasing new software or application into the world, you need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is going to work the way you say it will.  That is where all the tests that software engineers do come in.

4. Programming and Coding

With all of the designing, developing, and testing that software engineers do, you will obviously need to know how to code.  Different companies use different coding languages for programming their software and websites, so it is a good idea to double-check that you understand the one the business you are applying for uses.

5. Monitoring

  Near constant monitoring is vital.  Software engineers have to continue running tests and checking on the application to make sure that it isn’t developing any bugs.  Updates need to be planned, designed, and implemented.  All of these tasks are typical responsibilities in software engineer jobs.

6. Evaluating System Performance

It is not enough for an app or website to just run.  It needs to work correctly and do what it is supposed to.  For example, if some software engineers create a new time tracking system for their company, they will need to check up on the software over time to evaluate the system’s performance.  This may involve analyzing data and charts and discussing with others in the company about the results the software is producing.

7. Solve Problems

It may seem a little vague, but one of the main responsibilities of software engineers is to find solutions for problems.  This can look very different across companies. But the principle remains the same.  Expect software engineer jobs include troubleshooting and brainstorming. As well as group discussions on how best to implement all kinds of software and programs.

8. Explain Data to Others

Some software engineer jobs have a customer service component to them.  You may explain the data you’re collecting about marketing or sales to a client.  However, you could be asked to conduct a meeting within the company explaining how the launch of a new app is going.  While many software engineers’ tasks are done independently. There are other elements that require teamwork. As well as collaboration, and communication.

Software Engineer Jobs Near Me

Looking for software engineer jobs but not sure where to start?  Try Hacking Solutions.  Their staffing team helps dedicated software engineers find the best positions for them.  Visit their website to learn more.   

5 Tips for Hiring a New IT Staff Member

Interviewing for IT Staffing

Interviewing for IT Staffing

Finding a new employee in information technology can be a daunting task.  Where do you start when you need an additional or replacement IT staff member?  Here are some tips for the process of IT staffing.

1. Figure Out What You’re Looking For

You already know you need someone who knows a lot about information technology, but what else?  Make a list of the exact skills and qualifications an ideal candidate would possess.  If you are replacing a previous employee, figure out what they did on a day-to-day basis and look for a new person who can do the same.  Sometimes IT staffing focuses more on the business side of things, while other times it is more about the technical.  Determining what your business is actually looking for can help the hiring process be faster and more effective.

2. Ask Questions and Check References

As you would do in any interview, make sure to ask potential information technology workers about their accomplishments.  Where have they worked already, and how have they helped those companies?  Be sure to verify what they tell you through the references they provide.  It can be tempting to skip checking references, but they are often very beneficial when it comes to IT staffing.

3. Test Skills

When looking for a new IT staff member, you don’t just want someone who says they can work with certain software.  You need someone who can actually do it.  Figure out a way to test your interviewees’ skills, whether that is by asking them to solve a hypothetical problem at the interview or having them showcase their skills in a hands-on test.  You want employees who not only know their way around the software your company utilizes but also those who are creative, innovative, and can bring new ideas to your business.

4. Look Beyond Hard Skills

While IT staffing does focus on a lot of hard skills, there are other qualities that are just as important.  Soft skills are some of the most overlooked yet some of the most important characteristics an applicant can have.  Look for things like teamwork, communication, and collaboration on resumes.  Ask about how they operate in the work environment during the interview.  Finding the perfect fit for your company means discovering someone that has not just the technical knowledge but also the chemistry to fit in with fellow employees in information technology.

5. Know What You’re Talking About – Or Find Someone Who Does

IT has a lot of technical jargon associated with it.  It is important to use this kind of language in job postings and interviews.  That way the applicant knows that the job is a serious position and the employer knows that the candidate is well qualified.  The problem is that the people who are in charge of IT staffing are not usually the people who work in information technology.  A hiring manager can look up some good, jargon-filled questions to ask, but it will be difficult to determine if they are getting a proper response.  It is better to actually know what you are talking about.  Have a current IT staff member conduct the technical part of the interview, or hire an outside company to help you find the best IT employees.

Need help with IT staffing near me

Looking for new information technology workers but don’t know where to start?  Hacking Solutions provides IT staffing that you can trust.  Make the hiring process easy with Hacking Solutions.  Call (510) 454-9955 or visit them online to learn more.