What is the scope of a network engineer who holds a CCNA certification and has experience?

network engineer role

You’ve put in the hard work attaining your Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) credentials. Or perhaps you’ve acquired some networking admin experience under your belt. So, what is the actual scope of a network engineer who holds a CCNA certification and what are the career possibilities can leveraging this CCNA certification coupled with related exposure unlock at various companies?

Let’s explore impactful network engineering roles where a CCNA & experience can maximize your impact as well as income trajectory over the long-term.

Scope of a Network Engineer

Network Operations Roles

Day-to-day monitoring, maintenance and optimization of infrastructure form the heart of network operations. This is the typical starting point for associates gaining hands-on experience supporting aspects like:

  • Managing network gear inventories & documentation
  • Installing/upgrading routers, switches, controllers, access points
  • Configuring hardware/software services & functionality
  • Performing moves/changes/adds on network devices
  • Conducting maintenance, testing and monitoring tasks to ensure availability & performance
  • Identifying faults and undertaking recovery/troubleshooting procedures
  • Escalating issues and making recommendations to improve infrastructure

In smaller companies, network operations associates handle a wider span of responsibilities granting visibility for advancement. Certifications like CCNA signal competency to own such operational work.

Network Design Roles

After mastering daily infrastructure support and change management workflows, progressing into advanced network design work creates opportunities to shape architectures aligned to business priorities.

Associates architecting networks assess company needs before plotting network diagrams and equipment/topology plans factoring in elements like traffic, security and budget. Design experience allows engineers to guide infrastructure decisions, future upgrades while guarding performance/reliability.

A CCNA demonstrates the technology grounding to move into strategic design duties. And verbal/written communications grow vital engaging with stakeholders.

Specialist Network Engineering Roles

From cloud networks to SD-WAN to IoT infrastructure, companies seek engineers with specializations beyond standard LAN/WAN expertise as technologies evolve.

Pursuing niche CCNA concentrations via further Cisco certifications such as Cisco Certified DevNet Associate or Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate equip engineers to excel in roles like:

  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Network Security Engineer
  • Systems Integration Programmer
  • Network Automation Engineer

Experience & CCNA

Afford Management Potential Don’t discount leadership progression either. By blending a few years’ experience with CCNA status and engineers gain management authority to lead teams while guiding network policies and procedures.

The Bottom Line

The scope of a network engineer can be vast and ever-changing. While a CCNA and some experience open classic network operations roles, boosting proficiency in targeted areas or pursuing leadership growth dramatically expands possibilities.

By leveraging your CCNA certification and expertise as license to pursue specializations that are aligned to your interests and passions. The network engineering field rewards those recognizing their credentials’ flexibility.

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