Network Systems and Data Communication Analysts Careers: Employment & Salary Trends for Aspiring Network Systems and Data Communication Analysts

Network Systems and Data Communication Analysts at a Glance

Network systems and data communication analysts work with both local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN). They are responsible for designing, testing, analyzing, and evaluating LAN and WAN systems. They also oversee Internet, intranet, and other data communications systems. These professionals perform network planning, analysis, and modeling as well as research in order to recommend the best network and data communications hardware and software.

Network systems and data communication analysts typically work full-time (35-40 hours per week), but around 15% of the workforce works part-time. Around 20% of the professionals in this field are self-employed.

Schools to consider:

Daymar College
Locations:
  • Clarksville, TN
  • Nashville, TN
  • Bowling Green, KY
CBT College
Locations:
  • Miami, FL
  • Hialeah, FL
Programs available:
South College
Locations:
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Nashville, TN
Keiser University Campus
Locations:
  • Melbourne, FL
  • Pembroke Pines, FL
  • Lakeland, FL

Employment Trends

Job Outlook: Above average
Annual Openings: 35,086
Percent Growth: 53.4%
Total Jobs Held: 292,000
Projected Employment: 447,800 by 2018
The Best 500 Jobs Overall Ranking: 8

Source: “Best Jobs for the 21st Century,” JIST Publishing 2009. Farr, Michael and Shatkin, Laurence, Ph.D.; “Salary Facts Handbook,” JIST Publishing 2008. Editors @ JIST.

Network systems and data communication analysts can expect above average job growth in this field thanks to new technologies, the implementation of mobile technologies, and the high demand for protection against threats to stored or active information. Network systems and data communication analysts with strong skills in security will enjoy a significant number of opportunities.

Salary Trends

In 2009, network systems and data communication analysts earned an average salary of $68,220  per year. This figure represents a 1.1% increase over 2008 ($67,460). Network systems and data communication analysts in the 90th percentile can expect to earn around 101,740 per year, while 75th percentile network systems and data communication analysts can expect to earn $82,630 per year. Entry-level network systems and data communication analysts can expect to earn a starting salary of around $38,410 per year.

Degrees and Training Programs

A bachelor’s degree or higher is required for entry into this field. Currently, 1% of all network & computer systems administrators hold a first professional degree, 2.5% hold a doctoral degree and 14.4% have a master’s degree. 33.4% of all network systems and data communication analysts hold a bachelor’s degree. Individuals with less than a bachelor’s degree typically work in entry-level positions or as computer support specialists while working on a bachelor’s degree or trying to work their way up to administrator. If these individuals do work in higher-level positions, they usually have a substantial amount of experience (5+ years) in the field, along with professional certification.

Just about every college or university offers a degree in computer science, information technology, information science or management information systems (MIS). Most colleges and universities also offer a master’s or other advanced degrees in computer science, information technology or information science or a concentration in these areas.

Coursework Required

In addition to the basics such as English, math, finance, and accounting, aspiring network systems and data communication analysts will take courses such as database management, data structures, programming, computer systems, foundations of software engineering, compiler design, and database applications, to name a few.

Did you know that the first Email system was developed in 1971? Ray Tomlinson developed the first email system that worked with the Internet. This was literally decades before the World Wide Web. Email was the dominant communication method on the early Internet.