A Computer Network is a group of computers—each one called a “node” in Computer Networking—that are connected through common resources, either via cabling or wireless connection. These resources can refer to printers, file servers, VPN, or even something as vast as the internet.
In order to ensure far-reaching networks of devices can stay connected, Computer Networks are important to learn about—especially as organizations increasingly allow remote working. Understanding various ways of keeping employees in communication with one another is key to business success, and learning about Computer Networks ensures there are professionals out there who can make it happen.
With the right mix of in-demand networking skills—from wireless, to virtualization, to security to application delivery, and various others—learners interested in Computer Networks can find themselves open to a wide variety of opportunities. In early July of 2020, there were over 5,500 results in LinkedIn’s Jobs portal containing the word “network computing”.
In 2017, NETWORKComputing revealed that Networking pros with the following job titles can earn more than $109,000 per year in the US: Network Architect, Wireless Network Engineer, Network Secuirty Engineer, Network Manager, and others.
Computer Networking courses offered through Coursera equip learners with knowledge in the fundamentals of computer networks; network security; network architecture; computer communications; software-defined networking; and more.
Lessons on Computer Networks are taught by instructors from major tech names and universities, including Google, The University of Colorado, VMware, The University of Chicago and other organizations. Learners can enjoy exploring Computer Networks with instructors specializing in Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Network Systems, Cloud Computing, Big Data, and other topics. Course content on Computer Networks is delivered via video lectures, readings, quizzes, and other types of assignments.
The skills and experience that you might need to already have, before starting to learn computer networks, is a strong passion for computers, networks, information technology, the internet, cloud platforms, and programming languages. Understanding a computer network requires, first and foremost, that you are mostly technology-centric. You look at problems in a computer network as a coding issue, rather than a downtime issue. You also might have skills or experience in software development, network administration, computer sciences, and related areas.
You may know if learning computer networks is right for you if you have a keen interest in learning about the main types of computer networks that are predominantly used in our world. These would be a personal area network, local area network, wide area network, campus area network, and metropolitan area network. You might also be the kind of person who reads computer network blogs, watches instructional videos on computer networks, and stays on top of computer network discussions in online forums for developers and network managers. Displaying this passion, and learning new things every day, can help you become proficient in your knowledge of computer networks.
The topics to study that are related to computer networks and would help you learn more might include label switching, storage area networks, batch processing, IP addresses, and wireless data networks. There is so much information to learn about a computer network that your head may spin. But getting a well-rounded education in computer systems, information security, computer hardware and software, and software development might benefit you in your years ahead working in computer networks.
A common computer networks career path may involve junior jobs as a computer network support specialist or a computer systems analyst. After you prove your worth to your organization in the daily responsibilities required for these roles, you may be able to advance to jobs like network and computer network architect, systems administrator, and information systems manager. These senior computer network roles would generally be in managing servers and systems for mid-sized to large organizations.