While corporations continue to broaden their usage of wireless and mobile systems, job opportunities for computer network architects will also grow within the next seven years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that nearly 21,000 spick-and-span designers will have found gainful employment by 2022, marking a 15 percent increase in the number of available positions offered in 2012.

(Photo Courtesy of Scott Spiro)

(Photo Courtesy of Scott Spiro)

“As the economy picks up, businesses of all sizes will need to create new networks, or improve existing ones,” said Scott Spiro, CEO at Computer Solutions Group, Inc. “Network architects are crucial to making this happen.”

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In Los Angeles, systems architects earn an average annual salary of more than $116,000, with top engineers raking in nearly $146,000 per annum, according to current data. Spiro said it is an imperative role that reflects changing times.

“Over the past few years, networks have continued to fragment from completely on-site systems to hybrid systems that live both on-premise and in the cloud. Network architects need to understand how businesses operate so that they can build solutions that will save money and can be highly scaled as a company grows.”

How will an architect’s role change by 2022?

“Data security will continue to become increasingly important. So, network architects will need to take this into consideration as they build networks.”

What defines a successful architect?

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“In addition to the technical chops that are needed, a network architect that wants upward mobility works well with teams and end-clients. Being able to convey complex technical ideas in plain English is a highly valuable skill.”

How does one prepare for a sustainable career in this field?

“A college degree is always helpful, because it teaches students how to think, plan and communicate in an effective manner. Also, train in technology at a trade school, intern with technology companies, and keep up-to-date on the latest technology, which is easy to do online.”

What is your message to determined network architects?

“Don’t forget that your training is not just about how to set up technology. It’s also about how the technology you create will benefit a business and, ultimately, its bottom line.”

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Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.