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Network Architect Job Description

Job Description

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Provide expert telecommunications consulting. Interpret business requirements into technical network solutions framework. Provide technology roadmaps governed by strategic direction, business requirements as well as resourcing and financial constraints. Liaise with enterprise, server and applications architects to ensure alignment across technology portfolios.

Recommended Reading

What Employers Seek from Technical Job Candidates - Lists the six most common keywords listed in technical job advertisements. It provides a great summary of the key factors in delivering quality technical expertise as seen by today's employers.

Technical Support Skills - Today's employers want well rounded candidates. This link lists the personal traits that employers listed in their job advertisements. It provides a window into the type of candidate that employers are looking to attract.

What Employers Seek from Management Roles - Lists the seven most common keywords listed in leadership job advertisements. It provides a great summary of the key factors in delivering quality customer service as seen by today's employers.


Duties

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  • Provide technical direction and frameworks to meet business needs.
  • Provide expert consultation for major network initiatives or incidents.
  • Produce and/or endorse network standards.
  • Provide advice and recommendations specific to customer requirements.
  • Evaluate emerging technologies against business and IT strategic needs.
  • Serve as a key representative on major network initiatives .
  • Update standards and guidelines.
  • Review the feasibility of new and existing IT projects
  • Write technical and business documentation.
  • Lead high level scoping and costing activities.
  • Guide and influence team members and business colleagues.
  • Create presentations/solutions and articulate to boards and executives.
  • Work with other SMEs and technical support teams in the pursuit of technically excellent solutions.
  • Produce technically excellent solutions architecture that is aligned to business needs and direction.
  • Review and evaluate disaster recovery strategies
  • Review designs for standards compliance, architecture compliance and negotiate implementation timeframes.
  • Work with the network operations and project delivery teams to promote network standards and compliance
  • Collaborate with business users, technical staff and management to define business and technical requirements.
  • Research, evaluate and approve vendor services and solutions

Key Competencies

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  • Influencing
  • Strategic Insight
  • Communications
  • Leading Others

Skills, Knowledge and Experience


Employer Demand Skill
70% Advanced knowledge of protocols including BGP, IS-IS, OSPF, and EIGRP
54% Advanced knowledge of tunneling protocols including IPSEC, GRE, L2TPv3
54% Knowledge of high availability protocols such as VRRP, HSRP, LACP, PAGP
46% Advanced knowledge of network virtualizaton technologies including MPLS and VRF
42% Advanced knowledge of routing technologies
38% Advanced knowledge of Quality of Service
38% Written and oral communication skills
33% Advanced knowledge of switching technologies
29% Data Center technologies knowledge and experience
29% High availability design experience
23% Experience with VOIP components and converged networks
23% Experience with load balancers (F5 and others)
13% Demonstrated ability to solve complex problems or produce complex solutions
8% Strong IPV6 skills
8% The ability to communicate and influence business and technical staff

Qualifications


Employer Demand Qualification
32% CCIE
29% JCIE
21% Degree

Salary

The following salary indicators were found for this role;

Role Roles Not Requesting a Degree Roles Requesting a Degree Top End
Network Architect Salary $102K - $132K $102K - $132K $145K
Contract Rates $80h - $90h N/A

Key Personal Attributes

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It is risky for an organization to rely squarely on a network architect without requiring the burden of evidence from this position for decisions made. An excellent network architect should be able to justify direction and decisions in business terms in a manner that is non-ambiguous and rational to stakeholders. In other words, business leaders should be able to converse - in business language - to an excellent network architect about the strategic direction of the network architecture. Every design component and framework should make sense in terms of meeting business requirements.

Attraction to the Position

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This position is often regarded as the pinacle of technical network roles. There is a high degree of satisfaction from reaching this position and from setting standards and architecture that makes a difference to the business.

Staff Retention Strategies for Employers

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Staff members occupying this role can feel pressured from
- Sitting across too many projects and being pulled in different directions. - Unrealistic expectations that they should hold expert skills across too many technologies. - Not understanding the true nature of an architect role and attempting to 'solve' every problem that is presented.

Employers can reduce the pressure on this role by ensuring that communication paths are open to the architect, ensuring that the organizational structure provides sufficient expertise across different technologies, ensuring that the role is clearly defined in terms of the architect providing standards and frameworks while engineers provide solutions to specific problems (complying with the standards and frameworks).

Advantage Alert

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The vast majority of employers seeking BGP, MPLS and VPN skills suggests that many/most corporations are connecting remote sites via clouds. This architecture is high on the employers list of priorities.

The top six most common skill requirements are technical in nature. This suggests that highly specialised certifications such as CCIE and JNCIE are well suited to this role.

Interested in Architecture? Find solutions architecture and enterprise architecture descriptions here.

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