Becoming a Network Security Engineer in 2022
The role of network security engineer will put you in charge of designing and managing security systems, ensuring that an organization’s network is protected from bugs, malware, and other cyberthreats. Some of the duties of a network security engineer include monitoring, testing, and configuring hardware and software.
This article will explain the skills required to become a network security engineer and offer some practical advice on how to start your career.
Skills Required to Become a Network Security Engineer
When trying to fill network security engineer jobs, companies might look for several soft and technical skills. Some of the interpersonal and soft skills you’ll want to acquire include:
- Attention to detail, which is necessary for evaluating problems and equipment
- Analytic skills for identifying inconspicuous concerns and threats
- Problem-solving skills that allow you to act quickly but thoroughly
- Communication skills for explaining issues and directing other employees
On the technical front, some of the skills you’ll want to learn and master include:
- The ability to identify cybersecurity threats and implement the best course of action to mitigate them
- Familiarity with the latest technology and concepts in cybersecurity, along with information on the latest malware and schemes
- Confidence in implementing and administering technical solutions, such as firewalls, routers, VPNs, and servers
- Knowledge of cybersecurity laws and what must be done to comply with those regulations, especially as they change and evolve
As with most cybersecurity or networking positions, a network security engineer must continuously stay on top of the latest trends, threats, and technology to ensure they remain effective. A strategy for continuing your education through formal and informal training is worthwhile for job security and advancement.
What Does a Network Security Engineer Do?
On a day-to-day basis, the duties of a network security engineer include system testing, network monitoring, and security administration. In addition to solving problems as they are discovered, a network security engineer is also tasked with proactively searching for vulnerabilities and threats and efficiently mitigating them.
When attacks occur, whether successful or not, network security engineers should also be prepared to create reports around the event, guide the company through any necessary regulatory reporting, and present a robust plan for preventing those problems in the future. For smaller companies without a large cybersecurity team, a network security engineer may also be asked to provide input on employee training and company policies in data security and network security.
Do I Need a Degree to Be a Network Security Engineer?
Depending on your experience and where you apply, you will likely be able to work as a network security engineer without a degree or certification. However, some companies may prefer applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent in a field related to computers, such as a degree in cybersecurity or managed information systems (MIS).
Besides a bachelor’s degree, you can also bolster your resume by pursuing a certification, such as EC-Council’s Certified Network Defender (C|ND). A certificate from a trusted organization like EC-Council demonstrates your interest in the field and commitment to obtaining as much knowledge as possible.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Network Security Engineer?
The time it takes to become a network security engineer depends on your prior experience and education. For example, applicants without a relevant degree or certificate will likely be required to show at least 3-5 years of relevant work experience to prove their network security engineer skills and knowledge. Meanwhile, those with formal training may be able to transition directly into the position of a network security engineer.
In general, once you consider formal education or hands-on experience, you’ll likely need to accumulate three to five years of one or both before being qualified to work as a network security engineer for a medium or large company. It’s worth noting that network security engineers are in high demand, and demand continues to outgrow available applicants, making it easier to be placed in this position.
Which Is the Best Certificate for Network Security?
For many IT professionals, pursuing a four-year bachelor’s program is simply not an option due to time or financial constraints. Meanwhile, those who have completed a bachelor’s degree years ago may feel like something is missing in their present-day knowledge. In either case, obtaining a certificate in network security might be the right next step.
By maintaining certification in your field, you can demonstrate your commitment to your network security career while providing employers with confidence in your ability to act using today’s latest technology and concepts. However, finding the best network security certification takes legwork, as you want to ensure you choose a program that is robust, complete, up to date, and issued by a trusted certifying body.
When searching for network security engineer certifications, make sure you:
- Find an issuing body that is trusted and known for its work in the IT and tech fields.
- Invest in a program that fits your learning style. While self-guided online learning may work for some, finding a certificate that can be taken through live video or even in-person can help you retain more information and get more out of the program.
- Review the course outline and exam requirements in advance. Understand how long the course will take to complete and what is required to take and pass the exam to earn your certificate.
Get the Best Network Security Training with EC-Council
Becoming a cybersecurity network engineer is an exciting endeavor. Now that we’ve discussed the skills you need to enter this field, it’s time to embark on the next step: actually obtaining that knowledge so you can move forward.
Enrolling in a certificate program such as the Certified Network Defender from EC-Council is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for work in the network security field. As part of the C|ND course, you’ll become comfortable implementing the latest technologies and methodologies, including threat intelligence, remote worker threats, software-defined networks, and more.
The C|ND program will also prepare you to apply your knowledge within cloud environments, containers, and the most popular platforms (AWS, GCP, Kubernetes, etc.) utilized by companies around the world. If you’re ready to learn more, just take a few minutes and explore everything taught within the Certified Network Defender program today.
Intellipaat Blog. (2022, May 5). How to become a cyber security engineer in the year 2022. https://intellipaat.com/blog/how-to-become-cyber-security-engineer/
Maryville Online. (n.d.). How to become a network security engineer. https://online.maryville.edu/online-masters-degrees/software-development/careers/network-security-engineer/
Indeed Career Guide. (n.d.). How to become a security engineer (with steps and skills). https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/how-to-become-security-engineer
Kelley, K. (2022, June 27). How to become a cybersecurity engineer in 2022? Simplilearn.com. https://www.simplilearn.com/tutorials/cyber-security-tutorial/how-to-become-cyber-security-engineer
About the Author
Sydney Chamberlain is a content writer specializing in informational, research-driven projects.