Network Engineering Specialism

The primary role of a network engineer is to design, install, maintain and support communication networks within an organisation or between organisations.

They need to maintain high levels of network performance performance and availability for their users, such as staff, clients, customers and suppliers. They will understand network configuration, cloud, network administration and monitoring tools, and be able to give technical advice and guidance. As part of their role they need to be proficient in technology solutions as they will analyse system requirements to ensure the network and its services operate to desired levels. They will need to understand the data traffic and transmission across the network and they have a major role to play in ensuring network security.


Be able to:


Plan, design, build and test a simple network to a requirement specification that includes hubs, switches, routers and wireless user devices, applying appropriate security products and processes.

Determine the minimum network capacity of planned networks to meet network requirements.

Analyse network performance and troubleshoot typical problems in networks.

Identify the key characteristics of a new network service and develop estimates of the expected traffic intensity and traffic load that the network must support.

Design, build, test, configure and optimise a distributed network (more than 1 sub- net), including switches, routers and firewalls to meet given requirements.


Identify and evaluate network security risks and incorporate appropriate security products and processes into network designs to increase security, resilience and dependability.

Required Technical Knowledge and Understanding

  • The fundamental building blocks (e.g. routers, switches, hubs, storage, transmission) and typical architectures (e.g. server/client, hub/spoke) of computers, networks and the Internet.
  • The main features of routing and Internet network protocols in use, their purpose and relationship to each other, including the physical and data link layer (e.g. https, HTTP, SMTP, SNMP, TCP, IP, etc.).
  • The main factors that affect network performance (e.g. the relationship between bandwidth, number of users, nature of traffic, contention).
  • Failure modes in protocols (e.g. why a protocol may ‘hang’ and the effect of data communication errors).
  • The ways to improve performance (e.g. application of traffic shaping, changes to architecture to avoid bottlenecks, network policy that prohibit streaming protocols).
  • The issues that may arise in the day to day operation of networks and how to resolve them.

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