Networks are a critical part of almost every organization. Technical solutions engineers, also known as systems administrators, organize, install, and maintain an organization’s computer systems, which can include local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, or other communications systems. If a company actually develops network systems as a product to sell, those companies will sometimes use their technical solutions engineers in a quasi sales role to help explain to clients how a network will perform and to upsell to a more expensive product.
Duties of a technical solutions engineer?
Computer networks are complex. Therefore, an administrator can have many varied technically challenging jobs as well as day-to-day tasks. Some of the tasks of an administrator include:
- Keeping the network up-to-date with the latest technology in order to meet the system needs of the organization
- Installing network hardware and software as well as required upgrades
- Accomplishing repairs as needed to hardware
- Maintaining network security features and keeping systems up-to-date on the latest security protocols
- Adding or removing users to and from the network when necessary
- Optimizing networks by collecting and evaluating system performance data
- Troubleshooting network problems
- Training users who will work with the network on a system level
Required skills for a technical solutions engineer
There are certain important qualities you would find in a successful technical solutions engineer. Administrators need to know how to analyze and evaluate network performance and predict how changes will impact the system. They must be able to accurately describe network problems and shortcomings, and potential solutions to management, which is why communications skills are a requisite. The administrator must have computer skills — not just system knowledge — as their job will require the ability to connect computers and ensure they function seamlessly in the network.
Technical solutions engineers have quite a variety of tasks, all of which can fall to one person, therefore other important skills they should have are the abilities to multitask and be problem-solvers. Someone who knows how to troubleshoot complex problems, determine the root cause, and develop and implement corrective action would be great as a technical solutions engineer.
Finding candidates with these qualities can be a tall order. By using a firm such as Enser Corp, companies can locate the highly-professional individuals you need, interview and vet them, and present them to a company for consideration. Being an engineering company, Enser Corp is especially well-positioned for this task.
Becoming a technical solutions engineer?
Smaller companies with less complicated network systems may only require their administrator to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field or even just a postsecondary certificate. However, most companies require at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field with an emphasis on computer science. Electrical engineers are also found as technical solutions engineers in some companies. Whatever the degree, the person should have the knowledge of working with system administration, computer programming, networking, and systems design.
Network systems are a fast-paced technology and require administrators to constantly work to remain abreast of the latest developments in the field by continuing education, attending seminars, and going to educational conferences. Also, the vendors that provide the products used by a company offer product-specific training that greatly enhances an administrator’s abilities. It is common for technical solutions engineers to transition to system architects and eventually to IT management; some even advance to Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or Chief Information Officer (CIO) positions. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, technical solutions engineers (and related positions) will increase 11 percent beginning in 2016 to 2026, with an estimated 33,000 jobs created during that time period.
Regarding types of degrees, of the technical solutions engineers surveyed,15 percent had business degrees, while computer science and information technology had 11 percent. Following closely behind were computer information systems and electrical engineering, both of which had 10 percent. Of those surveyed, 34 percent had bachelor’s degrees, 26 percent had master’s degrees, 25 percent had postsecondary certificates, and 9 percent had associate’s degrees. The average salary of a technical solutions engineer is $110,000.
Technical solutions engineers play an important role in many companies and organizations. Whether you’re considering becoming one or hiring one for your business, keep this information in mind to help you make sound decisions moving forward.