The Essential Network Engineer Skillset Needed for 2024

2024 promises an environment characterised by increasingly complexity, emerging technology, and a growing demand for highly developed network engineers with a highly developed skillset.

As we move into the future, the role of network engineers continues to evolve, shaped by advancements in technology, and the ever-expanding landscape of connectivity. Throughout this post, we will delve into the essential skillset that network engineers will need to navigate the challenges and opportunities awaiting them in 2024.

Proficient in Emerging Technologies

An essential part of a network engineers skillset in 2024 will be being well-versed in the latest and emerging technologies that are reshaping the networking landscape. This includes a deep understanding of technologies like 5G, software-defined networking (SDN), and edge computing. Being proficient in these areas will be crucial for designing and managing networks that can handle the demands of modern applications.

  • 5G Networks: As the rollout of 5G gains momentum, network engineers need to understand the intricacies of the technology. Having the ability to design and optimise 5G connectivity will be a valuable skill. This ensures organisations can leverage the full potential of ultra-fast and low-latency communication.
  • Software-Defined Networking (SDN): Network engineers must be adept at configuring and managing SDN architectures to enhance flexibility, scalability, and automation in network operations.
  • Edge Computing: With the generation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the need for real-time processing, edge computing is becoming increasingly important. Network engineers should understand how to design and secure networks that efficiently support edge computing deployments.
Cybersecurity Expertise

Cyber threats are ever-present and increasingly sophisticated, so excellent cybersecurity expertise is essential within a network engineer skillset. Having the ability to implement robust security measures, conduct risk assessments, and respond effectively to security incidents is paramount.

  • Network Security: Network engineers should possess a comprehensive understanding of network security protocols, encryption methods, and intrusion detection. This knowledge is crucial for safeguarding networks against data breaches and other security threats.
  • Zero Trust Architecture: The concept of Zero Trust, where trust is never assumed and verification is required for anyone trying to access resources, is gaining prominence.
  • Incident Response and Forensics: In the unfortunate event of a security breach, network engineers must be capable of conducting effective incident response and forensic analysis. This process includes identifying the source of an attack, mitigating the impact, and implementing measures that prevent future incidents.

Read more about ‘The Crucial Role of Cybersecurity in Technical Sales‘ in our other blog article.

Soft Skills: Communication and Collaboration

Whilst technical skills are crucial, soft skills are equally important. Especially as network engineers interact with diverse teams, stakeholders, and departments.

  • Communication Skills: The ability to communicate technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders is vital. Network engineers should be able to translate complex networking issues into clear and understandable language for decision-making.
  • Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking: Networks are dynamic and subject to unexpected challenges. Network engineers should possess strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills to troubleshoot issues, analyse network performance, and implement effective solutions.
  • Collaboration: Networking isn’t an isolated business function; it involves collaboration with various stakeholders. Network engineers must work seamlessly with cross-functional teams to ensure the network strategies are aligned with overall business objectives.

In 2024, the role of a network engineer demands a multifaceted skillset that extends beyond traditional knowledge. The convergence of emerging technologies, security imperatives, and the ubiquity of the cloud requires network engineers to be adaptable and forward-thinking.

Continuous Learning and Adaptability

Network engineers need to embrace a mindset of continuous learning alongside the new technologies and methodologies that are emerging. In doing so, individuals will stay relevant within the ever-changing landscape.

  • Certifications and Training: Obtaining relevant certifications and participation in ongoing training programs is essential. Some examples include: Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
  • Stay Informed with Industry Trends: Actively following industry trends, attending conferences, and participating in online communities ensure you will be informed about the latest technology.

At Visuna, we are here to support you with your next step in your career within the tech industry. Speak to our specialists today to find your next challenge.

Need help creating a job description for your Network Engineer vacancy? Explore our guide here.

Contact Us