Network Operations Center Engineers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

To prepare for a career as a NOC engineer, take as many computer science classes as possible—especially in networking, programming, and security. English and speech courses will be useful because you’ll need to be able to communicate effectively with coworkers and managers, give presentations, and write reports about your work. Other useful courses include mathematics, statistics, shop, and social studies.

Postsecondary Education

A small percentage of employers hire NOC engineers who only have an associate’s degree in engineering technology (although they typically require them to have at least five years of on-the-job experience in network administration). The majority of employers require applicants to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in network administration, management information systems, network security, electronics engineering, or a related field. It makes sense to earn a bachelor’s degree because competition for NOC engineering jobs is increasing, and those with stronger academic credentials will have better job prospects than those with only an associate’s degree. In addition to their in-class work, students usually participate in at least one internship or co-op at a network operations center to obtain experience.


Many colleges and universities offer certificate programs in computer networking, cyber security in computer networks, and related fields. These programs typically last from six months to one year. In-person, online, and hybrid options are available. For example, Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana, offers a cyber security and network operations certificate to students who complete the following classes:

  • Introduction to Network Operations and Security
  • Information and Data Security
  • Basic Cyber Crime and Computer Forensics
  • Operating Systems
  • Fundamentals in Network Operations and Security
  • Advanced Research in Cyber Crime and Forensics
  • English Composition
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Applied Psychology

Other Education or Training

A variety of webinars, conference seminars, and other continuing education opportunities are offered by professional associations (such as CompTIA, IEEE Computer Society, and the Association for Computing Machinery), colleges and universities, and for-profit online education providers. For example, the online education provider Udemy offers short courses such as Working at a Network Operations Center, Introduction to Computer Networks for Non-Techies, and Computer Networks Security from Scratch to Advanced. Visit for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Certification credentials in networking, computer security, and related areas are available from professional associations and tech companies. You do not need to become certified to work as an engineer, but many employers favor candidates who are certified because it sends a message that the applicant has met the highest standards established by his or her industry. Additionally, those who are certified typically receive higher salaries and a better chance at promotion than those who are not certified. Here are some popular certification credentials for NOC engineers.

  • Certified Network Professional (Network Professional Association)
  • Network+ and other credentials (CompTIA)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate, Cisco Certified Design Professional, and other credentials
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional [(ISC)²]

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Any computer networking experience you can obtain via an internship, co-op, volunteering, or a part-time job will be useful for aspiring NOC engineers.

NOC engineers must have a combination of tech and soft skills to be successful in their careers. In terms of tech skills, they must have a familiarity with programming languages such as Python, Java, C++, C, and JavaScript; Agile methodologies; wide area networks and local area networks; and systems configuration and network security principles. They also need to have expertise in the use and upkeep of popular networks, a comprehensive understanding of IT troubleshooting methodologies, and experience using network management tools, application monitoring tools, operating systems, and incident tracking systems.

In regard to soft skills, engineers must have top-notch analytical, organizational, troubleshooting, and problem-solving skills. They must be effective multi-taskers and able to perform well in a high-stress environment. Other important traits include self-motivation, leadership ability, patience, strong interpersonal and communication skills, and a willingness to continue to learn throughout one’s career.