Network Operations Center Technicians
Education and Training Requirements
Take as many IT classes as possible—especially in computer networking and security. Other useful courses include mathematics, statistics, English, speech, and social studies.
Educational requirements for NOC technicians vary by employer. A small percentage of employers require applicants to have only a high school diploma (but also complete extensive, on-the-job training). Most employers require applicants to have a minimum of an associate’s degree in network administration, management information systems, network security, or a related field. Students are typically required to 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 that typically last from six months to one year. In-person, online, and hybrid options are available. Typical classes in such a program include Introduction to Network Administration, Core Networking Technologies, and Managing Information Security. Contact schools in your area to learn about available programs.
Other Education or Training
A variety of webinars, conference seminars, and other continuing education (CE) opportunities are offered by professional associations (such as the IEEE Computer Society, Association for Computing Machinery, and CompTIA), for-profit online education providers, and colleges and universities. Contact these organizations to learn more.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
Professional associations and tech companies offer a variety of voluntary information technology certifications in networking, computer security, and related areas. Becoming certified will increase your chances of receiving a higher salary, landing a job, and getting promoted. Here are some of the best-known network certification credentials.
- Certified Network Professional (Network Professional Association)
- Network+ and other credentials (CompTIA)
- CCNA (Cisco)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (ISC)²
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Any experience one can obtain in the field of computer networking—such as an internship, co-op, volunteering, or a part-time job—will be useful. Additionally, any previous experience in technical or customer support is highly recommended.
NOC technicians need a combination of tech and soft skills to be successful on the job. In terms of tech skills, they must have a familiarity with systems configuration and network security principles; experience using network management tools, application monitoring tools, operating systems, and incident tracking systems; and a high-level of understanding of IT troubleshooting methodologies.
In regard to soft skills, technicians need excellent analytical, troubleshooting, and decision-making abilities in order to quickly analyze information and evaluate results to choose the best solution to solve the problem. Strong interpersonal, communication (including listening), and leadership abilities are important because technicians frequently interact with coworkers and clients. Other important traits include patience, the ability to perform under pressure, good organizational and time-management skills, and the ability to handle sensitive or confidential customer data in a professional, responsible manner.