Network Engineer

Overview

Network Engineer Overview

Network Engineer apprentices are taught how to design, install, maintain and support communication networks within an organisation or between multiple organisations. They'll understand network configuration and administration, the cloud and monitoring tools; and be able to give technical advice and guidance.

To achieve their Network Engineer apprenticeship, apprentices must:

  • Demonstrate competence - against three knowledge modules: Network Principles, Network Systems and Architecture and Network Security. These are assessed by examinations set by the British Computer Society and regulated by Ofqual. Apprentices must pass all three modules.
  • Submit a portfolio of evidence - showing how they have applied the knowledge from these modules to projects and activities in their workplace.
  • Complete their formal End Point Assessment - which comprises: a synoptic project to showcase knowledge and skills from across the apprenticeship; a review of their portfolio of evidence; and a final interview with an independent EPA assessor.

Successful Network Engineer apprentices go on into roles such as a Network Technician, Network Engineer, Systems Engineer and Network Administrator.

Technical Competencies

Upon completion of their Network Engineer apprenticeship, individuals will be able to:

  • design simple networks from a well-defined specification and apply appropriate security products
  • install and configure network components, including switches, routers and firewalls
  • optimise the performance of network systems and services
  • monitor, test and adjust network systems and performance to meet accepted standards
  • document work done in accordance with agreed procedures
  • apply diagnostic tools and techniques to identify the causes of network performance issues
  • undertake system upgrades to network hardware, software and operating systems
  • integrate network related software into an existing network environment
  • interpret written requirements and technical specifications for network activities
  • maintain accurate records of network maintenance activities
  • operate within the parameters of service level agreements, standards and/or agreed response times
  • operate effectively in the business environment and respond to business issues related to network engineering
  • log and respond to network service calls and provide technical network support to end users as required
  • apply structured approaches to troubleshooting network issues and repair faults in hardware, software products

Technical Knowledge and Understanding

Upon completion of their Network Engineer apprenticeship, individuals will:

  • understand and apply the principles of networking, protocols and associated technologies (specifically this should include the latest published versions of OSI layer model, IP, TCP/IP, routing and switching, WANs, LANs)
  • understand and apply the applied maths required to be a network engineer (e.g. algorithms, data, binary, probability and statistics)
  • understand the causes and consequences of system failure including load balance and storage protocols and respond appropriately
  • understand the architecture of a typical business IT system, including hardware, OS, server, virtualisation, middleware and applications
  • understand and respond to security threats, firewalls and vulnerabilities

Underpinning Skills, Attitudes and Behaviours

  • Logical and creative thinking skills
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Ability to work independently and to take responsibility
  • Can use own initiative
  • A thorough and organised approach
  • Ability to work with a range of internal and external people
  • Ability to communicate effectively in a variety of situations
  • Maintain productive, professional and secure working environment

Qualifications

Apprentices will achieve two BCS qualifications and one vendor certification.

Funding

£18,000

Level

This is a level 4 apprenticeship.

Professional Recognition

This apprenticeship is recognised for entry onto the register of IT technicians confirming SFIA level 3 professional competence and those completing the apprenticeship are eligible to apply for registration.

Duration

The duration of this Firebrand apprenticeship is 16 months. Because this period involves both training and the final End Point Assessment (some of which must be carried out in the workplace), employers need to ensure the apprentice’s contract covers the full programme duration.

Registration to the Register of IT Technicians (RITTech)

Once apprentices have completed their apprenticeship they are officially recognised by the British Computer Society (BCS) for entry onto the Register of IT Technicians, confirming SFIA level 3 professional competence.

Curriculum

Network Engineer curriculum

Firebrand’s apprenticeship programme covers all mandatory knowledge and skills outlined in the apprenticeship standard. Every Firebrand apprentice attends a suite of market-leading training programmes, to cover knowledge required from the apprenticeship standard. This training is then fleshed out through a package of selected online learning, which also allows apprentices to explore any topics of particular interest/importance to them in greater depth.

How are apprentices taught?

Apprentices receive a range of market-leading training as part of their qualification – typically between three and five courses per apprenticeship - giving them fundamental skills at speed.

We'll deliver all the knowledge apprentices need to learn for each knowledge module in the Standard through our Lecture | Lab | Review delivery. Apprentices then attend a Syllabus Review Session to cover the knowledge content covered in the apprenticeship standard.


Knowledge Module 1: Network Principles

Upon completion of this Knowledge Module, Network Engineer apprentices will:

  • Understand and apply the principles of networking, protocols and associated technologies
  • Understand and apply the applied maths required to be a Network Engineer

Read through the full curriculum for Firebrand's classroom-based training and supporting online learning modules below.

Networking Concepts

  • Explain the purposes and uses of ports and protocols.
  • Explain devices, applications, protocols and services at their appropriate OSI layers
  • Explain the concepts and characteristics of routing and switching.
  • Given a scenario, configure the appropriate IP addressing components.
  • Compare and contrast the characteristics of network topologies, types and technologies.
  • Given a scenario, implement the appropriate wireless technologies and configurations.
  • Summarize cloud concepts and their purposes
  • Explain the functions of network services.

Infrastructure

  • Given a scenario, deploy the appropriate cabling solution.
  • Given a scenario, determine the appropriate placement of networking devices on a network and install/configure them.
  • Explain the purposes and use cases for advanced networking devices.
  • Explain the purposes of virtualization and network storage technologies.
  • Compare and contrast WAN technologies.

Network Operations

  • Given a scenario, use appropriate documentation and diagrams to manage the network.
  • Compare and contrast business continuity and disaster recovery concepts.
  • Explain common scanning, monitoring and patching processes and summarize their expected outputs.
  • Given a scenario, use remote access methods.
  • Identify policies and best practices.

Network Security

  • Summarize the purposes of physical security devices.
  • Explain authentication and access controls.
  • Given a scenario, secure a basic wireless network.
  • Summarize common networking attacks.
  • Given a scenario, implement network device hardening
  • Explain common mitigation techniques and their purposes.

Network Troubleshooting and Tools

  • Explain the network troubleshooting methodology.
  • Given a scenario, use the appropriate tool.
  • Given a scenario, troubleshoot common wired connectivity and performance issues.
  • Given a scenario, troubleshoot common wireless connectivity and performance issues.
  • Given a scenario, troubleshoot common network service issues.
  • Networking Fundamentals Part 1
  • Networking Fundamentals Part 2
  • Network Architecture
  • Networking Operations
  • Networking Security
  • Troubleshooting
  • Industrial Standards, Practices and Network Theory

Total time: 33 hours 23 minutes


Knowledge Module 2: Network Systems and Architecture

Upon completion of this Knowledge Module, Network Engineer apprentices will:

  • Understand the causes and consequences of system failure including load balance and storage protocols and responds appropriately
  • Understand the architecture of a typical business IT system, including hardware, OS, server, virtualisation, middleware and applications

Read through the full curriculum for Firebrand's classroom-based training and supporting online learning modules below.

Load Balancing Failures

  • Describe the causes of and impact of DNS round robin failures and summarise the appropriate response for each
  • Explain causes and consequences of network load balancer failures and summarise the appropriate response for each
  • Storage Protocol Failures

  • Identify the reasons for and the impact of locally attached storage protocol failures (SATA, SCSI, SAS) and summarise the appropriate response for each
  • Describe the causes and impact of failures of RAID (0,1,5,10) and summarise the appropriate response for each
  • Describe the causes and impact of failures of network shares and network attached storage (NAS) and summarise the appropriate response for each
  • Explain causes and consequences of storage area network (SAN) failures over the Fibre Channel protocol and summarise the appropriate response for each
  • Explain causes and consequences of SAN failures over Fibre Channel over Ethernet ((FCoE) and summarise the appropriate response for each
  • Explain causes and consequence of SAN failures over the iSCSI and summarise the appropriateness for each
  • Describe the causes and consequences of cloud storage failures and summarise the appropriate response for each

Hardware Failures

  • Explain the causes and impact of computer system failures and summarise the appropriate response for each
  • Express the causes and impact of network failures and summarise the appropriate response for each

Configuration Errors

  • Describe the causes and impact of incorrectly applied / faulty patches and summarise the appropriate response for each
  • Explain causes and impact of IP Addressing configuration errors and summarise the appropriate response for each; with a focus on Invalid IP address, netmask, gateway and DNS Server
  • Describe the causes and impact of VLAN configuration errors and summarise the appropriate response for each

Environmental Problems

  • Explain causes and impact of excessive heat and summarise the appropriate response
  • Describe causes and impact of a lack of power and summarise the appropriate response
  • Describe causes and impact of EMI / RFI and summarise the appropriate response

Errors in Security

  • Describe the causes and impact of backup failure and summarise the appropriate response
  • Explain the causes and impact of malware infection and summarise the appropriate response
  • Explain the causes and impact of poor wireless security and summarise the appropriate response
  • Explain the causes and impact of a failure to implement physical security

Errors resulting in a lack of capacity

  • Describe the causes of network latency and summarise the appropriate response
  • Describe the causes of lack of bandwidth and summarise the appropriate response
  • Explain the causes of lack of storage capacity and summarise the appropriate response
  • Explain the causes of lack of memory and summarise the appropriate response
  • Describe the causes of lack of compute (CPU) capacity and summarise the appropriate response

Network Infrastructure Components

  • Explain the purpose of types of network switches
  • Describe the functions of routers
  • Describe the function of wireless systems
  • Describe the functions of key network security devices
  • Explain the differences between server hardware formats

Features of Client-Server Operating Systems and Applications

  • Describe the typical client operating system features
  • Explain the typical server operating system features
  • Describe the function of different types of server
  • Explain the key function of business application software
  • Components and functions of virtualised systems

  • Describe the functions of basic components of virtualised systems
  • Explain the key differences offered by levels of cloud service
  • Describe the function of virtual desktop infrastructure
  • Features of Middleware

  • Explain the key features of middleware
    • Installing Windows Server 2016
    • Implementing Windows Server 2016 Storage Solutions
    • Implementing Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V
    • Implementing containers in Windows Server 2016
    • Implementing high availability in Windows Server 2016
    • Maintain and Monitor Windows Server 2016

    Total time: 20 hours 34 minutes


    Knowledge Module 3: Network Security

    Upon completion of this Knowledge Module, Network Engineer apprentices will:

    • Understand and respond to security threats, firewalls and vulnerabilities

    Read through the full curriculum for Firebrand's classroom-based training and supporting online learning modules below.

    1.0 Threats, Attacks and Vulnerabilities

    • 1.1 Given a scenario, analyse indicators of compromise and determine the type of malware.
    • 1.2 Compare and contrast types of attacks.
    • 1.3 Explain threat actor types and attributes.
    • 1.4 Explain penetration testing concepts.
    • 1.5 Explain vulnerability scanning concepts.
    • 1.6 Explain the impact associated with types of vulnerabilities.

    2.0 Technologies and Tools

    • 2.1 Install and configure network components, both hardwareand software-based, to support organisational security.
    • 2.2 Given a scenario, use appropriate software tools to assess the security posture of an organisation.
    • 2.3 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common security issues.
    • 2.4 Given a scenario, analyse and interpret output from security technologies.
    • 2.5 Given a scenario, deploy mobile devices securely.
    • 2.6 Given a scenario, implement secure protocols.

    3.0 Architecture and Design

    • 3.1 Explain use cases and purpose for frameworks, best practices and secure configuration guides.
    • 3.2 Given a scenario, implement secure network architecture concepts.
    • 3.3 Given a scenario, implement secure systems design.
    • 3.4 Explain the importance of secure staging deployment concepts.
    • 3.5 Explain the security implications of embedded systems.
    • 3.6 Summarise secure application development and deployment concepts.
    • 3.7 Summarise cloud and virtualisation concepts.
    • 3.8 Explain how resiliency and automation strategies reduce risk.
    • 3.9 Explain the importance of physical security controls.

    4.0 Identity and Access Management

    • 4.1 Compare and contrast identity and access management concepts.
    • 4.2 Given a scenario, install and configure identity and access services.
    • 4.3 Given a scenario, implement identity and access management controls.
    • 4.4 Given a scenario, differentiate common account management practices.

    5.0 Risk Management

    • 5.1 Explain the importance of policies, plans and procedures related to organisational security.
    • 5.2 Summarise business impact analysis concepts.
    • 5.3 Explain risk management processes and concepts.
    • 5.4 Given a scenario, follow incident response procedures.
    • 5.5 Summarise basic concepts of forensics.
    • 5.6 Explain disaster recovery and continuity of operation concepts.
    • 5.7 Compare and contrast various types of controls.
    • 5.8 Given a scenario, carry out data security and privacy practices.

    6.0 Cryptography and PKI

    • 6.1 Compare and contrast basic concepts of cryptography.
    • 6.2 Explain cryptography algorithms and their basic characteristics.
    • 6.3 Given a scenario, install and configure wireless security settings.
    • 6.4 Given a scenario, implement public key infrastructure.
    • Network Security
    • Threats and Vulnerabilities
    • Compliance and Operational Security
    • Application, Data and Host Security
    • Identity and Access Management
    • Cryptography

    Total time: 18 hours 45 minutes


    Additional Courses

    Choose from one of Firebrand's accelerated courses listed below to add to this apprenticeship programme. These courses are delivered when apprentices have submitted evidence to their End Point Assessment gateway.

    These additional courses support apprentices in achieving a Distinction grade at End Point Assessment.

    Prerequisites

    Who can enroll on a Network Engineer apprenticeship?

    End Point Assessment

    How are Network Engineer apprentices assessed?

    Progression Plan

    How do Network Engineer apprentices progress?

    Exams

    Exams

    While apprentices benefit from new digital skills they can use in their job, almost all digital apprenticeships that Firebrand offer provide the chance to gain industry recognised qualifications.

    Apprentices gain qualifications through either BCS or Vendor specific exams where applicable. These qualifications add to a professional career and can be used to help move seamlessly between roles in the IT industry.

    All relevant exams that will be achieved during this apprenticeship are listed below:

    1. CompTIA Network+
    2. BCS Level 4 Certificate in Network Systems and Architecture
    3. BCS Level 4 Certificate in Network Security

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