Network Engineers has remained a sought-after profile throughout 2021. Most talented engineers in the Dublin market are skilled in the use of Cisco, Palo Alto and Aruba technology. Others commonly and widely used in the Dublin market include Arista, Checkpoint, Juniper, HP and Dell. CCNA and CCNP qualifications are quite commonly possessed by engineers in Ireland.
While the core networking skills have remained the same, there is a growing trend amongst employers looking for network engineers with skills in automation, primarily through PowerShell, Bash and Python. This links well with cloud technologies and as we are seeing across several other disciplines, cloud experience is becoming a highly sought-after skill amongst companies hiring for network professionals.
In previous years we would have seen only larger global organisations look for these candidates, however, companies of all sizes are now adopting cloud technologies such as AWS and Azure. AWS remains the most prominent option, however, Azure continues to grow in popularity. Other options such as Google Cloud Platform and IBM public cloud offer alternatives. With many organisations looking to transition their network to the cloud, finding experienced network engineers with public cloud experience is becoming a top priority. These skillsets also allow for candidates to transition into more niche roles such as Network Automation or Network Development.
Since 2020 we have also witnessed the ability for the role to be performed completely remote with engineers largely only required onsite for data centre issues or similar. Projects and operational work have continued to be performed remotely over the past number of months with many Irish clients now offering fully remote work moving forward. The preferred hybrid model is set to be established by many companies in the new year. This flexibility is a common theme found in conversations with candidates, as many look for hybrid as a minimum when searching for new roles.
Contracts in this field have grown in commonality as have the day rates ever so slightly with the demand for highly skilled network engineers remaining steady throughout the latter half of 2021. More companies are also turning to network architects on a contract basis to assist with the conceptualization, design and deployment of new large-scale networks. Many more experienced network engineers with experience and certifications in network architecture can be seen transitioning over to contract work.