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Network Operations Center Engineers


In the 1920s, the telephone company AT&T built regional traffic control bureaus that served as clearinghouses to receive information about any issues that affected its switching centers. These bureaus were early versions of network operations centers. In the 1960s, AT&T built network control centers (NCC) that displayed switch and routing information in real-time. In 1977, it replaced the NCCs with network operations centers that had domestic and international status boards that were updated five times a minute, according to a history of NOC monitoring from CHR Solutions, a broadband technology provider. The automation of NOCs increased in the 1980s but there was still demand for engineers to design, build, administer, monitor, repair, and maintain these systems.

In the late 2000s, the Internet of Things (IoT) emerged. This phrase refers to the trend of creating everyday objects with sensors that allow them to connect to the Internet. The IoT has greatly increased the number of devices that are connected to networks, prompting a need for further automation (with the help of artificial intelligence, AI). The total installed base of IoT-connected devices worldwide is projected to grow to 30.9 billion units by 2025, according to This is a major increase from the 10 billion units that existed in 2019. Automation and AI will reduce the need for engineers and technicians to monitor systems, but it will free them to design, build, and operate more complex network operations centers. The growing number of cyberattacks on NOCs will also create demand for engineers.

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