Computer networks are critical parts of almost every organization. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks. They organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems.
Network and computer systems administrators typically do the following:
Administrators manage an organization’s servers and desktop and mobile equipment. They ensure that email and data storage networks work properly. They also make sure that employees’ workstations are working efficiently and stay connected to the central computer network. Some administrators manage telecommunication networks.
In some cases, administrators help network architects design and analyze network models. They also participate in decisions about buying future hardware or software to upgrade their organization’s network. Some administrators provide technical support to computer users, and they also may supervise computer support specialists who help solve users’ problems.
Most employers require network and computer systems administrators to have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. Others may require only a postsecondary certificate.
Although some employers require only a postsecondary certificate, most require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. There are degree programs that focus on computer network and system administration. However, because administrators work with computer hardware and equipment, a degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering usually is acceptable as well. Programs in these fields usually include classes in computer programming, networking, or systems design.
Because network technology is continually changing, administrators need to keep up with the latest developments. Many continue to take courses throughout their careers and attend information technology (IT) conferences to keep up with the latest technology. Some businesses require that an administrator get a master’s degree.
Certification programs are generally offered directly from vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates knowledge and best practices required from network and computer systems administrators. Companies may require their network and computer systems administrators to be certified in the product they use. Microsoft and Cisco offer some of the most common certifications.
To gain practical experience, many network administrators participate in internship programs while in school.
Network administrators can advance to become computer network architects. They can also advance to managerial jobs in information technology (IT) departments, such as computer and information systems managers.
Analytical skills. Administrators need analytical skills to evaluate network and system performance and determine how changes in the environment will affect them.
Communication skills. Administrators must be able to describe problems and their solutions to non-IT workers.
Computer skills. Administrators oversee the connections of many different types of computer equipment and must ensure that they all work together properly.
Multitasking skills. Administrators may have to work on many problems and tasks at the same time.
Problem-solving skills. Administrators must be able to quickly resolve any problems that arise with computer networks.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|System Administrator III||Pride Technologies LLC||Wilton, CT||Jul 27, 2015||$208,700|
|Systems Administrator||Google Inc.||San Jose, CA||Nov 21, 2016||$190,000|
|Piping Support Engineer||Competentia Us, Inc.||Houston, TX||Jan 12, 2016||$180,000|
|MTS 1, Systems Administrator||EBAY Inc.||San Jose, CA||Jun 06, 2016||$170,000|
|Premier Support Engineer||Hortonworks, Inc.||Santa Clara, CA||May 30, 2016||$165,000|
|Systems Administrator||Google Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Nov 12, 2015||$160,000|
|Systems Administrator||Google Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Mar 17, 2016||$160,000|
|MTS 1, Systems Administrator||Paypal, Inc.||San Jose, CA||Apr 18, 2016||$160,000|
|MTS 1, Systems Administrator||Paypal, Inc.||San Jose, CA||Nov 18, 2016||$160,000|
|MTS 1, Systems Admin||Paypal, Inc.||San Jose, CA||Sep 05, 2015||$160,000|
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