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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.Duties
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.Education
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.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
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.Other Experience
To gain practical experience, many network administrators participate in internship programs while in school.Advancement
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.Important Qualities
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Systems Administrator
Top Careers After Systems Administrator
Hispanic or Latino10.6%
Black or African American0.9%
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University of Phoenix24.1%
University of Maryland - University College8.7%
Western Governors University6.1%
Community College of the Air Force5.1%
George Mason University4.6%
Colorado Technical University4.3%
Northern Virginia Community College3.9%
University of Houston3.5%
American InterContinental University3.4%
Pennsylvania State University3.2%
San Jose State University2.9%
Rochester Institute of Technology2.8%
Southern New Hampshire University2.6%
More Tech Institute2.5%
University of Maryland - College Park2.3%
University of Central Florida2.3%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Manager Support Engineering||Codeobjects, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Apr 23, 2018||$140,000|
|Manager Support Engineering||Codeobjects, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Oct 05, 2015||$140,000|
|Systems Administrator||Inovant, LLC||Ashburn, VA||Mar 09, 2013||$105,435 -
|Systems Administrator||ICSA Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Mar 17, 2016||$97,000|
|System Administrator||UBS Financial Services Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Oct 06, 2010||$96,450 -
|Systems Administrator||Infowin Technologies LLC||Ashburn, VA||Feb 01, 2011||$96,158|
|Systems Administrator||ICSA Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 21, 2015||$96,000|
|Systems Administrator||GVA Infotech Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 16, 2018||$96,000|
|Systems Administrator||Amiti Consulting, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Apr 19, 2016||$95,763|
|Systems Administrator||Inovant LLC||Ashburn, VA||May 15, 2018||$95,000 -
|Systems Administrator||Inovant, LLC||Ashburn, VA||Oct 31, 2016||$93,930 -
|Systems Administrator||Inovant LLC||Ashburn, VA||Jul 20, 2016||$93,000 -
|System Administrator||Idexcel, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Aug 21, 2018||$92,100|
|System Administrator||Wipro Limited||Ashburn, VA||Feb 07, 2018||$85,280|
|System Administrator||Wipro Limited||Ashburn, VA||Oct 10, 2017||$85,280|
|Systems Administrator||Inovant LLC||Ashburn, VA||Mar 23, 2016||$85,000 -
|Systems Administrator-Storage Operations||Inovant, LLC||Ashburn, VA||Mar 27, 2017||$83,584 -
|System Administrator||Wipro Limited||Ashburn, VA||Aug 18, 2017||$83,221|
|System Administrator||Wipro LLC||Ashburn, VA||Aug 26, 2017||$83,221|
|Systems Administrator||Inovant, LLC||Ashburn, VA||Sep 10, 2012||$80,018 -
|System Administrator||Arthur Grand Technologies Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Jan 09, 2016||$80,000|
|Systems Administrator||Inovant, LLC||Ashburn, VA||Mar 08, 2010||$79,997 -
|Systems Administrator||Inovant, LLC||Ashburn, VA||Apr 05, 2010||$79,997 -
|System Administrator||Wipro Limited||Ashburn, VA||Jun 01, 2016||$79,726|
|System Administrator||Wipro Limited||Ashburn, VA||Dec 04, 2016||$79,726|
|System Administrator||Wipro Limited||Ashburn, VA||May 05, 2016||$79,726|
|System Administrator||Wipro Limited||Ashburn, VA||Apr 20, 2016||$79,726|
|Systems Administrator||New England It Associates, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 25, 2015||$79,726|
|Systems Administrator||Zillion Technologies, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Dec 10, 2016||$79,726|
|Systems Administrator||Inovant, LLC||Ashburn, VA||Jan 26, 2015||$78,603 -
|System Administrator||Novisync Solutions, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Nov 11, 2014||$75,000|
|System Administrator||CSC Covansys Corporation||Ashburn, VA||Dec 21, 2009||$74,000 -
|Support Engineer I||Vadata Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Jun 03, 2015||$71,614 -
|Support Engineer I||Vadata Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Jun 10, 2015||$71,614 -
|System Administrator||Microinfo, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Apr 01, 2014||$70,000|
|Systems Administrator||Digital Terrain, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 05, 2014||$70,000|
|Systems Administrator||Benecias LLC||Ashburn, VA||Mar 13, 2017||$68,000|
|System Administrator||Novisync Solutions, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Jan 13, 2017||$67,288|
|System Administrator||Eforce Technologies, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||May 09, 2017||$67,288|
|Systems Administrator||Novisync Solutions, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 16, 2017||$67,288|
|Systems Administrator||Novisync Solutions, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 19, 2017||$67,288|
|Systems Administrator||Infowin Technologies LLC||Ashburn, VA||Feb 01, 2011||$65,000|
|Systems Administrator (SAP)||Value Consulting, LLC||Ashburn, VA||Aug 20, 2010||$65,000|
|Systems Administrator||Explicit Systems USA, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 19, 2016||$63,710 -
|Systems Administrator||Microinfo Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Dec 09, 2016||$63,710|
|Systems Administrator||Baltech Solutions Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 05, 2015||$61,714|
|System (Storage) Administrator||YASH Solutions, LLC||Ashburn, VA||Nov 18, 2013||$60,000|
|Systems Administrator||Ampcus, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Apr 14, 2010||$60,000|
|Systems Administrator||Novisync Solutions, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 17, 2014||$60,000|
|System Administrator||Gallant Global Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 16, 2013||$60,000|
|Systems Administrator||YASH Solutions, LLC||Ashburn, VA||Feb 10, 2011||$54,600|
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