Network Systems Administrator

What does a Network Administrator do?

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A network administrator maintains, installs, and organizes networks. For example, they work with Local Area Networks (LAN’s), Wide Area Networks (WAN’s) and Intranets. Additionally, they support company computer systems and other data communication systems to run efficiently. They also manage and work with Information Technology (IT) workers such as computer network architects and computer and information systems managers, and non-IT staff. Next, watch a video to learn about this career field.

How to Become a Network Administrator

Network Systems Administrator

Some employers require postsecondary certificates, but most organizations want a bachelor’s degree in information science, computer science, or related field. However, a degree in computer or electrical engineering is usually accepted as well. Additionally, some employers even prefer or require a master’s degree.

Considerable experience is expected and some gain practical experience at their college through internships and on-the-job training opportunities. It is important to remain current in this occupation because it is advancing rapidly, therefore it is suggested that one take courses during his or her career to remain competitive.

Job Description of a Network Administrator

A network administrator oversees an organization’s mobile, server, and desktop equipment. Additionally, they decide on the organization’s computer and network systems needs and install the hardware and software. If any repairs or upgrades are needed for any system, they are able to do it. They are expected to see that data storage networks and emails are operating efficiently and remain protected against viruses as well as the employee’s workstation. They make sure they are always connected to the central computer network. Telecommunications networks are sometimes managed by administrators.

He or she collects data and troubleshoots to find out if the systems or networks performance is working fast enough or if it can be made better. They are required to train others on the correct use of software and hardware. They are capable of solving a problem when it exists and perform data backups and disaster recovery operations.

A network computer systems administrator needs the knowledge of mathematics, computers and electronics, administration and management and the English language. They need skills, such as, critical thinking, reading comprehension, complex problem solving and systems evaluation, just to name a few. Network administrators work full-time and often must work overtime.

Network Administrator Career Video Transcript

As a critical part of almost every organization, computer networks require the oversight of information technology (or IT) professionals. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks. They start by ensuring an organization’s needs will be met by a system before setting it up, then install hardware and software, and make ongoing upgrades and repairs as needed. Their domain includes local area networks, wide area networks, and other data communication systems.

These IT professionals have frequent interaction with other IT staff, and with non-IT staff as well. Most network and computer systems administrators work full-time. Organizations depend heavily on continuous service from their computer networks, so when issues arise, administrators may work overtime hours. Network and computer systems administrators need a combination of communication skills to describe problems and their solutions to non-IT workers and problem-solving and computer skills to actually break down and resolve network issues.

Although some employers require only a certificate or an associate’s degree to enter the field, most require a bachelor’s degree in a major related to computer or information science. Because this occupation includes a focus on working with computer hardware and equipment, a degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering is usually acceptable as well.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Network and Computer Systems Administrators.

National Center for O*NET Development. 13-2011.01. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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