A network administrator is a valuable employee in an organization because this is the individual who keeps the computer and network systems running smoothly and securely. This individual also has many other duties that are invaluable. With the technology-driven world in which we live and work, we really couldn’t get by without the services of network administrators. Here is an overview of network administrators, including what they do, how to become one and what they experience for career outlook.
What Network Administrators Do
Network administrators might best be described as backbones of any business with computers because it is these trained professionals who are responsible for the day-to-day maintenance and upkeep of a company’s computer and network systems. They may work on long-term projects, such as maintaining telecommunications networks and backing up data, or they may fix issues that occur through daily use. Some of their duties include the following.
- Repairing software and hardware
- Installing software and hardware
- Monitoring computer performance and speed
- Installing and monitoring computer security systems
- Adding or removing users from the network
- Updating security systems and security authorization
- Implementing upgrades in computer systems when needed
- Training employees on the use of computer software and hardware
- Speaking with vendors regarding software and hardware
The job duties of network administrators vary depending on the size of the organization. They are almost always the ones who are called upon when there is an issue going on with the computer and networking systems.
See our ranking of the Top 5 Cheapest Online Associate’s in Network Administration Degrees.
How to Become One
To work as network administrators, candidates should have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information science or a related field. While an individual may be hired with an associate degree and some experience, a baccalaureate degree is the norm for this occupation. In most cases, the student will pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science and choose a specialization in computer network and system administration.
Some may even have a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. Regardless of which program is chosen, the student typically completes courses in systems design, networking, computer programming and computer science. Depending on the company and employer, the network administrator may be required to have a master’s degree.
Even after earning the degree, network administrators continue with education to keep up with the ever-changing technology and cyber threats. Most network administrators obtain certification in the software products they use. There are several certifications offered by companies like Cisco and Microsoft.
Career Outlook for Network Administrators
As firms and companies continue to invest in faster and more effective information technology systems, network and computer systems administrators will continue to be busy and in demand. A employment growth of six percent from 2016-2026 is predicted for these professionals by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Network administrators also earn very good wages. As of a May 2017 BLS report, these professionals earned annual wages from $49,830 to more than $130,200 with the annual mean wage being $81,100.
If there is anything that involves computers and the network, network administrators probably have a hand in it somewhere. Working as a network administrator can be rewarding, challenging and a lot of fun for individuals who want the satisfaction of fixing things and enjoy computers.