Career Paths: Network Administration Career Paths: Network Administration
What Network and Computer Systems Administrators Do Computer networks are critical parts of almost every organization. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for... Career Paths: Network Administration

What Network and Computer Systems Administrators Do

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.

Duties

Network and computer systems administrators typically do the following:

  • Determine an organization’s network and computer system needs before setting one up
  • Install all network hardware and software and make needed upgrades and repairs
  • Maintain network and computer system security and ensure that all systems are operating correctly
  • Collect data in order to evaluate and optimize network or system performance
  • Add users to a network and assign and update security permissions on the network
  • Train users in the proper use of hardware and software
  • Interpret and solve problems when a user or an automated monitoring system alerts them that one exists

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.

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.

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.

 

Work Environment

Network and computer systems administrators work with the physical computer networks of a variety of organizations and therefore are employed in many industries.

How to Become a Network and Computer Systems Administrator

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.

Pay

The median annual wage for network and computer systems administrators was $75,790 in May 2014.

Job Outlook

Employment of network and computer systems administrators is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for information technology workers is high and should continue to grow as firms invest in newer, faster technology and mobile networks.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of network and computer systems administrators with similar occupations.

How to Become a Network and Computer Systems Administrator 

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 gets 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.

 

Graduates of networking programs may be involved in the initial design, development, testing, maintenance, and safeguarding of an organization’s computer networks. Work often involves company LAN’s, WAN’s, internal intranets, extranets, wireless networks, as well as software and security issues involved with the network.

Computer Networking Schools in our area

  • DeVry University
  • ITT Technical Institute
  • Kaplan College
  • Mt. Sierra College
  • Westwood College
  • University of Phoenix
  • ABCO Technology Inc.
  • Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University
  • Fullerton College
  • West Los Angeles College
  • Mt. San Antonio College
  • Cypress College
  • ICDC College
  • Los Angeles Pierce College
  • Los Angeles Valley College