How Do I Become a System Administrator?

Systems AdministratorSo you want to become a system administrator? If you are interested in keeping the IT operations running smoothly in an organization, it is important to come up with a plan so that you can compete for the systems administrations jobs that are being created annually. The role of a systems administrator, also referred to as an admin, include essential IT tasks so that you can prevent problems and improve a system’s performance.

Your actual duties and responsibilities in systems administration depend entirely on the size of the organization that you choose to work for. If you work with a small company in-house, you may become what is commonly known as a the jack-of-all IT trades when you hold the title of systems admin. If you would for a large corporation, where there are several different areas of focus, you will need to have a specific expertise in a single area of IT so that you can identify and fix problems quickly.

Step One: Earn a Computer Science Degree

The first step of entering the computer career in systems administration is earning your Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Some of the concentrations that you can select when studying for your degree include: Network Administration, Web Technology, or Information Technology. After you earn your Bachelor’s degree, you should take time to review the requirements of employers or firms that you are interested in working for. While most small and mid-size employers will hire candidates with a B.S., some prefer more qualified candidates who are certified in specific programs. Some common certifications that systems administrators carry include: Sun Solaris, MCSA, Linux and Cisco Certified Network Professional.

Step Two: Getting Professional Experience

A systems administrator holds a lot of responsibility, and this means that most employers want to see that a candidate can perform under stress before handing out the title. If you want to improve your chances of becoming a sole admin or a member of a team of admins, you need to find entry-level positions that will help you get hands-on experience. You can get experience with specific systems by working as a Computer Technician or an assistant. Once you work your way up the ranks and you have three to five years of experience under your belt, you are on your way to being selected as a top systems admin.

Related Resource: Networking Manager

Interviewing For the Position

Eventually being hired as a systems administrator is all about how you present yourself during the interview process. One thing that you must know is that you are not playing a stereotypical role in IT when you work in administration. You need to be a problem-solver and an excellent communicator if you want to succeed. By highlighting these skills and showing off your range of computer competencies, you can improve your chances of securing a high-paying job.

The demand for skilled systems administrators is on the rise. As computer networks become more important to organizations, the need for professionals who can maintain and fix these networks will rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in the field will grow by 12%. With growth like this, it is easy to see that now is the time to study to become a system administrator.