What is a Network Administrator?

Network AdministratorFor individuals seeking to enter the in-demand information technology field, choosing a career as a network administrator could be the perfect fit. As new mobile networks and faster technologies are developed, it is expected that firms will continue to invest in hiring qualified network administrators to handle the daily operations of complex computer networks. Therefore, employment of network administrators in the computer systems industry is expected to skyrocket by 35%, thus creating 42,900 new jobs before 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In order to determine if this is the ideal career path to meet your individual interests and professional talents, read on for a full overview of the job description for network administrators.

What Do Network Administrators Do

From local area networks and wide area networks to intranets and ethernets, network administrators are responsible for managing an organization’s critical computer servers are running efficiently. Network administrators are often involved in organizing, installing, and supporting computer systems throughout the central computer network to guarantee that all employees of the organization are properly connected. Daily duties for network administrators include determining organizational needs in a computer system, installing network hardware, making necessary software updates, maintaining system security, adding new users to the network, collecting information on the network’s performance, and solving problems that exist. Some network administrators will also work closely with network architects to help analyze network models and contribute to decisions on upgrades for the organization’s network.

Where Do Network Administrators Work

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are around 366,400 jobs currently being held by network administrators throughout the United States. The highest percentage (16%) of network administrators are employed within the computer systems design and related services industry. However, network administrators can find job opportunities working with the physical computer networks of various industries, including education, healthcare, manufacturing, finance, insurance, information technology, and business. In most cases, network administrators are hired full-time, but many are required to work overtime hours to ensure that computer networks are operating appropriately round-the-clock. During their workday, network administrators may work with network architects, computer systems managers, and non-information technology staff members.

How to Become a Network Administrator

Though there are some jobs available with simply a post-secondary certificate, the best job prospects for network administrators come to those with at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Network administrators often benefit the most from receiving a four-year undergraduate degree in computer science, information technology, computer engineering, or computer programming. Since network administrators work daily with computer hardware and need to stay up-to-date on the latest developments, some businesses will require that they take courses throughout their careers or receive a master’s degree. It is also highly recommended that network administrators pursue certification as a Cisco Certified Network Association (CCNA) to have a competitive edge in the current job market.

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Overall, network administrators utilize their analytical, communication, computer, problem-solving, decision-making, and multitasking skills to oversee the connections of many different types of computer equipment to ensure all of an organization’s networks are working properly. If you believe you have what it takes to become a network administrator, then you could build a bright future in the in-demand information technology field to evaluate network performance and quickly resolve any problems that arise to help businesses maintain strong computer systems in today’s dynamic high-tech global marketplace.