If you have a passion for working with many different types of computer equipment and possess strong analytical skills for evaluate system performance, you may want to consider becoming a network systems administrator. Also referred to as computer systems administrators and LAN administrators, network systems administrators are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of complex computer networks. As its low unemployment rate of just 4.1% demonstrates, this is a growing profession because more employers are investing in new and more advanced technologies. In fact, employment of network systems administrators is expected to grow by 12%, thus creating 42,900 new jobs before 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read on to find a job description for network systems administrators to determine if this technology career is the right match for you.
What Do Network Systems Administrators Do
Due to the fact that organizations in every sector are becoming more dependent on computer systems to stay competitive in today’s high-tech business world, network systems administrators are becoming increasingly important for organizing, installing, and supporting these critical computer networks. Administrators are responsible for ensuring the proper functioning of local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), intranets, ethernets, and other network segments. Network systems administrators are typically found installing network software, making necessary upgrades, maintaining computer system security, collecting data on the network’s performance, adding users to the network, training employees on proper system use, and brainstorming solutions to any network problems.
Where Do Network Systems Administrators Work
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are around 366,400 network systems administrators employed across the United States in a number of different industries. Since they work with the physical computer systems of various organizations, network systems administrators can find job opportunities in computer systems design firms, educational services, manufacturing companies, financial institutions, information technology (IT) departments, insurance corporations, healthcare organizations, and more. With full-time employment being the norm, many network systems administrators need to work overtime to ensure networks are operating appropriately 24/7. During their workday, network systems administrators often work closely with network architects, computer systems managers, and other information technology staff members.
How to Become a Network Systems Administrator
In some cases, network systems administrators can find entry-level employment in the field with just a post-secondary certificate or associate’s degree from a community college. That being said, those who have earned a bachelor’s degree will have the best job prospects and some businesses may even require a master’s degree for more advanced positions. Since administrators work extensively with computer hardware, it is wise to pursue a degree in computer science, programming, networking, computer engineering, or information technology. For a stronger edge in the competitive market, some network systems administrators also choose to pursue additional professional certifications from specific software vendors. You may want to consider becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) for expert-level credentials that will speak volumes to potential employers.
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Overall, network systems administrators utilize their strong technological skills to oversee the proper performance of their organization’s computer networks and act as the first point of contact for network users when problems arise. Not only can choosing a career as a network systems administrator lead to a lucrative salary potential passed the six-figure mark to more than $115,180 annually, but it can also place you on the pathway towards advancing your career in the field to become a computer network architect or information systems manager.