A network administrator oversees a range of IT functions within a business or organization. They have high computer literacy, are skilled problem solvers, and also good at working with different kinds of people. If you enjoy computers, and would like to spend your career working with all kinds of systems, then a career as a network administrator might be ideal for you.
If you’re looking for a role in IT, working as a network administrator is an excellent choice. You’ll enjoy plenty of job opportunity once qualified, and be employed in a sector with faster growth than average.
If you’re in high school, it’s a good idea to take as many computer and technology subjects as possible. Math and science are also helpful at this point. If your school has a computer club or something similar, you might like to join to earn some additional experience. A part-time job in a computer or electronics store would also be valuable.
You can complete a 2 year network administration program at a college, but this may only leave you eligible for a job on a help desk rather than a full network administrator’s position.
Completing internships while at college will definitely help you to gain experience, but more importantly, make your resume stand out from the crowd when you are looking for a job. While not essential, many network administrators go on to attain masters degrees in computer science or networking. This can help you to get the top jobs in large companies.
Some individual companies like Microsoft and Cisco offer certification programs for network administrators. Attaining these certifications can be a real benefit when looking for a job.
A network administrator oversees the IT needs of a large company or organization. This includes the installation and maintenance of LANs, or local area networks, WANs, or wide area networks. They also install and maintain hardware and software, servers, maintain network security, and troubleshoot any problems that may occur. Here are some of the duties of a network administrator:
- Install PCs
- Configure and maintain PCs
- Maintain area networks
- Maintain network security
- Determine individual access levels
- Provide staff training
- Maintain servers
- Provide adequate backup systems
- Troubleshoot user problems
- Maintain other devices like printers and photocopiers
To become a network administrator you will need to be comfortable in working in a highly technical role. As computer technology is always changing and moving forward, you will need to spend time keeping up with these changes. When things go wrong with computers, some people can become very stressed. For this reason you will need to be ready to work in a high stress environment from time to time.
Network administrators generally work a 40 hour work week, but there may be times when you are required to work additional hours. When new systems are being put in place, when a crash occurs, or there is simply too much work to do, you may need to work overtime.
Most network administrators will get a role as an assistant, providing support to a more experience network administrator. Others get their start working in a help desk position, or similar. With a few years experience, you could expect to be working as a full network administrator.
For those that are looking for a role in IT, working to become a network administrator is an excellent career choice. Employment prospects are strong, and the salary available can be lucrative. There is a lot of opportunity for advancement and further training as a part of this career. While stressful at times, this role is one that many in the field find rewarding.