Network and computer systems administrators manage the day-to-day operations of an organization's computer systems. Administrators install, configure, update, and maintain local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), and Internet systems. They may also train users on how to use the systems hardware and software, as well as work with other administrators to design new network systems. The information listed above, and the network systems administrator duties below, is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
- Determine an organization's computer and network needs.
- Install all network hardware and software.
- Make upgrades and repairs.
- Evaluate the network's performance and use data to help make it more efficient.
Employment of network and computer systems administrators is anticipated to increase 28%, or faster than average for all occupations, from 2010 to 2020, according to the BLS. Demand for administrators will grow as more companies invest in newer and faster network technologies. Network and computer systems administrators will also be needed to help mitigate the risk from cyber security threats. Demand from the healthcare industry will also be high as more medical facilities switch to electronic medical records and generally rely more on information technology systems.
Job Growth for
Network and Computer Systems Administrator
- Annual Pay National Average
- Hourly Pay National Average
|District of Columbia||3,210||$88,470||$43|
Becoming a Network and Computer Systems Administrator
To qualify for network and computer systems administration jobs you typically need a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, electrical engineering, or a related field. These programs should feature study in systems design, networking, information technology, and computer programming. However, the requirements may vary by employer. Some companies hire candidates who have an associate degree or professional certification along with work experience. Other employers require that an administrator get a master's degree while they're employed with the company.
Network administrators may be required to complete continuing education courses that keep them up-to-date on the latest developments in technology. These courses, often paid for by their employer, have the added benefit of keeping the administrator's skills current competitive. To excel in network and computer systems administration careers, administrators must have strong analytical, computer, multi-tasking, problem-solving, and communication skills.
- Introduction to Network Management
- Information Technology Architectures
- Fundamentals of Database Systems
- Unix Fundamentals
Network and computer system administration certification isn't required by some employers but it can give a candidate a competitive advantage in the job market. These certificate programs, which are offered by companies such as Microsoft and Cisco, show that an administrator has a proficiency in a certain type of technology. Some employers may require their network administrators to get a master's degree in information technology, or a related field, while they're employed. However, these requirements will vary by employer.