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Just about every workplace in today's modern business world depends on its computer systems to operate, and as technology continues to evolve and advance, these systems become more and more complicated. Network administrators play a critical role in keeping an organization's LAN (Local Area Network), WAN (Wide Area Network), or GAN (Global Area Network) up and running.
It is a network systems administrator's responsibility to manage a company's servers and desktop and mobile equipment on a daily basis. Email and data storage networks must work properly. Employees’ workstations must function efficiently and stay connected to the company network. Hardware and software upgrades must be installed and maintained to ensure optimum system performance.
A network administrator job description typically calls for someone with polished computer and analytical skills; a multitasker with the knowledge, skills, and experience to evaluate network and system performance. You'll be a problem solver at your organization, so you'll also need good communication skills to describe issues and solutions to non-IT co-workers. It's a growing field in which to start and grow a rewarding career, and if you keep your resume polished, your skills will always be in demand.
If your knowledge and skills are up-to-date and in-line with the needs and expectations of today's employers, your career as a network systems administrator can be long and successful. IT Career Finder states that a "consistent demand for network professionals, independent of economic conditions, has led many employment experts to dub network administration a "recession proof career." This can include such positions as:
Advancing technology. Faster mobile networks. The increasing importance of data security. All of these are driving demand for skilled network systems administrators across the country and around the world. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of network and computer systems administrators is projected to grow 8% from 2014 to 2024, which is slightly above the average for all occupations.
Wherever there are computers, there are network administrator jobs to be done. In 2012, about 366,400 were employed in a vast range of industries and organizations. Most work full time, and since an up-and-running network is critical to the success of any business, many work overtime to make sure hardware, software, security, and the network infrastructure are effectively maintained. In small companies, the role of a network administrator may be tasked to a single individual, while large organizations require teams of technologically proficient professionals to manage entire departments.
To keep your IT career on the fast track, it's helpful to see where you started and where you hope to end up. Many organizations can help you chart your professional growth from beginner to advanced professional.
Find out how far education and certification can take you in your network administration career. These links can help you discover exciting professional challenges and opportunities in almost every industry.
Network administrators are well compensated for their knowledge, skills, and expertise. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for network and computer systems administrators was $77,810 in May 2015. Where you live and work can also have a significant impact on your network administrator salary, according to Recruiter.com.
If you have a solid foundation in computer information systems and technologies, including programming, web systems, project management, networks, operating systems, databases, and security, a career in network administration might be right where you belong.
Network administrator jobs typically require an applicant to have a bachelor's degree, usually with an emphasis in computer programming, networking, or systems design. Qualified applicants in this ever-changing field need to be up-to-date with the latest developments in network technology, and this can be achieved and documented through certifications in Microsoft or CompTIA, common industry standards. Many quality bachelor's degree programs have such certifications built into their curriculums, so by the time you graduate, you'll have what it takes to capture the attention of today's employers.
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