IT Career Path: What It Means to Be a Network Administrator

Well-managed network switch and Ethernet cables

Demand for network administrators is expected to grow at least 8% from 2014 to  2024. With more and more companies digitalizing, they’ll need more people to manage their networks and related technologies.

Common Requirements for Network Administrators

Although plenty of network administrators have a graduate or undergraduate degree in network administration, systems engineering, computer science, or something similar, you might not require a degree if you’re starting out with an entry-level position. Certifications like the CompTIA Network+ certificate can help you get your foot in the door.

You can start out by acing that CompTIA Network+ practice test at CertBlaster so you won’t have a hard time with the real exam. Getting this certification would help you land your dream job because it’s vendor-neutral and is a testament to your competence in network administration.

What Does a Network Administrator Do Exactly?

A network administrator basically reviews an organization’s network requirements and install, maintain, and troubleshoot software and hardware to meet the organization’s needs. The specific duties of a network administrator would be heavily dependent on how complex an organization’s networks are. In general however, network administrators are responsible for the following:

  • Install and support network and computer systems
  • Monitor network systems regularly for optimal performance
  • Ensure availability or access to authorized users
  • Inspect site functions for optimum performance
  • Maintain telecommunication and security networks
  • Resolve issues with all related systems, software, and hardware
  • Constantly upgrade all related systems

The day-to-day job of a network administrator fall into the following categories:

  • Management

This covers new user training, security software, application and network updates. They can also grant access privileges, maintain user accounts, monitor daily traffic and conduct scheduled tests and backups. They can also write related user documentations or manuals.

  • Implementation

This includes networking software installation and configuration and physically connecting cables between nodes and servers.  This also means creating new user accounts, as well as storage area networks.

  • Troubleshooting

This means addressing user issues, and employing suitable solutions for problems.  Fixes can include installing patches, rebooting the network system, modifying software configurations, as well as restoring intermittent or broken network connections.

  • Research

This includes reading industry publications to remain updated on the latest networking technologies.  Researching software and hardware upgrades as well as aiding in planning and developing related special projects is part of this as well.

If all this sounds like something you can do or are interested in doing, it’s never too late to learn how to be a network administrator.

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