Almost every business relies on some level of network to complete daily operations, making opportunities for network administrators particularly plentiful in a wide range of industries. If you are interested in pursuing a career in network administration, here is what you can expect along the way.
What Does a Network Administrator Do?
Most network administrators are tasked with managing the day-to-day operation of a company’s network. This includes planning new solutions, installing the necessary hardware and software, managing upgrades and repairs, ensuring overall system performance, and even handling certain aspects of security. Additionally, many networking professionals interact with other employees who are experiencing difficulties with certain aspects of the system or who need training in related IT areas.
Education and Training
To work as a network administrator, formal education or training is typically required. In some cases, a computer networking program at a community or technical college can be suitable for obtaining and entry-level position in the field, while others find a bachelor’s degree to be a more appropriate option for starting their career. In some cases, a four-year degree focused specifically on networking can be found, making the transition into the working world fairly intuitive. However, a degree in a related area like system administration can also be suitable depending on the specific coursework involved.
Like many areas of IT, continuing education may also be necessary to stay abreast of new technologies and other developments. However, some of this can be managed by obtaining and maintaining certifications dedicated to the field.
While holding various certifications isn’t necessarily a requirement to become a network administrator, it can certainly help you develop your career. Modern systems involve a wide range of technologies, and obtaining various certifications demonstrates you hold to necessary competencies in each area.
In most cases, certifications are offered by specific technology vendors, such the Cisco CCIE or CCNP and Juniper JNCIE-ENT. However, CompTIA also provides one of the most in-demand certifications through their Network+ offering. Often, the CompTIA Network+ is considered an entry-level certification, demonstrating you possess the core competencies required to work in the field, while the Cisco CCIE is one of the most advanced certifications available today.
While technical ability is vital, having a range of soft skills is just as critical if you want to have a successful career as a network administrator. Here are just a few of the additional skills that can help you get ahead:
- Customer Service
- Technical Writing
- Disaster Planning
- Stress Management
- Research and Problem-Solving
In 2016, the median pay for a network administrator in the United States was just shy of $80,000 per year, making it a potentially lucrative career. Those who reach the top 10 percent of the field can even expect wages well above the six-figure mark at nearly $128,000 annually. Additionally, many of these positions are full-time, meaning they often come with strong benefits packages including items like medical insurance and retirement programs.
If you are interested in pursuing or furthering your career as a network administrator, the recruiters at The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us today and see where our services can take you.