The business world’s ever-growing reliance on computer systems has led to a surge in demand for skilled, experienced Network Administrators. These individuals develop, maintain and improve the computer networks that businesses need to operate successfully. It is a highly technical role, but it can also be a rewarding one.
Duties and responsibilities - What does a Network Administrator do?
The various responsibilities of a Network Administrator include:
- Installing and maintaining LANs, WANs, network segments and both internet and intranet operations
- The installation and maintenance of various applications, including hardware and software
- Monitoring network efficiency and maintaining effective security measures
- Modifying the performance of network systems as and when required
- Overseeing potential upgrades, migrations, and repairs in order to improve system capabilities
- Working with a range of appliances, including servers, desktop and laptop computers, routers, printers, mobile phones, and tablets
Qualities needed for a successful Network Administrator
The best Network Administrators can solve even the most technical of problems, and of handling a multitude of potential issues in any given day. The Network Administrator is often the first port of call when something goes wrong, so reacting in a calm and unflustered manner will be rightly seen as a major plus point for any candidate.
A high level of interpersonal skills will be a necessity, in part because there will be a need at times to explain complex issues to non-technical members of staff. Patience and understanding will be an advantage in such situations, as will the understanding that network outages can have a major impact on the atmosphere within the workplace.
This is a role that suits people who are equally comfortable working both alone and within a team environment. A strong eye for detail will always be required, as is the ability to remain focused while others are struggling to do so. Network Administrators need to know how best to resolve an issue quickly without compromising on overall performance.
Qualifications and technical skills - How to become a Network Administrator?
A high standard of formal education will often be a requirement for employers, especially featuring a university degree in subjects such as computer science, engineering, information technology or business management. Certification in fields like network troubleshooting, systems analysis, cybersecurity, and computer languages will also help in an application.
There are several network development tools on the market, and the successful candidate will need to show a good knowledge of at least some of them. They include Wireshark, Traceroute, Putty, Supervision, Metrology, Nmap, SolarWinds, IP Scanners and Netmiko. Certification from various accredited providers will also help the individual’s job prospects.
Career development - What is the next step after Network Administrator?
Those who advance to the role of Network Administrator often do so after working as an IT Assistant, Front-End Developer, Back-End Developer or Full Stack Developer. At a later stage, there could be opportunities to become an IT Manager, Director IT, Network Architect, IT Project Manager or Chief Information Officer.
Salary and remuneration - How much does a Network Administrator make?
Network Administrators work in a high-profile role, and salaries and benefits packages are in line with this.