Network and Computer Systems Administrators Career Video
Description: Install, configure, and support an organization's local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet systems or a segment of a network system. Monitor network to ensure network availability to all system users and may perform necessary maintenance to support network availability. May monitor and test Web site performance to ensure Web sites operate correctly and without interruption. May assist in network modeling, analysis, planning, and coordination between network and data communications hardware and software. May supervise computer user support specialists and computer network support specialists. May administer network security measures.
As a critical part of almost every organization, computer networks require the oversight of an information technology —or IT—professional. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks. They start by ensuring an organization’s needs will be met by a system before setting it up, then install hardware and software, and make ongoing upgrades and repairs as needed. Their domain includes local area networks, wide area networks, and other data communication systems. These IT professionals have frequent interaction with other IT staff, and with non-IT staff as well. Most network and computer systems administrators work full time. Organizations depend heavily on continuous service from their computer networks, so when issues arise, administrators may work overtime hours. Network and computer systems administrators need a combination of communication skills— to describe problems and their solutions to non-IT workers— and problem solving and computer skills to actually break down and resolve network issues. Although some employers require only a certificate or an associate’s degree to enter the field, most require a bachelor’s degree in a major related to computer or information science. Because this occupation includes a focus on working with computer hardware and equipment, a degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering is usually acceptable as well.