Job Titles - Enterprise Infrastructure Architect, Messaging Engineer, Network Administrator, Network Control Technician, Network Engineer or Architect, Systems Administrator, Computer Analyst
What they do – Network/systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of networks. They organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems. Computer network architects or analysts design and build these communication networks that can range from small connections between two offices to networking global companies. Often times the administrator and architect role is combined.
Some examples of job functions of developers include:
- Analyze data processing problems to improve computer systems
- Develop and test system design procedures
- Enhance system compatibility so information can be shared easily
- Develop solutions to complex applications problems and other network concerns
- Provide technical guidance for troubleshooting computer systems
- Confirm stability and security of system architecture
- Install and support an organization’s network system
- Examine website functions to ensure performance without interruption
- Perform data backups and disaster recovery operations
Education - There are positions where an Associate’s degree will suffice, but the vast majority of network and computer systems administrator positions require a Bachelor’s degree in computer science. Programs in these fields usually include classes in computer programming, networking, and systems design.
Certifications- There are several certification programs offered directly from vendors such as Microsoft and Cisco. If unsure which direction to follow, choose a more vendor-neutral certification such as the CompTIA certification paths. The CompTIA A+ certification is often essential to many entry-level positions. If you're pursing a Networking career, your next step will be to complete the CompTIA Network+.
Pay- The median annual wage for network and computer systems administrators was $77,810 in May 2015. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $47,460, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $124,090.*
Job Outlook- Employment of network and computer systems administrators is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for information technology workers is high and should continue to grow as firms invest in newer, faster technology and mobile networks. Growth is also expected in healthcare industries as their use of information technology increases. More administrators will be required to manage the growing systems and networks found at hospitals and other healthcare institutions.*