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How to become a network administrator

Networking is developing faster than ever before, thanks to the emergence of AI technologies, machine learning, IoT devices, blockchain technology, and enhanced analytics. It is one of the most undervalued technological advancements. Mostly all valuable systems rely on networking and connection in some way. Mesh connections, edge technology, virtualization, software-dedicated networking, 5G, and ultra-broadband services indicate how these innovations are progressing.

As per a study, 68 percent of CIOs want to boost spending on open cloud in 2021. Eighty-five percent of those surveyed stated their firms increased the amount of residual on-premises apps and workflows designated cloud prospects slightly or considerably. With 54 percent of the enterprise's goal being digital change, organizations will require dependable infrastructure for conducting such initiatives. And, corporations must have the personnel to sustain these connections. The role of network administrators requires organizing, operating, deploying, and debugging a company's network equipment and software.

We gathered the most significant facts to assist anybody considering establishing a career in network management.

What is the role of a network administrator?

Image for part: What is the role of a network administrator?

Network administrators let firms develop, manage, monitor, and debug successful computer, information, and communication systems. A few of the specific duties outlined in the work experience segment involve constructing a network setup, analyzing and debugging network problems, enhancing network performance and productivity, supervising enterprise network protection, maintaining network operating processes revised, and delivering on-call assistance if necessary. A network administrator has to do a range of everyday duties to manage a computer network. A lot of these duties include evaluating, analyzing, or resolving network-related technological difficulties. Updating computer systems and equipment is one of the most typical activities performed by network administrators.

  • Purchase of hardware, applications, and devices like firewalls and servers.
  • Setting up a network to integrate all of the organization's computers and equipment.
  • Keep an eye on the connection for any problems.
  • Detecting and resolving connection problems.
  • Increasing the network connection frequency.
  • Updating and operating antivirus programs and computer diagnostics tools.
  • Developing security procedures for user interaction.
  • Controlling user entry to critical files
  • Employee education on how to utilize the software.

Net administrators operate alongside or in collaboration with departmental heads to assess the company's network targets, needs and to suggest suitable network improvements.

Steps to become a network administrator

Generally, being a network administrator requires a mix of qualifications and experience. When you can tailor the specifics to your career trajectory, there are several standard stages that several network administrators follow to get started; 

Select your focal point

As a network administrator, you might specialize in many fields of technology. Here is a list of options for specialization;

  • System security
  • Systems analysis
  • Data analysis 
  • Software development

Concentrating on some of these topics can allow you to be a professional network administrator and improve your CV by demonstrating knowledge in a specialty. Deciding on a concentration emphasis might influence some of your early career moves, including which programs to attend or what sorts of internships to enroll for. While deciding on specialization isn't required, it may assist direct you throughout your profession.

Acquire a bachelor's degree

Most organizations need at least an academic degree to be a network administrator. Most organizations, although, favor individuals with a bachelor's degree in network administration or a similar discipline. You could also look at other IT systems and technology programs relevant to the field you wish to pursue. For instance, if you want to work in systems analysis instance, you can specialize in it. The following are some of the most common disciplines for network administrators;

  • Network administration
  • Software engineering
  • Computer science
  • Network management
  • Information technology

Participate in an internship

Internships are a phenomenal method to obtain valuable expertise for your future job. While working, you may study more about IT and technology by doing an internship. Working as an intern in school may allow you to build your work experience segment, which will help you seek employment when you graduate. Sometimes internships can even lead to long-term job prospects. Throughout your internship, it's an excellent idea to raise questions about the profession and how to accomplish various tasks and gain from your coworkers. It might assist you in developing the abilities required for success in the job.

Acquire on-the-job training

Without past expertise, it is viable to get a job as a network administrator. Most companies, although, want you to have previous job background in the technology area. Getting an entry-level position in the IT sector can provide you with the experience that many companies seek. It also allows you to learn further about your field from your workmates.

Consider requesting your employer to allow you to oversee a project when operating in an entry-level job. It might offer you valuable managerial experience to put to your CV. It can also demonstrate to your bosses that you are ambitious, which may increase your prospects of getting a promotion.

Construct a network

Creating a group of information technologies specialists can help you gain new abilities and career advice. Specialists in your network can also assist you in finding career prospects and provide recommendations while applying for positions. Study networking groups by focusing on digital technologies or online career development to expand your network. You may also be able to locate a mentor through your network involving;

  • It might allow you to acquire personally from an established information systems specialist. 
  • Cultivating a connection with an instructor has several advantages, such as assisting you in reviewing your work and identifying areas for growth.
  • Leverage their network to locate new job prospects.
  • It will assist you in obtaining interviews with their coworkers.

Other resources on network administrator, how to write a network administrator resume, network administrator resume sample, how to write a network administrator cover letter, tips to enhance network administration skills, network administrator skills, what careers will be in demand.

Job market outlook

In 2021, network administrators get excellent salaries since networking is one of the highest-paid IT areas. As per BLS data, the average salary for network administrators in the US was $84,810 in May 2020. The lowest 10% of these professions made under $52,830, while the top 10% made more than $134,970. Although other IT jobs may pay more, the demand for network administrators is compelling. According to the research, the below are the average yearly incomes for network administrators in their leading industries;

  • Finance/insurance - $89,910
  • Information - $89,660
  • Management of companies/ enterprises - $89,300
  • Computer systems design/ related services - $87,190
  • Educational state, local, and private - $75,230

FAQs Network Administrator

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Q1. What are the most popular employment markets for network administrators?

According to BLS Profession employment numbers for 2020, the following states have the maximum levels of jobs for network administrators;

  • Texas
  • California
  • New York
  • Virginia
  • Florida

The employment forecast for network administrators in the United States seems bright, although these specialists must keep up to speed on the newest technology, notably cloud computing.

Q2. What are the different roles of a network administrator?

As an IT worker, you can begin your career as a network administrator and progress through many job pathways. You can apply network administrator qualifications to other IT professions as well. As per Indeed.com, below are a few of the most popular network administrator job positions.

  • Network administrator 
  • Systems administrator
  • Database systems administrator
  • Datacenter manager
  • Senior system admin
  • IT director
  • Information system manager

Most network administrators may proceed to become systems analysts, IT advisors, systems engineers, software developers, lead technicians.

Q3. What are the skills necessary for network administrators?

Network administration demands a diverse set of skills and technical expertise. The following are a few of the most valuable qualifications for network administrators;

  • Proficiency in a variety of programming languages.
  • Understanding of networks and systems.
  • The expertise of how to manage and restore networks and servers.
  • Computer system knowledge.
  • Knowledge of connectivity and diagnostic tools.
  • Thorough understanding of many sorts of networks.
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Analytical skills
  • Organization
  • Multitasking

Technical skills 

It must be unsurprising that you will require a wide range of technical abilities for this profession.

  • System administration
  • Linux
  • Microsoft Active Directory
  • VMware products
  • Technical support
  • Windows Server
  • SQL
  • Hardware/software installation
  • Cisco
  • Domain Name System (DNS)

Network administrator Transferable skills 

  • Troubleshooting
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Planning
  • Teamwork
  • Microsoft Office®
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Attention to detail
  • Organization

Q4. What are the different fields for working as a network administrator?

Network administrators usually work in a corporate setting. But, you may seek a job as a network administrator in diverse settings and businesses. The following are some examples of typical work settings for network administrators;

  • Schools and universities
  • Hospitals and other healthcare facilities
  • Government agencies
  • Corporate offices
  • Financial firms
  • Insurance companies

Q5. What are the education prerequisites for network administrators?

When it comes to learning new capabilities, you're undoubtedly interested in the schooling necessary to be a network administrator. The best thing is that employees are available to people of all educational levels. It implies you won't have to spend four years of professional development before entering this field. As per the BLS, many firms opt for network administrator applicants to have academic qualifications. Specific occupations will need a bachelor's degree, although an associate's degree will suffice for most entry-level employment. If you want to enter the sector quickly, an associate's degree in Network Systems Administration will provide you with the necessary expertise and professional abilities. You can finish this curriculum in as little as 18 months. The network administrator training is priceless, and this practical knowledge will allow you to succeed in the industry.

Q6. What are the top US places to work as a network administrator?

When it comes to beginning a profession as a network administrator, specific areas a more preferable. The top locations for this field are California, Washington, Maryland, and Massachusetts. With an annual wage of $76,837, network administrators earn the highest in California. They may receive an average of $75,821 and $75,418 in Washington and Maryland, too. But, network administrators receive only $73,637 compensation in Massachusetts than other regions in the US. These are the top states in terms of employment opportunities and income. 

Q7. How much time does it take to be a network administrator?

You can get an entry-level network administrator job in a few years if you get an associate degree, but a bachelor's degree takes about 3-5 years. It's also worthwhile to consider gaining an internship opportunity.

There is entry-level network administrator employment present, but more sophisticated and senior-level roles need extra years of expertise and, in some cases, further schooling. Qualifications are also beneficial and might help you get a job faster.

Q8. What are the best certifications necessary to become a network administrator?

Specific certifications may be necessary for network administrator roles in particular cases. Here's a rundown of the most notable certifications;

  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CNNA) — Demonstrates your knowledge of routed and switched systems. As per ITCareerFinder, this is Cisco's top desirable certification.
  • CCNP R&S — This certification is appropriate for individuals with one year of training who want to work individually on sophisticated network solutions.
  • Network+CompTIA – An internationally known credential with no requirements. It is a solid launching point for IT workers.
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) — Every MCSA credential validates your potential to establish and build technological applications in one of Microsoft's major enterprise systems, such as Windows, Office, SQL Server, and Azure.
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)- This certification validates your competence to create more advanced technical solutions.

Q9. How to seek a job in Network Administration?

Internships are an ideal opportunity to obtain experience and enter this industry.

And, job boards and internet sites, industry-relevant ones like Career Sidekick, which provides IT Job Boards are an excellent resource for employment. Here are a few pointers to aid you in your job search;

  • Make your resume unique – Don't submit the same curriculum vitae for each job application. Ensure your resume corresponds to the job requirements, like listing qualifications and practical experience.
  • Before applying for a role, investigate the firms to have a better understanding of the corporate culture, compensation, workplace culture, and other factors. You might also incorporate some of this material into your cover letter.
  • Arrange educational interviews – In this sort of interview, you meet people in the field or firm where you want to work. It's excellent advice for any application, irrespective of sector, and it may help you expand your network.

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