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Network and Computer Systems Administrators Career

Career 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.

What Job Titles Network and Computer Systems Administrators Might Have

  • Information Technology Specialist (IT Specialist)
  • Network Administrator
  • Network Engineer
  • Systems Administrator

What Network and Computer Systems Administrators Do

  • Maintain and administer computer networks and related computing environments including computer hardware, systems software, applications software, and all configurations.
  • Perform data backups and disaster recovery operations.
  • Diagnose, troubleshoot, and resolve hardware, software, or other network and system problems, and replace defective components when necessary.
  • Plan, coordinate, and implement network security measures to protect data, software, and hardware.
  • Configure, monitor, and maintain email applications or virus protection software.
  • Operate master consoles to monitor the performance of computer systems and networks, and to coordinate computer network access and use.
  • Load computer tapes and disks, and install software and printer paper or forms.
  • Design, configure, and test computer hardware, networking software and operating system software.
  • Monitor network performance to determine whether adjustments need to be made, and to determine where changes will need to be made in the future.
  • Confer with network users about how to solve existing system problems.
  • Research new technologies by attending seminars, reading trade articles, or taking classes, and implement or recommend the implementation of new technologies.
  • Analyze equipment performance records to determine the need for repair or replacement.
  • Implement and provide technical support for voice services and equipment, such as private branch exchange, voice mail system, and telecom system.
  • Maintain an inventory of parts for emergency repairs.
  • Recommend changes to improve systems and network configurations, and determine hardware or software requirements related to such changes.
  • Gather data pertaining to customer needs, and use the information to identify, predict, interpret, and evaluate system and network requirements.
  • Train people in computer system use.
  • Coordinate with vendors and with company personnel to facilitate purchases.
  • Perform routine network startup and shutdown procedures, and maintain control records.
  • Maintain logs related to network functions, as well as maintenance and repair records.

What Network and Computer Systems Administrators Should Be Good At

  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What Network and Computer Systems Administrators Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Network and Computer Systems Administrators Need to Learn

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Median Salary: $79,700

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.