How to Become a Network and Computer Systems Administrator

If you know people who have pursued a career in information technology, they most likely have told you about how much they enjoy their work. If you have a love for computers and want to work with the most advanced IT tools, you should consider working as a network and computer systems administrator.

What do network and computer systems administrators do?
Systems administrators work with an organization's computer networks on a day-to-day basis. They are responsible for the assessment of network functions, and they organize and install equipment to meet a business's IT needs. Some network and computer systems administrators develop local and wide-area networks, system segments, intranets and other data or telecommunications systems.

If an organization has just begun operations, network administrators act as consultants to department heads to help them determine a system's size and scope. Once the network hardware is set up, they need to be available to make upgrades and repairs. At times, systems administrators are required to maintain network security, ensure that each part of the system is functioning properly and collect data to evaluate the network's performance. Some employers require administrators to add users to a network, train new hires on the proper use of hardware and software and show employees how to solve simple network problems on their own.

What kind of degrees or qualifications should a network and computer systems administrator have?
The men and women who pursue a career in network and systems administration often acquire a bachelor's degree in a field related to computer or information science. These classes include computer programming, networking, systems design, circuit analysis, microprocessor design, image analysis and advanced computer architecture. However, earning your master's degree makes you more marketable to employers. 

Why should I pursue a career as a network and computer systems administrator?
There are many reasons why someone would want to pursue a career in this field. The landscape of information technology is always evolving and growing, and because of that you will get to use the latest in system analytical technology and software. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for system administrators is expected to increase 12 percent through 2022. Administrators in this field are also paid well. The average annual wage is $72,560, and the top 10 percent of workers earn more than $115,000 a year.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers bachelor's and master's online degree programs in IT. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_IT.

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