Becoming a Network Administrator, What you need to know

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you want to pursue a career as a network administrator and don’t know where to begin, here’s your guide to getting started in the field.

Computer networking is at the heart of every business, home, and life. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, blockchain technology, and advanced analytics, networking is evolving faster than ever.

What does a Network Administrator do?
Network administrators analyze the needs of an organization, install and maintain the necessary hardware and software to meet those needs, and solve any problems that arise along the way. A network administrator’s job can be wide or narrow depending on the organization and how complex its networks are.

Responsibilities of network administrators include:

  • Installing & supporting an organization’s network and computer systems
  • Monitoring the network systems to improve performance
  • Ensuring availability to all system users
  • Examining website functions to ensure optimal performance
  • Maintaining system security & telecommunication networks
  • Upgrading network and computer systems
  • Fixing problems with the network and its hardware, software, and systems

Steps to Becoming a Network Administrator
1. Enroll in networking training and courses and become certified.
2. Obtain the required skill sets                                                                                                                                                                                3. Get relevant hands-on experience
4. Get a job as a Network Technician
5. Constantly refresh your knowledge

Information Technology Courses | Towson University

What skills or traits do network administrators possess?
Obviously, network administration positions will require substantial technical competence like:

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

There’s more to the job than just knowing your stuff. Technical ability isn’t enough for a successful network administration career. Here are a few of the most common non-technical abilities that will benefit you as a network administrator:

Analyzing and critical thinking
Network administrators need to explore and solve problems logically and consistently. Administrators need analytical skills to evaluate network and system performance and determine how changes in the environment will affect them. The ability to take the concepts you’ve learned and understand how they work and affect other concepts is the bread and butter of being a network administrator,”  Even if you don’t yet know the solution, thinking critically will help you get there.

Time management
Network administrators juggle several projects, people, and problems simultaneously. Administrators may have to work on many problems and tasks at the same time. This means it’s essential to be organized and looking ahead to prepare for what’s coming next. It’s like spinning plates—with a little practice, a network admin can keep everything balanced.

Communication skills                                                                                                                                                                  Network Administrators must be able to describe problems and their solutions to non-IT workers.

Computer skills                                                                                                                                                                               Network administrators are responsible for overseeing the connections of computer equipment and network systems. They must ensure that the computers and network work together properly. The network administrator must be able to determine the IP address of individual computers and routers. They must be able to verify physical connectivity to the network and check that all employees have a connection to the network.

Problem-solving skills                                                                                                                                              Network Administrators must be able to quickly resolve any problems that arise with computer networks.

Interpersonal skills
Network administrators work with a range of people, from network engineers to help desk employees to end-users. Bridging the gap between diverse groups of people requires patience and understanding.

A drive to learn more
Network administrators need to stay up to date. Technology and network practices change frequently and your skills will have to change with them. Stay up to date with modern and current practices in this field to either help you obtain a new position as a network administrator or perform at your best in your current position.

  • Continuing education is a common aspect of any network administration position.
  • You will likely need to obtain new certifications for any new technology that is introduced.
  • Take advantage of free programs and presentations, such as “webinars” or on-demand classes.