Working as a network administrator can be an incredibly fulfilling career that offers different kinds of challenges and puzzles every day. If you’re interested in technology and have a knack for critical thinking and creative problem solving, it could be a great career fit for you!
If you’re just starting out in tech or don’t have a degree, you might be wondering if network administrator jobs require you to have a degree of some sort. The short answer is: increasingly tech companies aren’t requiring their network admins to have degrees… as long as they have the education and certifications to prove they’re skilled. Keep reading to find out what you need to learn and other network administrator requirements to jumpstart your career.
What does a Network Administrator Do?
At the most basic level, network administrators are responsible for ensuring that a company’s software systems and computer networks are up to date and functioning properly. Essentially, this means that network administrators manage networks, network segments, and other types of data connections for a company, government agency, or other large corporation.
In addition to managing networks, network administrators are often tasked with addressing issues and technical problems. This means there is no “typical” day for a network administrator, but they can expect to regularly complete tasks like monitoring the network, consulting with end-users, managing users, repairing systems, upgrading software, implementing security measures, backing up systems, and working with IT team members to support the overall infrastructure.
Can You Be a Network Administrator without a Degree?
It is absolutely possible to become a network administrator without a degree. However to increase your chances of success, you should seek out education, training, and certifications to show employers you have the necessary knowledge and skills. There are network administrator courses like Eleven Fifty Academy’s Information Technology Professional Bootcamp that can get you the skills you need in 14 weeks (for full time) or 26 weeks (for part time).
Let’s explore the kinds of information you’ll need to master and the kinds of certifications you’ll need to earn to successfully become a network administrator.
What Do I Need to Learn to Become a Network Administrator?
While network administrator requirements vary from job to job, there are some core areas of knowledge that you’ll need to develop to perform the job successfully. Here are some of the most commonly sought-after skills.
- Operating Systems: Network administrators need to be well-versed in the major operating systems, like Windows, MacOs, and Linux.
- Networks: Network administrators should have a firm understanding of how to implement and maintain local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), and virtual private networks (VPN).
- Cisco Networking: Cisco creates networking hardware that network admins use on a daily basis.
- Microsoft Active Directory: Companies that use Microsoft operating systems often use Active Directory, which maintains network security policies.
- Troubleshooting: Network admins need to be able to diagnose and troubleshoot common network issues for end-users.
- Security: An understanding of cybersecurity best practices is often required of network administrators who help maintain the security features of networks.
- Essential Skills: On top of the skills discussed above, there are also essential skills (sometimes referred to as soft skills) that are important in the life of a network administrator. Communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and time management are all skills that you’ll need on a daily basis. While these skills can’t be learned through formal training, many network admin courses will provide you with group work and other opportunities to develop your skills.
What Certifications Do I Need to be a Network Administrator?
Generally speaking, there are two industry-recognized certifications that a network administration course should prepare you to take: CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+. Earning these certifications shows employers that you’ve developed the skills necessary for the job.
- The CompTIA A+ Certification is made up of two exams: Core 1 and Core 2. Each of these exams is designed to test your ability to perform baseline security skills, configure operating systems, troubleshoot IT problems, support IT networking, manage data backups, and more.
- The CompTIA Network+ Certification is designed to test the skills needed to establish and maintain networks across any platform. The exam includes content on networking fundamentals, network implementations, network operations, network security, and network troubleshooting.
Some network administrators also find it helpful to earn platform-specific certifications like Microsoft Azure Administrator or Amazon AWS Cloud, depending upon the jobs they’re applying for, too.
What Does a Network Administrator Get Paid?
Network administrators can make good money, especially when you consider that an IT Pro Bootcamp through Eleven Fifty Academy can be completed in as few as 14 weeks! According to Salary.com, the median yearly salary for network administrator jobs is $63,772 a year. It is important to remember that this range represents a wide variety of experiences, geographic regions, education, and skills. Graduates of our IT Pro Bootcamp, on average, earn starting salaries of around $35,000 to $50,000 a year.
Get Started with a Network Administration Course at Eleven Fifty Academy
If you’re interested in becoming a network admin, Eleven Fifty Academy’s IT Pro Bootcamp can provide you with the skills and experiences you need to get started down your career path. With both full- and part-time options, you can complete the course in 14 or 26 weeks. Throughout the course, you’ll have access to instructor-led trainings and simulated hands-on lab environments to give you the practice you need to impress future employers. Ready to learn more? Schedule a meeting with an admissions coach or fill out an application today.