So you’re looking for a job in information technology (IT). You’re good at computers, and you’re always the go-to person when your friends and family have tech questions. You might have heard someone tell you that you may be a good network administrator (network admin). Still, you’re asking yourself, “What is a network administrator?” or “Is a network administrator a good career?” These are all excellent questions that we’re here to answer.
If you’re interested in a career in network administration, read on. We’ll discuss what a network administrator is, what they need to know, and how to break into the field.
What is a network administrator?
Simply put, a network administrator ensures that software and operating systems work properly and stay updated. Network administrators typically work for companies and government agencies to oversee and manage networks and data systems that connect computers and softwares together. Network administrator duties can vary depending on the organization, but most work as generalists and assist with anything that falls in the organization’s information technology (IT) area. Many network admins are the to-go person for any technical or computer-related issue.
What should a network administrator know?
Network administrator skills include hard and essential skills. If you’re looking for the hard skills required to be a network administrator, bootcamps that offer certifications can be a great starting point. By gaining knowledge and experience in the different network types and functions, you can build skills in programming languages, software and hardware management, and network security.
Here are a few skills that are essential for network administrator jobs:
Local Area Network (LAN)
Local Area Networks (LAN) connect computers together in a local area, such as rooms, buildings, or a group of buildings. LANs can connect anywhere from two to 200 users and act as a source for connection, collaboration, and communication. Network admins must know and implement the requirements of LAN hardware and software. Network admins will maintain and update LAN functions.
Wide Area Network (WAN)
A wide area network (WAN) is what connects computers together in large geographical areas. This kind of network is used to connect computers for private telecommunications. LANs are incorporated into WANs to bring together groups in cities, states, or countries. Network admins are often the individuals to install and maintain WANs.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A virtual private network (VPN) carries out private communications, data sharing, and other related activities on a public network. VPN connections are encrypted to ensure the transmission of information is safe. Network admins often are in charge of installing and overseeing VPNs.
Cisco, a company that creates and manufactures networking hardware, offers certifications for network admins. Many network admins work with Cisco daily, so having this certification helps network admins understand the systems, their functions, and how to troubleshoot and maintain them.
Microsoft Active Directory
Many companies that use the Microsoft operating system also use the Microsoft Active Directory. The Active Directory creates and maintains various security policies for the computer network at large. Understanding how this directory works allows a network admin to authenticate users and grant employees access to different elves of the system.
Some skills critical to a job in network administration can’t always be learned with formal training, although the right training program will help you gain these skills, too. Here are some soft skills that are essential to a person’s success as a network administrator.
- Communication and interpersonal skills: Network admins work with a wide range of people. Having strong interpersonal and communication skills will help bridge the gap between the many different groups.
- Critical thinking and analyzing: Network admins need to consistently be able to explore and solve problems logically. Critical thinking skills can help admins find the solution even if they don’t know it right away.
- Time management: Many admins manage multiple projects, people, and problems at the same time. Knowing how to organize and prioritize is essential to keeping everything balanced.
- A love for learning: The technology field is ever-changing. For a network admin to succeed, they have to have a passion for learning and adapt to change in the tech scene.
What are the daily functions of a network administrator?
The job description for a network administrator is broad, managing an entire network, fixing and preventing problems, and providing support for several individuals and teams. There is not really a “typical day” in the network admin life.
However, there are a few daily functions that a network admin will carry out on a regular basis. Typical activities include auditing processes, checking logs, and extinguishing fires from end-users and projects. Network admins work on various projects, including researching technology, brainstorming creative solutions for a company’s network needs, or automating processes.
The network administrator often works the standard 9-5 hours. Still, on occasion, they may be expected to work overtime to complete projects or be asked to work “on-call,” where they may be asked to work outside regular business hours in case of an emergency.
How to become a network administrator? With Eleven Fifty Academy
A bootcamp is the quickest way for anyone interested in network administration to break into the field. Here at Eleven Fifty Academy, we offer our Information Technology Professional (IT Pro) course. Our expert-designed program will prepare you to obtain network administrator certifications, like the industry-recognized CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications.
This immersive, 26-week course includes daily, instructor-led training sessions and interactive lab environments to give you the practical tools to meet the network administrator requirements and impress future employers. After successfully completing the IT Pro course, our career services will assist you in landing a job in the field. Launch your career transformation, get started with Eleven Fifty Academy today.