How to Become A Computer Network Administrator
Are you wondering if a field in technology is a good fit for you? If so, have you considered becoming a network administrator? This career in technology is a great fit for people who love working with computing systems and people on a daily basis.
They keep systems up and running, make sure the network is available and accessible to everyone who has authorized access, and train employees and external stakeholders how to properly use telecommunications equipment, hardware and software.
In this article we are going to look at the steps you need to take to become a network administrator, and give you some tips on reaching your full potential in the workplace once you gain those credentials.
First Step For Technology Career Seekers: Identify Knowledge Gaps & Create a Learning Path
A Systems Administrator is somewhat a “jack-of-all-trades” who typically works in the Security Department. Even people who have some experience working in an IT job usually began this training journey by meeting with a career development counselor at the university or tech school, such as CCI Training in Dallas, where they plan to take classes.
A career counselor can help identify soft and hard skill knowledge gaps. If you’re wondering if it is worth the investment to update your communication, writing and listening skills, consider these stats from a career development center.
Soft skills training and education can:
- Increase employee retention by 12 percent — possibly because employees are more confident and communicate project this confidence while interacting with other employees and clients.
- Boost productivity in the workplace — partly because fully trained employees need less supervision and assistance to perform their tasks.
- Deliver a huge return on investment in training, up to 250 percent ROI, according to one study conducted by 3 large universities.
This step is absolutely essential before you can create an education path that positions you to step out of the classroom and into exciting careers based on what local business leaders expect from their job candidates.1
Update Education & IT Credentials
Almost all Network Security Administration jobs will require a bachelor’s degree in an engineering or other tech related field, or the equivalent. In recent years, some companies have started requiring specific credentials, such as the:
- CompTIA’s Security+,
- And CISSP.
These certificates are important because they are internationally recognized as proof an applicant has a certain knowledge level, ability and skills to complete all basic duties including: installing, maintaining, troubleshooting, repairing, configuring and operating the organization’s network infrastructure.
This means that after you have identified knowledge and skills gaps, you must research jobs to determine what certifications are most commonly required in the Dallas Metro region, or the area in the country where you want to work.
Prepare For Career Advancement
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that network administrator employment is projected to grow 5 percent between 2018 and 2028, about the national average for all occupations in the United States. The average salary for candidates with a four-year degree is currently $82,050 a year, or just under $40 per hour. Job applicants with extra certifications, or a willingness to get them within a short period after they are hired, may be offered higher base pay and a better perks package.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that network engineer employment is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, above average for all occupations
Preparing for a new career includes updating your skills for routine tasks and for emergency response to a security or disaster event.
Network administrators must continuously monitor their network for potential problems. They actively watch for system vulnerabilities and test their systems to ensure they can withstand internal and external attacks.
Advanced education and certification programs teach future administrators how to install security programs and fixes. Plus, the coursework includes instruction related to communicating with peers and colleagues. These professionals must be familiar with e-mail and internet filters, and other common tech tools that present known and unknown threats.
Now that you know what employers expect in the way of education and certification, and you have a plan to enhance your soft skills, it is time to create an educational path that will put you on the road to success.
People who have substantial work experience in an IT department or related career, may be able to secure an administrator role with the proper certifications.
Common IT Certifications For Network Administrators
The most common certifications for Systems Administrators (also known as Network Administrators) offered at both trade schools and universities are:
- Cisco Certifications:
- CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate
- CCNP: Cisco Certified Network Professions, which may include training in routing and switches
- CCIE: Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert
- Red Hat
Trade schools are an excellent option for those who want or need to update their computer skills without enrolling in a four-year degree plan. Along with specific prep courses to prepare you for IT industry certification exams, you’ll find a robust computer network program that allows you to customize your studies based on your future career goals and current knowledge-skills levels.
Take the First Step Today
Right now it may seem that a network administrator’s job could be stressful and overwhelming. That’s a normal response for many people. But, these skills are exactly the kind of things you’ll learn when you enroll in classes at CCI Training in Dallas or Arlington.
With a professionally designed learning map, created by you and your career counselor, you can set your own pace and educational goals to propel you into a future career in the IT industry. Learn more about our flexible schedules, financial aid and hybrid learning programs today.
Steps to Become A Network Administrator
- Schedule a career assessment meeting.
- Identify knowledge and skill gaps.
- Update skills with advanced education and get industry certifications.
- Prepare you resume.
- Apply for jobs in the Dallas area or the region of your choice.