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Career Profile: Network Administrator

Why Is Network Administration a Job of Tomorrow?
Network administrators, who are responsible for the design and installation of an organization’s computer systems, will be sought after. Employment opportunities for network administrators are expected to grow 27 percent by 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Network administrators make an average salary of $62,130 annually.

What Does a Network Administrator Do?
Network administrators set up a company’s local-area networks (LAN), wide-area networks (WAN), network segments, and Internet as well as intranet systems. Network administrators consult with clients to find out what they need their networks to do. The administrators then construct a plan for the organization’s computer systems, making a point to include all of the features the client needs as well as ensuring that the information shared between the networks remains secure. In addition to these duties, administrators must also act as a support call center when the client needs troubleshooting help. Administrators often perform routine checks to make sure that the networks are functioning efficiently. They make recommendations for upgrades and assist clients in these improvements.

What Kind of Training Do I Need to Become a Network Administrator?
Prospective network administrators should plan on earning at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or another related field. A bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to complete, and courses cover computer language, networking and other related topics. Some employers will consider applicants who do not have a bachelor’s degree, but these candidates must have certification as well as professional working experience. Degree graduates can become certified as well, further increasing their marketability. Entry-level jobs for network administrators generally consist of performing routine maintenance on computer systems, but after gaining experience, they will be eligible for advancement to a position of better pay and more responsibilities.

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