How Do You Become a Network Administrator?

Network AdministratorSince computer systems are becoming increasingly essential to carry out the daily operations of small businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, corporations, and many other organizations, there is a high demand for qualified candidates to become a network administrator. As businesses continue to invest in newer technologies, there is expected to significant job growth in the information technology sector, especially in industries involved in providing cloud-computing technologies. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics now predicts that the employment of network administrators will skyrocket over the next decade by 35%, thus creating around 42,900 new jobs in the computer systems service industry. If you are ready to get started on this in-demand career path, read on to find a step-by-step guide that you should follow to become a network administrator.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree Related to Information Technology

Despite the fact that there are some employers that will hire applicants with only a post-secondary certificate or associate’s degree, the vast majority of organizations will prefer network administrators who have obtained a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. Most network administrators choose to receive a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, computer engineering, information science, or even electrical engineering. Regardless of the major you choose to receive, it is highly recommended that you fill your course schedule with classes in networking, routing, switching, network applications, network security, and computer programming to prepare for this position.

Develop Knowledge and Skills through Work Experience

Before beginning your work as a network administrator, you will need to acquire hands-on experience in working with cable verifiers, network analyzers, server load balancers, monitoring software, hard disk arrays, and virus protection software. Therefore, it is a wise decision to participate in an internship while you are fulfilling the requirements for completing your bachelor’s degrees. Many schools will offer paid summer internships or provide the opportunity to earn course credit for completing an internship as a network administrator. Not only will an internship provide the work experience desired by employers, but it will also enhance your knowledge with current technology trends, build industry connections, and offer the valuable chance to receive a full-time job upon graduation.

Apply for Professional Certification as a Network Administrator

Often times, the coursework in your bachelor’s degree program will also help you prepare for meeting the qualifications needed to earn industry-specific certifications that will advance job prospects within the information technology field. Certification is one of the best ways to demonstrate to prospective employers that you have the level of competence needed to successfully managing an organization’s complex computer networks. Network administrators can complete certification programs that are offered by software firms, including Microsoft, Cisco, Windows, and Novell. You can choose to earn multiple certifications, but it is suggested that you specifically pursue one of the specialty areas offered in becoming a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).

Related Resource: anforamtion Security Analyst

Overall, network administrators are specially trained information technology professionals who are responsible for managing the daily operations of computer networks by organizing, installing, and supporting their organization’s data communication systems. When you follow these steps to become a network administrator, you will open a number of growing job opportunities available in working with the physical computer networks of virtually any industry.