What is a Network Administrator?

Network AdministratorIndividuals with a passion for computer technology and the science that drives it, might wonder what a network administrator is and what they do. A network administrator serves an organization by assembling a network. The network administrator manages the health of the network and expands or scales back it components as needed. Network administrators must stay abreast of the latest hardware and software standards throughout their careers and it all starts with a solid training.

Educational Requirements for Network Administrators

The educational qualifications for network administrators starts with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology. Degrees in electrical or computer engineering are acceptable as well, according to the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook. While a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer technology usually suffices to take on a network administrator’s role for most organization, it isn’t unheard of for some high-end business to require a master’s degree in a related field, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Continuing Education

Since computer technology is usually at the forefront of technology as a whole, a network administrator’s education is never quite complete. From time to time, a network administrator will have to update their certifications as hardware and software standards evolve. Network administrators will usually attend workshops, and seminars, complete online assessment and review relevant publications in order to stay abreast of changes in their field of information technology.

Work Environment and Job Duties

Network administrators live in an organization’s IT department during work hours. They evaluate their network’s performance and make adjustments to address any issues. They ensure the integrity of both the network’s security and the end user’s experience on the network. Network administrators consult with vendors and software developers on ways to enhance their networks’ performance and security, while rolling out new hardware and software. Network administrators are also fiscally responsible for their organization’s upkeep and enhancement, submitting budget projections and request when prompted. On top of financial request, an organization may ask for specific features to be rolled out into the network by the network administrator.

Related Resource: Master’s Degree in Information Assurance

Advancement the Evolving Roles of Network Administrators

The next step for a network administrator is either heading up an organization’s information technology department as IT director or networking on a larger scale, such as interoffice networking. As network administration roles evolve, many network administrators have found themselves taking up some of the duties traditionally held by IT directors. Security has become one of the issues every member of an organization’s IT staff has had to address, from network administrators and IT directors to entry level members of an organization’s help desk.


The duties of a network administrator all center around maintaining a secure and reliable network for an organization. Network administrators are vital to an organization’s information technology staff and they can rise to oversee much larger network or manage all facets of an organization’s information technology sector. Network administrators aren’t the most visible of staff members in their organization, as they toil behind the scenes, but are a very important part of the community.