Network system administrators are information technology specialists who are responsible for the installation, configuration, maintenance, and administration of local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), various segments of network systems, and other computing environments used across an enterprise. They manage the network hardware, software, and equipment used within a company or organization, and work to ensure network availability to all users.
Network system administrators typically perform data backups, troubleshoot any problems with the hardware, software, networks and systems, replace equipment and components when necessary, and assist with disaster recovery operations.
Network system administrators must have an advanced knowledge of computers, electronics, and technologies used by their organization. They must have a good understanding of processors, electronic equipment, circuit boards, and hardware and software in general. Programming knowledge is very important, as is familiarity with arithmetic and statistics, as well as their application.
Network system administrators must also have a good knowledge of telecommunications, including transmission, broadcasting, control and switching, and operation of telecommunications systems. They must know how to repair machines, perform systems analysis and evaluation, as well as operation analysis. They must be able to analyze the client's needs and product requirements and define specifications to best meet these needs.
These professionals must have strong client-facing skills, including customer needs assessment and satisfaction evaluation. Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, are essential, as network system administrators frequently provide other employees with guidance and training.
Troubleshooting and analytical skills are very important, as determining causes of errors and identifying problems with the network system is a large part of the job. The ability to solve complex problems is vital.
Network system administrators must also have a good knowledge of resource allocation, production methods, strategic planning, human resources modelling, and business and management principles.
Network system administrators usually have a bachelor's degree in a technical discipline like computer engineering, software engineering, electronics engineering, information technology, computer science, or telecommunications.
Network system administrators' day-to-day duties can vary greatly depending on the size of the organization that employs them and the complexity of the network they are responsible for administering and maintaining. These professionals' jobs typically entail planning, developing and implementing network security measures, looking for ways to keep the company information, hardware and software safe from internal and external threats, monitoring network performance and computer systems used within the organization, and maintaining control records.
Network system administrators usually perform network startup and shutdown procedures, develop and test networking hardware and software, research alternative solutions, and make recommendations on changes to enhance network systems and configurations.
They meet with users to collect data about recurring issues with the network, and work on finding ways to resolve them, and they determine computer and network requirements to improve overall efficiency. The administrators are also responsible for training employees in computer system use, as well as for collecting data on customer needs and business requirements, and analyzing it for the purpose of predicting and evaluating system requirements. They also periodically test and analyze equipment to assess the need for repairs, upgrades, and replacements.
Image Credit: New Media Expo
Related: Network System Administrator Salary