(7.0 out of 10)
|Number of Jobs:||96,600|
|This Job is Ranked in|
|Best Technology Jobs||#8|
|The 100 Best Jobs||#23|
When you use your company's intranet or local computer network, you're enjoying the work of a network and computer systems administrator. These administrators ensure that email and data storage networks work properly, and keep employee workstations connected to the central computer network. They also set up and maintain an organization's computer servers and participate in decisions about hardware or software upgrades to the computer network. Some network and computer systems administrators also manage telecommunication networks so employees can work from home or on the road.
Demand for this position is high and is expected to grow as employers invest in new technology and faster mobile networks. More administrators will also be needed to implement new security measures to protect workplace computer systems. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts significant employment growth of about 27.8 percent between 2010 and 2020. Approximately 96,600 new positions are expected to be created.
Network and computer systems administrator jobs often require a bachelor's degree—typically in computer or information science, although sometimes a degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering is acceptable. Coursework in computer programming, networking, or systems design will be helpful. Some businesses require that an administrator get a master's degree, while others are willing to accept an associate's degree or professional certification along with related work experience. Completing certification programs and otherwise keeping up with new technologies is also important. "It's imperative to stay current with technology trends and changes by reading blogs, technology magazines, and attending conferences," says Simran Sandhu, manager of network infrastructure at Adobe. "It's also important to study and learn the basics of network technology and acquire an acute understanding of how information flows. Be able to identify key services such as DNS, DHCP, and firewalls, and define the roles they play in a network infrastructure."
Joining professional organizations like the Association for Computing Machinery can help you to keep up with technological developments. Completing certification programs, such as those offered by Microsoft, Red Hat, and Cisco, can give you an advantage for some positions. Sajith Balan, a network engineer for Microsoft Network Design and Deployment, has a master's degree in computer science and completed certificate programs from a variety of companies including Cisco and Juniper. "That really helped me to get a good grip on the role that I have today. Certifications will help you to get your CV chosen over another," he says. "There are a lot of new technologies that are coming into the market every day, so you have to be conscious of what is happening, and you need to keep learning. Keep your certifications updated."
|Upward Mobility||Above Average|