These days, just about every organization uses computer networks in some way, creating a large demand for well-trained, highly-skilled network administrators. Depending on the needs of their employer, network administrators have numerous responsibilities.
They may work with management to determine the most appropriate network for the organization’s needs, install hardware and software, set up and configure servers, provide training for the network users, and perform system maintenance and repair tasks.
With a Diploma in information technology, you can open the door to a wide range of interesting network administrator career possibilities. If you’re contemplating the best network administrator career path for you, explore these careers and job descriptions to help guide you toward the best decision for you.
7 Careers for Network Administrators
Businesses will always have a need for computer system services. And, as technology advances, the need for network administrators will rise — with a projected 9.5% annual market growth rate between 2019 and 2024.
Whether you’re a current network administrator looking for a career change or are an aspiring professional, consider the following career paths:
1. Network Engineer
Network engineering focuses on the design and installation of computer systems and networks. Once the appropriate network is installed, network engineers must execute various troubleshooting steps to detect and remove any “bugs” in the system.
Network engineers typically work in an office setting, offering support to staff, clients, and suppliers as-needed, so it’s important that these professionals have adequate interpersonal skills.
2. Network Analysts
A network analyst, also known as a system analyst, examines any existing data processing problems and determines the most effective resolution for the issue.
Analysts often solve problems by analyzing information flow, which means they may need to add or update software packages — and, in some instances, they may even need to design an entirely new system.
Network analysts often work as a team with other programmers, designers, and managers. And, like other roles, day-to-day responsibilities will vary depending on the company’s needs and industry. Even then, every day will look different for a network analyst, so it’s important to be flexible and adaptable in this position.
3. Network Security
Network security is a critical area of opportunity for network administrators. Network security professionals are responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining a variety of essential IT security solutions, such as anti-virus software, firewalls, and various intrusion detection systems.
These solutions protect agencies from cyber attacks, hackers, and infiltrations, among other cyber threats.
Network security engineers also conduct reviews of security measures to verify that they are continually meeting the organization’s needs. This requires a keen eye for detail and problem-solving skills.
4. Technical Support
Network administrator careers often involve providing reliable technical support that network users may need from time to time. The tech support staff offers valuable assistance via telephone, email, or online chat by answering questions or giving step-by-step guidance to help users resolve various computer issues.
In some cases, techs may be able to perform a basic computer repair remotely, eliminating the time and costs involved with having to send a field technician to handle the problem in-person.
Providing technical support requires stellar interpersonal skills, especially when working with staff and clients who have difficulty understanding technical concepts.
5. Field Service Technician
If you work for a large company with multiple branches, you could serve as a field technician who travels to various locations, ensuring computer networks and equipment are operating properly.
As more companies are allowing employees to work remotely, you may need to travel to residences to set up, install, and configure networks in home offices. Within this position, expect to perform tasks like internet repair, wireless system installation, and fax line maintenance.
Field service technician careers are also available for self-employed technicians who install and maintain computer systems for a variety of organizations. If you have strong entrepreneurial skills, then a self-employed field service technician may be a good path for you.
6. Freelance Network Consultants
Similarly, if you have a passion for entrepreneurship, then a freelance network consultant may be a good fit for you. Knowledgeable network administrators may choose to work as a freelance network consultant, offering their services to companies on a freelance basis.
Freelance consultants provide their expertise on an as-needed basis, giving them the freedom to pick and choose the companies they wish to work for, as well as negotiate an acceptable payment rate. A potential downside of freelancing, however, is that consultants may have a difficult time maintaining steady employment during challenging economic times.
7. Sales and Marketing
Network administrator careers that do not involve the hands-on application of networking functions are also available. Network administrators with strong communication skills may be well-suited for a career selling computer products and services to larger corporations and other businesses.
A sales position requires a deep understanding of computer hardware and software products, as well as the ability to explain their various features and benefits to prospective clients. More so, these network administrators require basic marketing knowledge to best represent their business’s brand identity, products, and services. Extensive travel may also be required to meet client and sales requirements.
Successful Network Administrator Careers Start With the Right Training
Regardless of which network administrator career path appeals to you, solid training is essential to establish and advance your career.
An Information Technology Diploma program, or Associate of Applied Science Degree program, provides the training you need to become a valuable commodity in today’s job market — without having to spend four long years in college.
By becoming an accredited student of an information technology program, you’ll have training in systems and network administration, as well as hands-on experience with computer repair and technical support. You’ll also learn how to work with other field experts as well as clients to deliver the highest-quality service support.
If you choose to obtain your associate’s degree, you’ll gain important knowledge of more advanced technical support opportunities. Also, you’ll be prepared for additional certifications or exams, which your future career may require.
While pursuing your Diploma or degree, you can choose to attend classes on campus or at a technical school, and online training opportunities are also available. Online courses enable you to study wherever and whenever is most convenient for you. No matter which path you choose, receiving an education in IT will undoubtedly benefit you throughout your network administrator career.
Learn More About the Network Administrator Education Opportunities at Vista College
Are you interested in a network administrator career? If so, Vista College wants to help you achieve your career goals. We offer student-focused courses — both on-campus and online — packed with relevant studies to help you become a well-rounded and competitive network administrator.
Learn more about the benefits of an Information Technology Diploma and the training opportunities available to you. Contact one of our college admission representatives today.