Network administrators are responsible for maintaining computer networks and solving any problems that may occur with them.
Typical responsibilities of the job include:
- installing and configuring computer networks and systems
- identifying and solving any problems that arise with computer networks and systems
- consulting with clients to specify system requirements and design solutions
- budgeting for equipment and assembly costs
- assembling new systems
- maintaining existing software and hardware and upgrading any that have become obsolete
- monitoring computer networks and systems to identify how performance can be improved
- working with IT support personnel
- providing network administration and support
Since almost all industries are now heavily computer-dependent, network administrators are needed in most companies, including:
- software developers
- the government
- the finance industry
- utilities companies
You can look for vacancies in specialist publications such as TARGETjobs IT & Technology. Vacancies are also advertised online and by careers services and specialist recruitment agencies.
There are routes into this career for both graduates and school leavers.
There are a few opportunities to work in network administrator roles with any degree background (ie a non-technical degree); however, this is unusual. Most network administrator jobs advertised ask for a computer science, software engineering or electronic engineering degree.
Network administrators need to understand how to connect devices to form a fast and efficient network. Therefore it helps if graduates have experience of running networks on specific network operating systems, perhaps in a school, a university or in a company's IT department. You can also apply for industrial placements and summer internships.
For school leavers, taking a short course in networking or network design (such as those run by Cisco) can be helpful but may not be a requirement of all school leaver employers. To find out more about getting into IT and technology via a school leaver route, visit the IT and technology section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.
Once in the job, most network administrators will study for professional qualifications.
- IT and technical skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Teamworking skills
- Attention to detail