Network and Computer Systems Administrators

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Also known as:
Information Analyst, Information Systems Manager (IS Manager), Information Technology Specialist (IT Specialist), LAN Specialist (Local Area Network Specialist), Local Area Network Administrator (LAN Administrator), Network Administrator, Network Coordinator, Network Manager, Systems Administrator

ABOUT NETWORK AND COMPUTER SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR CAREERS
Video transcript

As a critical part of almost every organization, computer networks require the oversight of an information technology or IT professional. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks. They start by ensuring an organization's needs will be met by a system before setting it up, then install hardware and software, and make ongoing upgrades and repairs as needed. Their domain includes local area networks, wide area networks, and other data communication systems. These IT professionals have frequent interaction with other IT staff, and with non-IT staff as well. Most network and computer systems administrators work full time. Organizations depend heavily on continuous service from their computer networks, so when issues arise, administrators may work overtime hours. Network and computer systems administrators need a combination of communication skills to describe problems and their solutions to non-IT workers and problem solving and computer skills to actually break down and resolve network issues. Although some employers require only a certificate or an associate's degree to enter the field, most require a bachelor's degree in a major related to computer or information science. Because this occupation includes a focus on working with computer hardware and equipment, a degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering is usually acceptable as well.

SNAPSHOT
Install, configure, and maintain an organization's local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), data communications network, operating systems, and physical and virtual servers. Perform system monitoring and verify the integrity and availability of hardware, network, and server resources and systems. Review system and application logs and verify completion of scheduled jobs, including system backups. Analyze network and server resource consumption and control user access. Install and upgrade software and maintain software licenses. May assist in network modeling, analysis, planning, and coordination between network and data communications hardware and software.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
MED
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
LOW
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Gather data pertaining to customer needs, and use the information to identify, predict, interpret, and evaluate system and network requirements.

Configure, monitor, and maintain email applications or virus protection software.

Train people in computer system use.

Maintain logs related to network functions, as well as maintenance and repair records.

Coordinate with vendors and with company personnel to facilitate purchases.

Monitor network performance to determine whether adjustments need to be made, and to determine where changes will need to be made in the future.

Load computer tapes and disks, and install software and printer paper or forms.

Perform routine network startup and shutdown procedures, and maintain control records.

Recommend changes to improve systems and network configurations, and determine hardware or software requirements related to such changes.

Design, configure, and test computer hardware, networking software and operating system software.

Confer with network users about how to solve existing system problems.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
TOP SKILLS
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Systems Evaluation Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.