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Network administrators play an important role in ensuring that a company’s network is working effectively, is protected from threats, and issues don’t interfere with day-to-day business operations.
As a network administrator, your main role is to maintain your company’s computer network environment by performing regular upgrades, monitoring network performance, assessing risk, and ensuring the network performs optimally. Depending on the company, you may work on WANs, LANs, and intranets and other computer network configurations. Part of the IT department, you will also work in coordination with other IT professionals to support company operations and provide training to network users.
There is no such thing as a typical day for a network administrator. While you may have standard office hours, there is some uncertainty in the sense that you never know what the day will bring. System crashes, network attacks, and other networking issues could force you to work additional hours. Network administrators typically report to an IT manager or CIO.
Your day-to-day tasks will largely vary based on your company networking needs. Some days will involve network upgrades and troubleshooting, while others could be spent training staff or general network monitoring and upkeep. Typical day-to-day tasks can include:
All companies exist online today and require an efficient and protected computer network for operations. Network administrators are needed by companies in all industries. Most positions are found with large organizations with internal IT departments or with IT companies that provide outsourced IT network solutions to companies. Some of the top industries that are hiring network administrators include insurance, education, healthcare, and manufacturing. Locations within Canada that have a lot of opportunities include the Greater Toronto Area, Vancouver and the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
As with many IT professions, network administrators must bring a diverse skill set to the table. You need to be well versed in computer networking, and many other areas of computing. Skills required in this profession include:
To become a network administrator, you will be required to have an undergraduate degree in computer science. Upon graduation, many future network administrators go on to complete a master’s degree in computer networking as well as computer networking certification programs. While certification requirements will vary based on your role in the company you work for, it’s common for network administrators to have vendor specific certifications for Microsoft, Cisco or Sun Microsystems networking products.
Since computer networking is an ever-evolving field, professional development and continuing education will be required as new networking technology comes to market. This training may be provided by your employer, however, many network administrators pursue additional training and certification outside of their employer.
A career as a network administrator can take many paths. Once you gain experience in the industry, many network administrators choose to specialize in a particular area, get into network consulting, and many move into more senior IT and management roles. As technology evolves, so will your career path. Are you a network administrator looking for new career opportunities? Contact Randstad Canada and find out how we can help.