In the world of IT, career opportunities are abundant and people with IT degrees are in high-demand. From Fortune 500 companies to small non-profit organizations, all businesses require technology professionals. IT administrators, such as network administrators or computer systems administrators, enjoy excellent career possibilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the average salary to be more than $82,000 a year with a Bachelor’s degree.
But what exactly do they do? What are their responsibilities? What kind of roles do they fill? If you earned a degree in Information Technology Administration, what career path would you follow and what would you work on day-to-day?
What Do IT Administrators Do?
In today’s tech-savvy world, companies need computer networks that run well, devoid of problems and glitches. When problems inevitably arise, they need to have someone on staff to fix it and keep the lines of communication open. This is the role of the IT administrator.
IT administrators will maintain, configure, and protect the operation of computer systems, including servers, mail servers, intranet networks, and the Internet. They also may oversee equipment and software updates, which are important to keeping a company’s technology running smoothly. This professional is also the first point-of-contact when Internet or network connectivity issues occur.
So, what does this look like on a day-to-day basis? The simple answer is, no two days are alike. The job continuously changes depending on what is happening at the company on a daily basis.
IT administrators often work in many different areas of the building to troubleshoot problems and restore network or system access. The IT administrator will also spend much of the day monitoring the network for signs of potential problems in order to stop them before they escalate and cause downtime.
Many of these professionals have to be on call, even when they are not in the office. Most companies need their networks to run 24/7, and it’s the IT administrator who must come in when something is not functioning correctly.
In addition to putting out fires and deducing problems, these administrators may work with vendors to help select new products for the community. They will also monitor the performance and security of the network, helping put a stop to hackers and ensuring a high level of performance from the network connections. Finally, they may need to train support staff to handle some technical support issues from time to time.
This job typically takes place in an office, but sometimes the IT administrator will work remotely, especially when problems arise outside of normal business hours. It is a much-needed job that requires dedication and technical knowledge. However, for those with the right education and passion for overcoming challenges, it’s a position that offers a lot of opportunity and excitement.
What are the Types of IT Administration Roles?
The role of IT administrator is fairly broad, and many companies will look for more specific types of professionals. Some of the roles that fall under this category include:
Network infrastructure includes company routers and switches that enable internal communication. This professional maintains and troubleshoots these networks.
These professionals maintain and operate the servers, ensuring email, Internet, and customer-facing web services are functional. Operating systems or application problems fall under the watch of the server administrator.
This administrator maintains database systems. In large companies, this may be a dedicated position, whereas smaller companies may give this role to someone who holds another title, like the server administrator.
Security Systems Administrator
Security systems and backups fall into this IT administrator’s area of responsibility. The security systems administrator will also set up and delete user accounts as the company’s staffing needs change.
Clearly, this is a diverse career field with many potential job opportunities for qualified individuals.
What Skills are Needed to be an IT Administrator?
In order to excel in the job, you must be skilled at multitasking. You will often find yourself with many different projects going on simultaneously.
IT administrators also need strong problem-solving skills. Tenacity helps these professionals stick with problems until they find solutions.
Strong analytical skills go hand-in-hand with problem-solving skills. IT administrators must learn to evaluate data from networks and systems to find the right solutions. Experienced professionals will anticipate and create solutions to issues before they develop.
This occupation requires a desire for continuous learning. While your university-level training is a good and necessary foundation, technology is a field that is constantly in flux. As new products and technologies hit the market, a skilled IT administrator will learn about them, how they apply to the company’s networks and how to best utilize them to meet the company’s goals.
Finally, IT administration requires strong communication skills. These professionals must communicate complex technological problems and solutions to people within the company who may not have the technical background.
How Do I Become an IT Administrator?
Even though it is an in-demand technical career, you don’t necessarily need an advanced education to pursue it. You can get started with a bachelor’s degree in IT administration.
Many companies prefer their IT administrators to be certified in the various products and systems they use, but that certification comes from the vendor and can be pursued after completing undergraduate education.
If you are interested in a career in IT administration, consider the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Administration degree from ACU Online. This online undergraduate program is entirely online, giving you a greater level of flexibility while getting the training you desire. Want to learn more about this program and what it can do for your IT future? Contact us today at 855-219-7300 or acu.edu/online.