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Network & Computer Systems Administrators Careers: Employment & Salary Trends for Aspiring Network & Computer Systems Administrators

Network & Computer Systems Administrators at a Glance

Network & computer systems administrators are responsible for a number of computer networking duties as well as management, design, and planning duties. On any given day, network & computer systems administrators perform data backups and disaster recovery operations, solve network, hardware, and software problems, design and implement security measures to protect hardware, software, and data, and manage email applications and virus protection software.

Network & computer systems administrators are also responsible for operating master consoles and designing and testing networking hardware and software as well as operating system software. Network & computer systems administrators also train individuals in computer system use.

Network & computer systems administrators typically work full-time, but around 13% work part-time. Less than 1% is self-employed.

Schools to consider:

Employment Trends

Job Outlook: Above average
Annual Openings: 37,010
Percent Growth: 23%
Total Jobs Held: 339,500
Projected Employment: 418,400 by 2018
The Best 500 Jobs Overall Ranking: 11

Source: “Best Jobs for the 21st Century,” JIST Publishing 2009. Farr, Michael and Shatkin, Laurence, Ph.D.; “Salary Facts Handbook,” JIST Publishing 2008. Editors @ JIST.

Aspiring network & computer systems administrators can expect above average job growth in this field thanks to new technologies, the implementation of mobile technologies, and the high demand for protection against threats to stored or active information. Network & computer systems administrators with strong skills in security will enjoy a significant number of opportunities.

Salary Trends

Network & computer systems administrators earn an average salary of $64,690 per year. Network & computer systems administrators in the 90th percentile can expect to earn around $97,080 per year, while 75th percentile network & computer systems administrators can expect to earn $79,160 per year. Entry-level network & computer systems administrators can expect to earn a starting salary of around $38,610 per year.

Degrees and Training Programs

A bachelor’s degree or higher is required for entry into this field. Currently, 2.4% of all network & computer systems administrators hold a doctoral degree while 15.5% have a master’s degree. 33.5% of all network & computer systems administrators hold a bachelor’s degree. Individuals with less than a bachelor’s degree typically work in entry-level positions or as computer support specialists while working on a bachelor’s degree or trying to work their way up to administrator. If these individuals do work in higher-level positions, they usually have a substantial amount of experience (5+ years) in the field, along with professional certification.

Just about every college or university offers a degree in computer network administration, computer science, information technology, computer engineering, or information system management. Systems administration is mostly offered at the graduate level, but some colleges and universities have started offering the degree at the undergraduate level.

Coursework Required

In addition to basic courses such as English and math, computer systems administration students will take financial accounting, managerial accounting. network technologies, network operating systems, network operating support, network services and infrastructure, enterprise network services, PC operating systems, Microsoft operating systems, C family programming, and computer concepts and computer hardware. Other courses may include managing diversity in the workplace and workplace communication & presentations.

Did you know that thanks to network & computer systems administrators, organizations stay a few steps ahead of the game? Network & computer systems administrators are constantly analyzing equipment performance in order to determine if it’s time for an upgrade or a repair.