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Computer System Administrator

Career Overview

Computer systems administrators, also called network system administrators, are responsible for the design of and support for the computer system in a business organization. They oversee all networking functions including any local area networks (LANs) and internet-based communication systems. A system administrator maintains the functionality of networking systems by fixing software problems, replacing equipment such as routers, and generally maintaining the internal computer system and any public access functions the business operates.

Increasingly, computer system administrators also become involved with information security.  It is a growing concern for all businesses; most information thieves utilize a weak point in a computer network system.

Education

Many employers would like to see a bachelors degree on a computer systems administrator applicant's resume; and many institutions offer degrees in systems administration or technology.  In this field, however, experience is still often substituted for formal education.  Certification in information technology or a related field, with some experience in computer systems administration may be enough for the job.

Current Employment

According to a U.S. Department of Labor survey there were 309,000 network or computer systems administrators.  A large number of these workers were employed by computer and network service firms that manage business computer systems on contract.

Job Outlook

The job prospects for computer system administrators are excellent.  Opportunities in this job classification are projected to grow 18% over the decade 2006 - 2016.

Salary Range

Lowest 10% $19.21 $39,970

Median Salary $31.10 $64,690

Highest 10% $48.81 $101,520

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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