Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Last updated December 31, 2014

At every office -- whether business, nonprofit, or government agency -- the story's the same: work can grind to a halt when something goes wrong with the computer system. That's reason enough to keep hundreds of thousands of professionals busy making sure that those systems continue to run at their best. Network and computer system administrators, sometimes called network technicians, monitor networks and adjust their performance as needed. 

Network and computer systems administrators install, configure (set up to work in a particular way), support, and repair computer systems for businesses and other organizations.

Did You Know?

Some systems administrators specialize in computer security, protecting systems and data from cyber attacks.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Maintain both hardware and software
  • Get hands-on experience with routers, switches, hubs, and other networking equipment
  • Keep networks and systems safe from cybercrime
  • Set up printer servers
  • Help set up workstations
  • Train users
  • Troubleshoot problems
  • Work overtime during technical emergencies
  • Spend some evenings and weekends on call
  • Keep up with constantly evolving technology through continuing education

It Helps To Be...

A strong communicator who loves to analyze and solve problems.

Make High School Count

  • Consider taking AP Computer Science A.
  • Look into computer summer camps.
  • Compete in one of the ACM High School Programming Contests if you're a seasoned programmer.
  • Take as much math as your high school offers.
  • Make the most of your science classes. They train you to think logically.
  • Build communication skills in debate, drama, and speech and English classes.

Did You Know?

Data was first transmitted between individual computers in the 1950s, when MIT set up a network for monitoring the air defense of the United States.