How to become a network administrator in Australia: careers in information technology
Network administrators maintain and develop information technology networks within an organisation. These networks provide important lines of communication between employees, automated systems and the outside words. Network administrators are usually found in roles maintaining existing telephone and computer networks within an organisation, but can also provide network design, installation and consultation for projects. There are a range of specialisations that network administrators can pursue, from telephony and network security through to maintaining email and messaging services.
Network administrators have a variety of daily tasks to perform that will vary depending on the needs of the organisation they are employed by. Generally, they are involved in troubleshooting of network problems, maintaining systems, deploying new hardware and meeting with other business stakeholders. They may carry out project work like arranging for installation of new services.
- Design and install computer and telephone networks
- Troubleshoot network issues
- Security testing
- Maintaining services
- Configuring and deploying hardware
Network administrators need to have a sound understanding of information technology systems and network security concepts. They must have good analytical and problem solving skills. Customer service skills are also important as they will be required to deal with non-technical people to troubleshoot problems or to offer support and advice about using information technology. The ability to communicate clearly is also necessary, as well as teamwork and collaborative skills.
- Problem solving skills
- Ability to work to time constraints
- Good communication skills
- Excellent information technology knowledge
- Good customer service
Network administrators are able to specialise in a range of different areas, with each specialisation relying on a sound base knowledge of network technologies and basic information technology concepts.
Network security experts focus on preventing breaches to the private networks of organisations. Their work ensures that proprietary data is secure from competitors and hackers. They monitor network traffic and continually test the network’s infrastructure to ensure any vulnerabilities are detected and rectified before a breach can occur.
Experts in messaging and communications provide services such as email, information and file sharing to employees of an organisation. They provide end-user technical support to troubleshoot any issues with these services, and are also responsible for rolling out any large-scale updates to them.
Telecommunications experts can be found working with a range of technologies including satellites, fibre optics and radio and wireless. They use their specialist knowledge of electronic signals and equipment to deploy and maintain the physical infrastructure that organisations need to keep their employees connected.
Having a tertiary qualification will help you get your foot in the door of the information technology industry. However, there is high demand for vendor certifications which demonstrate you have practical skills and knowledge in a particular area.
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Get vendor qualifications and industry-recognised training to kickstart your career as a network administrator.
Certificates from vendors like Microsoft, Novell and Cisco have become a de-facto industry standard to gain a network administrator role.