A network administrator is a professional who works with computer networks, often alongside other networking specialists such as network engineers. The network administrator’s main responsibility is to ensure that the network keeps working. They will need to maintain both the hardware and software components of the network. This can involve configuring, maintenance, and monitoring of the networks. Typically, a network administrator will work with a network that has already been designed and set up by another professional, although some network administrators may play a role in the creation of the networks that they will then be required to maintain.
Network administrators usually focus on the overall network, the deployment of servers, the security of the network, and making sure that all aspects of the network are of a suitable technical level. They deal with the types of problems and issues that computer support and network technicians cannot solve, although the exact tasks which are assigned to a network administrator will vary depending between companies. Network administrators may be required to assign network addresses and routing protocols, to configure authentication and authorization services, or to maintain individual network components such as computers, printers, and drivers, or to maintain various types of servers. Network administrators will usually take an active role in the selection and purchase of new network components. Security is usually also an important concern for the network administrator. They need to make sure that everyone who needs to be able to access the network can connect to it, without enabling any unwanted users to exploit the computer network.
Network administrators may sometimes take on some other roles, such as designing and setting up networks, but they are typically more involved with running networks than in creating them. Usually, it will be a network engineer who designs the network, while the network administrator will work on maintaining the network once it has been set up. However, in some companies, the two roles may be combined since it may not be possible to employ two separate people.
Like network engineers, network administrators do not spend much time working with the end users of the networks with which they are working. They focus on the network itself and the hardware from which it is composed, rather than on providing support for the users.
Network administrators will usually have taken a number of different courses relating to information technology, computer science and networking. Breadth of knowledge is very important. Network administrators are likely to have certification from multiple networking related courses. They also tend to be interested in technology and willing to keep learning and updating their skills in order to keep up with all of the latest developments in networking technology.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a network administrator, or in another role related to computer networking, then it is a good idea to learn as much as you can about networks and computer hardware. The PCx3.com website is full of information that can help you to find out more about computer networks as well as some of the other roles involved in the creation and maintenance of these networks.