Certified Network Administrator Certification and Career

Computer specialists who are looking to advance their careers or their job prospects might consider becoming certified. Read on to learn what certifications are available, more about being a network administrator and what job prospects are available. Schools offering Computer Networking degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

You can find relevant, professional certifications through a variety of network product vendors and information technology (IT) organizations. Vendor-specific certification exams, offered by companies such as Microsoft, Novell and Cisco, test your theoretical and practical knowledge of the vendor's own software and may be preferred by employers who use it.

Certifications Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Certified Novell Administrator (CNA), CompTIA A+
Courses Server infrastructure, desktop infrastructure, private cloud, enterprise devices and apps, foundations of open enterprise servers, motherboard components, administration tools, custom configuration and much more
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)* 20% (network administrators in the computer systems design and related services industries)
Duties Support an organization's network system, internet system, local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN) and other systems; ensure availability of systems to all users

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is a General Certification?

A general certification, such as that from the non-profit IT company CompTIA, will test your knowledge of network administration and security using all industry-standard software and products. CompTIA certification confirms your ability to install, configure and troubleshoot peripheral devices, system components, print devices, internet access devices, mobile devices and a wide range of operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux.

Do I Need to Be Certified to Get a Job?

Most employers look for candidates who have a related bachelor's degree, but some only require a certificate or an associate's degree. Though certification isn't always required, it may help increase your job prospects - especially if you don't have a college degree in a computer-related field. These credentials prove to employers that you have proficiency in day-to-day network administrator duties along with a solid knowledge base in computer networking.

What Would I Do as a Network Administrator?

Network administrators are computer IT specialists who usually work as in-house employees for businesses or organizations. They typically handle the following aspects of computer networks:

  • Design
  • Set up
  • Repair

Not only must administrators be skilled in troubleshooting and understanding why network and computer problems occur, they must be able to analyze usage data to design a network that best fits its users. They work with all types of networks, from global intranets to local area connections among only a few computers. Here are some of the typical duties of network systems administrators:

  • Install network hardware and software
  • Upgrade and repair networks
  • Optimize performance of systems and network
  • Train users on how to correctly use hardware and software
  • Manage security permissions
  • Troubleshoot and resolve varied technology issues

What Are My Job Prospects?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of network administrators in the computer systems design and related services industries is projected to increase by 20% from 2016-2026, a rate much faster than the average of all U.S. occupations. This is largely because demand for these workers is high in all areas of business, from large corporations to small firms. The BLS also reported that administrators with specializations in network security should also be in high demand. If you have a college degree or professional certifications, plus work experience in the IT field, then job opportunities should be ample.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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