What Are the Duties of a Network Manager?

Network managers, often called network systems administrators, are an integral part of any organization that uses computer systems. If you choose to pursue a career as a network manager, you can expect to install a variety of computer networks and maintain network availability for all users. Schools offering Computer Networking degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Since technology has become a universal part of life, organizations from small businesses to large government agencies now use computer systems to facilitate their operations. As a network manager, you perform a wide range of duties that keep these systems functioning effectively.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2014) $75,790 (for network and computer system managers)
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 8% (for network and computer system managers)
Similar Occupations Information technology manager, database administrator, computer hardware engineer
Work Environment Office setting
Key Skills Knowledge of computers and computer programs, analytical and multi-tasking skills, good at communicating and problem solving

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Installation

Although network engineers, rather than network managers, design and build computer systems, network managers are responsible for installing and configuring these systems, which includes the software and hardware necessary to maintain a network. Whether it's a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN), these networks allow the computers in an office to maintain communication with each other and the Internet, and to maximize the use of this communication.

Support

As a network manager, you would be responsible for ensuring that all network systems are functioning properly. Users and monitoring systems may inform you of problems that you'll need to work to resolve. Providing training on how to properly use computer systems could also be a job responsibility. You might also be responsible for establishing network security.

Education and Training

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) notes that a bachelor's degree is typically necessary for a network management career. You should pursue a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field, such as network and system administration, computer information systems, computer science, or management information systems. You will take courses with focuses like programming for network administrators, UNIX/Linux administration, and application development. Postgraduate programs in these fields are also available.

Certification

Depending upon the employer, holding a certification may or may not be necessary. In order to obtain some certifications, you might have to give proof of one to three years of related experience, and then pass an exam. Certifications are available for all types of computer systems, from Windows servers to Mac operating systems, and are offered by product vendors and computer training associations and institutions.

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