What Does the Role of a Computer Systems Administrator Entail?

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Generally speaking, a computer systems administrator will work with an organization to maintain its computer networks. They will solve issues with hardware and software, update systems and equipment, and ensure that the network is secure. Here are some of the responsibilities a computer systems administrator will have.

  • Work with managers and staff to meet their IT needs
  • Monitor network performance and make sure it is maintained at an optimal level
  • Discover what causes an issue and fix it
  • Respond to queries about the computer system
  • Make necessary upgrades to meet the needs of the organization
  • Carry out IT training for employees
  • Investigate new technologies and trends in IT

It will be down to the computer systems administrator to make certain that emails are running correctly, and that employees can connect to data storage from their computer to the central network. New hires will rely on this person for training. As remote work becomes increasing popular, some computer systems administrators may have to manage external communication networks.

What Salary Can a Computer Systems Administrator Expect?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary in 2018 was $82,050. Salaries ranged from $50,990 to $130,720. Obviously, the salary will depend on the location as well as the candidate’s experience and qualifications as well as the employer. The outlook is also positive in terms of growth, with a 6% expected growth in jobs until 2026 at least.

What Education and Training Does a Computer Systems Administrator Need?

Though not compulsory, the majority of employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information science, or engineering. On top of this, the ideal candidate will have a variety of training and certifications.

Training: Computer systems administrators will need training and experience in programming languages and networking systems. Because of the rate that technology changes, it is important for training to be continuous so that you can remain up to date with the latest technology.

Certifications: Organizations will have specific computer systems and so the computer systems administrator may need to complete certifications related to that system or product. For example, Microsoft has a range of certifications depending on the technology, as do Cisco and Red Hat.

What Skills Does a Computer Systems Administrator Have?

Communication skills are very important as you will have to discuss the needs of the organization with staff and also explain any technical problems as they come up. It also benefits when you have a good knowledge of the company and the industry so that you are aware of what might be required from their computer system.

Because of the heavy reliance on computers and networks, a computer systems administrator must have the ability to solve problems and quickly so that the organization is not offline for an extended period of time. As you will be working on a number of tasks at the same time, multi-tasking will be required.

Interview Preparation for Computer Systems Administrators

To show yourself in the best light and increase your chances of getting the perfect job, take a look at what you can do prior to your interview:

Know where you are going– make sure you can describe the path that led you to the interview and where you want to go in the future.

Examine the job requirements- in the perfect world you will meet all of the requirements, if not, you need to at least excel at most of them.

Prepare your examples- you need to have examples of your abilities and what contributions you made in previous employments.

Set up mock interviews- practice interview techniques with fellow students or friends, run through all of the potential questions so you can answer them confidently.

After your interview, be sure to send everyone you met a follow-up email. This is a chance to remind them that you are enthusiastic about the position and that you are an excellent candidate.

The Working Environment for a Computer Systems Administrator

The role is not limited to specific industries and computer systems administrators can work for any organization that has a computer network. You have to be accustomed to change because new technologies are continuously being released and you must be keen to learn about them. You will also have to be able to work under pressure, particularly is there are issues with the system.

The Schedule of a Computer Systems Administrator

It is not uncommon for computer systems administrators to work over the 40-hour week. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that one in five people in this role will work overtime. This is mainly due to the fact that organizations require their computer systems to be running 24/7.