Network management and administration refers to all of the activities associated with designing, building, monitoring, and maintaining computer and telecommunication networks. In a small office, one person may be responsible for performing all of these activities as an IT Specialist. However, most organizations split network management duties across a series of more specialized job roles.
There are a number of questions that arise when dealing with computer networking issues:
* What network configuration is the best fit for an organization?
* How is the current network performing?
* How will new offices be integrated into the existing network?
* Does the network have the necessary fault tolerance and fail-over systems in place?
These and many more questions are dealt with by IT specialists who support private and public sector computer networks ranging from dozens to thousands of machines and users.
What does a Network Administrator do?
The Network Administrator is the day-to-day manager of a given network. They are responsible for monitoring the network's performance, adding and replacing new equipment or software as needed. Network administrators (and the technicians that work under them) manage user accounts, user groups, and machine accounts. They manage the deployment of new software applications to network clients. Network administrators ensure that the network is secured against outside threats, and that client workstations have anti-virus and malware protection installed. They troubleshoot network issues that come up, and make the necessary fixes as required. Network administrators maintain email systems and Internet content filters for users.
In short, network administrators are the bench managers the networking team. They often manage large teams of network support technicians, requiring them to have people skills as well as technical skills.
Duties tend to vary, but, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), often include the following tasks:
* Determining a company's networking and computer system needs
* Installing network hardware and software, upgrading whenever necessary
* Maintaining networks to ensure they are secure and operating properly
* Analyzing network and computer system data to track performance and find ways to boost speed and efficiency
* Adding users to networks and teaching them how to correctly use all hardware and software
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015-16 Edition, Network Administrators, on the Internet . Statistics found in the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook are based on national data, so job growth in your area may be different.