How to become a Secure Network Administrator?

Becoming a network administrator is a good career choice if you are looking to start a rewarding career or if you like handling both software and hardware; and if you understand how computers work. Network administrators spend lots of time with network environments and are familiar with network components, traffic, performance and utilization, network topology, location of each system, network security measures, etc.

Organizations can improve their defense against cyberattacks when their IT experts and network administrators are equipped with adequate network security skills. You can gain all the necessary skills by joining the EC-Council’s community of Certified Network Defender (CND).

What does a Network Administrator do?

A network administrator plays a crucial function in supervising and maintaining an organization’s technological network. They work within governmental agencies and private organizations to supervise network segments, wide area networks, local area networks, and other related network systems. They also manage the information technology within the association, functioning as the go-to professionals for critical technical or computer-based issues.

A network administrator’s job description may vary from one organization to the next, but on-site servers, software-network interactions, as well as network integrity/resilience are the key areas of focus. Likewise, the role of a network admin slightly differs from that of a system administrator even though they are sometimes used interchangeably. Nevertheless, their differences are most noticeable based on their work environments and in larger organizations.

Is working as a Network Administrator a good career option?

Any organization that utilizes several computers or software platforms requires the services of a network systems administrator to manage and link the various systems. As organizations continue to expand, their networks and systems also become larger and more multifaceted. All these increase the demand for people with network defense skills to support the available systems.

Moreover, owing to the increase in cyber-breaches and attacks, organizations are beginning to focus their efforts on cyber defense solutions. Even with best practices, several organizational networks are still being compromised. This is why it’s a good time to be a network administrator. Organizations need skilled or certified network defenders who are proficient at detecting, protecting, and responding to threats within a network.

With the rise in the global economy, organizations are implementing advanced systems for operations and data storage. Demand for network administrators is expected to increase due to the rising demand for information security. Companies will look forward to hiring network administrators for optimizing their systems, to lower costs, and to increase their productivity. Since a large number of industries are currently deeply computer-supported, most organizations need network administrators including:

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The Government

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Software developers, computer systems design, and related services

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The Finance Industry

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Utility Companies

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Retailers

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Manufacturers

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Telecommunications

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Hospitals

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Educational Institutions

(such as Universities, colleges, and professional schools)

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Publishers

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Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services

What are the daily tasks of a Network Administrator?

Network administrators are responsible for the daily operations and security of computers and networks. The network admin has a broad range of responsibilities. They are responsible for the general operations of the organization’s technical networks, they support several IT teams, and they fix and prevent network issues.

Nevertheless, network system administration is perhaps the most demanding field in modern IT, which is why you need more than a degree to handle daily tasks. The following are the job roles to be performed by a network administrator:

Installing and configuring computer networks and systems.
Administering LAN/WAN security and implementing spam control measures.
Configuring network firewalls
Training users on the proper use of software and hardware
Identifying and solving any problems that arise with computer networks and systems.
Working with IT support personnel
Consulting with clients to specify system requirements and design solutions.
Troubleshooting and fixing LAN/WAN performance and connectivity.
Budgeting for equipment and assembly costs.
Maintaining existing software and hardware and upgrading the obsolete ones.
Monitoring computer networks and systems to identify how performance can be improved.

What skills do you need to be a
Network Administrator?

Network administrators need both hard and soft skills to execute their day-to-day activities.

Hard SkillsSoft SkillsCritical ThinkingGood communicationAnalytical skillsMultitasking

Hard Skills

As a highly technical field, network administrators need computer proficiency and practical experience. You can enhance your skills in network security, programming language, as well as hardware and software management when you are knowledgeable about networks and their respective functions. You need proficiencies in wide area networks, local area networks, virtual private networks, Microsoft active directory, and CISCO networking.

Soft Skills

Although soft skills do not actually materialize from academic lessons, yet they are critical to the effectiveness of your career. Soft skills required include:

Critical Thinking

A network administrator should be able to analyze network data objectively and come to a reasonable solution. A good critical thinker can disregard personal feelings, opinions, or biases when coming up with the proper solutions to network problems.

Good communication

A network administrator must have strong verbal and written communication skills. They must be able to explain the situation to a non-IT worker. They must also be clear, emphatic, and respectful as they communicate with others.

Analytical skills

Network administrators evaluate networks at their organization to make sure they are running at peak performance. A highly effective network administrator will be able to collect and analyze information to improve the network and its vulnerabilities. This will ultimately increase the company’s productivity

Multitasking

Network administrators often have multiple tasks to work on simultaneously, so they’ll need to manage requests from emails, text messages, phone calls, and in-person contact. A good multitasker implements a job queue to prioritize and keep track of the different networks and computer issues that arise. By using a job queue or ticket system, the network administrators can prioritize different issues, getting the most crucial tasks completed first.

To gain the necessary skills you need to become a network administrator, sign-up here for our Certified Network Defender (CND) program!

What is the Average Salary of a Network Administrator?

Based on Salary.com the average salary of a network administrator in the United States as of June 2020 is 62,001 USD and the range typically falls between 54,831 USD to 70,691 USD. Similarly, the average salary for this position as stated by Glassdoor.com is 63,043 USD.

The salary range of a network administrator can vary based on certain factors, such as certifications, job location, level of experience, education, and other additional skills. Computer system design industries are the largest employer of network administrators in the US. Likewise, network administrators that work in financial services, oil and gas extraction, as well as insurance benefits get the highest pays. With more training on the job, advanced education, and other certifications, network engineers increase their earning capacities.

Average Network Administrator Salary by Location

Countries Average Salary for Penetration Tester
USA $59,531
Japan USD 2796
Germany €44,532
India ₹ 356,982
United Kingdom £25,690
France € 30,517
Italy € 27918
Brazil R$ 72,336
Canada C$ 59,5306
Russia 620,000 ₽
Countries Average Salary for Penetration Tester
South Korea ₩36,147K
Spain € 29,277
Australia AU$72,591
Mexico 332,400 MXN
Indonesia Rp 51,574,277
Netherlands €40,000
Saudi Arabia SAR 96,700
New Zealand NZ$53,113
Switzerland 58,144 Fr.

Pay by Experience Level for Network Administrators

Popular Employer Salaries for Network Administrator in the United States according to Payscale.com

U.S. Air Force (USAF) $45k
U.S. Marine Corps – $49k
U.S. Army – $50k
OneNeck IT Services – $49k
General Dynamics Information Technology Inc – $66k
Goodwill Industries – $54k
Credit Union One – $68k
General Dynamics Corp. – $75k

How to Become a Network Administrator?

Step 1:
Get a Degree
Step 2:
Get Certified
Step 3:
Acquire the skill
Step 4:
Gain Experience

Step 1: Get a Degree

You need at least a bachelor’s degree to be considered for this position. With certificates in computer science, software engineering, and associated fields, you can gain an entry-level position in network administration. However, with advanced education and additional certifications, you can go into fields such as network architecture and developments, and also boost your earning capacities.

Step 2: Get Certified

It is not enough to have a degree, if you must advance your career in this field you need additional credentials. While a Bachelor’s degree in the standard requirement, some employers require you to have certifications that will confirm your proficiencies and expertise. Common certifications include Certified Network Defender (CND), Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO), EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA), and Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT), among several others.

Step 3: Acquire the skill

As stated earlier, there are core skills for being a network administrator. You can resolve the issues that come with being a network security professional when you hone these skills.

Step 4: Gain Experience

Gaining work experience can boost your resumes and increase your earning capacities. There are different channels for gaining experience including through internships and through certification training. You can market yourself better when you have work experience, certifications, and the required skills.

Types of Network-related Careers

Some of the related job positions in this field include:

  • Network Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Network Programmer/Analyst
  • Computer System Analyst
  • Network Technician
  • Network Defender
  • Computer Network Architect
  • Network/Information Systems Manager
  • Data Visualization Analyst
  • Geographical Information Systems Manager

Why do you need the Certified Network Defender Credential?

EC-Council’s Certified Network Defender (CND) program is a vendor-neutral, hands-on, instructor-led comprehensive network security certification training program. The CND course is the world’s most advanced network security course that aligns with the job needs of a Network Administrator. The program prepares network administrators on network security technologies and operations to attain Defense-in-Depth network security preparedness.

It is a skills-based, lab intensive program based on a job-task analysis and cybersecurity education framework presented by the National Initiative of Cybersecurity Education (NICE). The course has also been mapped to global job roles and responsibilities and the Department of Defense (DoD) job roles for system/network administrators. The course is designed and developed after extensive market research and surveys.

CND covers the protect, detect, and response approach to network security. The course also contains hands-on labs, based on major network security tools and techniques which will provide network administrators with real-world expertise on current network security technologies and operations. Click here for more information about EC-Council’s CND program.

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