Network administrators set up, maintain and monitor the interconnected computer systems that support business operations and communications. Administrators oversee local area networks (LANs) and intranets as well as email and data storage networks. Many industries and organizations rely on computer networks, meaning that administrators can work outside the field of information technology; for example, networks play a key role in government offices, educational institutions, financial firms and health care facilities.
Network administration studies typically cover the technology required for wired and wireless networks. Courses also include computer programming, systems design, information security and other aspects of computer science. Computer engineering or electrical engineering may also be useful for administrators as they work with hardware and equipment in addition to software.
Occupations involved in network administration include a variety of positions, from telecommunications to tech support. Network security specialists make sure that voice and data communications remain private and protected from intrusions. System architects design computer networks according to an organization’s needs. System administrators maintain, install and repair equipment. Some administrators work with computer support specialists to trouble-shoot problems and make sure that employee workstations stay connected to the central computer network.