Career Guide  
Network Administrator
I. Job Outlook:

II. Job Requirements/Prerequisites:

III. Education/Training Resources:

IV. Getting A Job:

V. Back To Career Guide Home Page


Skill Requirements

Intellectual - basic

  • Able to understand highly technical topics.
  • Able to work under pressure.
  • Able to prioritize multiple activities.

Intellectual - specialized

  • Excellent computer skills.
  • Able to troubleshoot.
  • Familiar with the relevant networking hardware and software.


  • Desire to help others.
  • Able to work with others.
  • Able to work with minimal supervision.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.


  • Able to work at a computer for extended periods of time.

Skill Maintenance Requirement

  • High. Networking technology changes quickly, requiring constant updating of skills.

    Remaining current is often accomplished by attending conferences, reading technical publications, and taking short courses.

Experience Prerequisites

Previous experience as a System Administrator is helpful. Certification from Novell or Microsoft (see the next section) can often substitute for one year of experience.


Education/Training Required

A 4-year degree is often stated as a requirement for Network Administrators, particularly at the larger companies. An AS degree, along with certification, is usually an acceptable substitute.

Cisco, Novell, and Microsoft offer certification tests for their networks. Passing these tests indicates to potential employers that one has the technical skills necessary to be a Network Administrator. Most of the training programs described in the next section prepare individuals to pass one or more of these certification exams. The certifications that are relevant for Network Administrators are listed below.

  • Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
  • Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA)
  • Certified Novell Administrator (CNA)
  • Certified Novell Engineer (CNE)

The next section in this career guide ("Bay Area Education/Training Resources") provides detailed information on some of the training programs available for Network Administrators.

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