A Network Administrator, also known as a systems administrator, LAN administrator, information systems administrator, network operations analyst, network technician, or junior network engineer, is an IT professional who manages an organization’s PCs and LAN network. This management includes rolling out new equipment, as well as performing corrective and preventative measures on existing equipment.
Duties of a network administrator, for which nearly every network out there requires at least one, include the installation, configuration and maintenance of PCs, networking equipment and network operating systems. As well, a network administrator must deal with patching systems where necessary as well as locking down systems so that only authorized personal can access and use them. Network administration is a rather highly technical role. A good understanding of network operating systems, network equipment and networking protocols is essential, as well as
basic ability to program scripts and batch files. However, relatively strong interpersonal skills are also important, as the network administrator must understand the networking needs and problems of users and be able to address those issues in a timely fashion. Lastly, a network administrator must be diligent at documenting the network as well as be proficient at troubleshooting problems, often under tense situations. This includes knowing when to give up trying to be the hero when solving a problem and having the humility to go to outside sources for help.
A person may consider entering this field after attaining a Computer Science or Computer Engineering university degree or a one or two year computer diploma from a local technical institute. However, some Network administrators are quite proficient without this recommended educational background. Either way, at least some dedicated training and related certification in one or more leading network operating systems is highly recommended as is training and certification on network equipment and protocols. A large dose of caution is also important as is the ability to plan for what-if scenarios and to remember to provide management and users with a heads up on system changes and upgrades.
A network administrator often moves on to becoming a network or systems engineer and reaps higher salary rewards as a result. As well, those with exceptional communication and interpersonal skills often slide into management roles, but not generally until first becoming a network or systems engineer.
Salary information is so dependent on an IT professional’s particular skill set, experience and geographic location. However, fairly experienced network administrators can attain salaries around $50,000 USD.
Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 MCSE certification (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) is “for professionals who analyze the business requirements and design and implement the infrastructure for business solutions based on the Microsoft Windows® 2000 platform and Microsoft Windows Server System™.” The Windows Server 2003 MCSE emerged in the summer of 2003, three years after the introduction of the Windows 2000 MCSE.
This MCSE certification does not retire but newer versions of it are released every few years as Microsoft upgrades their core server technologies. There are no specific prerequisites for the MCSE, although Microsoft says: “candidates should also have at least one year of experience implementing and administering network operating systems and desktop operating systems.“ As soon as candidates pass their first qualifying exam for the MCSE program, they achieve a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification. There is also a fair bit of overlap between the MCSE and the MCSE:Security certification.
Job roles of those pursuing this MCSE certification typically include: systems engineers, technical support engineers, systems analysts, network analysts, and technical consultants.
To achieve the MCSE certification, a candidate must pass a total of seven exams. There is a two-exam upgrade path to this certification for those who hold the Windows 2000 MCSE. By passing one of these exams, the 70-292 exam, you can achieve your Windows Server 2003 MCSA certification enroute to your Windows Server 2003 MCSE certification.
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