Network and computer systems administrators have become crucial to a company's success. Network and computer systems administrators are charged with installing a company's computer system, including hardware and software, and monitoring the company’s servers to ensure that they are working properly. They typically have a bachelor's degree in computer science, although electrical engineering and computer engineering are also common fields of study for network and computer systems administrators. Major hardware and software companies, such as Microsoft and Cisco, also offer certification. This particular field is rapidly growing, as jobs in this field are expected to grow by 28% by the end of the decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
An effective employee in this field will have skills that extend beyond the technical requirements. Network and computer systems administrators utilize traits commonly associated with managers: elevated critical thinking skills, the ability to delegate, explain procedures, and oversee a general project. They also need to incorporate the company's potential growth when designing a computer network, making sure scalable systems are put into place. Lastly, they need to make sure the various components of the system function properly and instruct employees on how to operate the system. Many administrators remain on call after normal business hours to resolve problems in the system that may arise. This is a competitive field with the top ten percent of administrators expecting to earn more than $100,000 a year.
The most popular tests used by employers for screening prospective Network Admins are higher-level aptitude tests such as the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) and Minicog Rapid Assessment Battery (MRAB). The CCAT evaluates a candidate’s math, verbal, critical-thinking, and problem-solving abilities, while the MRAB measures their "information processing" functions, testing their attention skills, working memory, and powers of concentration.
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Rank in HireSelect:
13 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
$79,770/year or $38.35/hr
Expected growth rate 2012-2022:
Number employed (2014): 365,430