Career Satisfaction

For this career, by 36 people, from 10 (best) to 1 (worst).

Avg. rating: 7.6   

Browse Degrees and Schools

Arts
Audio Engineering Schools
Film Schools
Floral Design Classes
Graphic Design Schools
Journalism Degrees
Music Degrees
Photography Schools

Business
Accounting Degrees
Business Administration Degrees
Business Management Degrees
Customer Service Training
Finance Degrees
Insurance Schools
Interpreter Programs
Marketing Certificates
Office Administration Degrees
PMP Certification
Public Relations Degrees
Sales Training
Supply Chain Management Certificates

Education
Educational Administration Degrees
Elementary Education Degrees
History Degrees
Library Science Degrees
Special Education Degrees
Teaching Certificates

Health
CNA Classes
Medical Schools
Medical Billing Schools
Medical Technologist Programs
Medical Transcription Certificates
Nursing Schools
Nursing Administration Certification
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs
School Nursing Certification
Speech Pathology Programs
Veterinarian Schools
Veterinary Technician Schools

Legal And Social
Christian Colleges
Criminal Justice Degrees
Firefighting Training
Government Courses
Legal Secretary Courses
Personal Trainer Certification
Social Science Degrees
Social Work Degrees

Technical
Computer Programming Degrees
Computer Science Degrees
Electrical Engineering Degrees
Engineering Degrees
Environmental Science Degrees
Forensic Science Degrees
Geography Degrees
IT Degrees
Microsoft Office Training
Network Administration Schools
Physics Degrees
Project Management Certificates
Software Engineering Degrees
Software Testing Courses
Telecommunications Degrees
Web Design Schools

Trade
Cosmetology Schools
Mechanic Schools
Transportation Degrees

=> All Degrees <=

Inside Network Administrator Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

 

Biggest Surprises


"IT Guys Are Not All Geeks...
I was surprised how many "geeks" in my field are not geeks at all. Most of my coworkers are beer-chugging, sports-loving "manly-men", so to speak. Not many skinny, pencil-neck nerds as is portrayed by the media. I was surprised how many people don't know basic computer skills in this day and age. Even the younger generation, who were raised with technology, surprise me with their lack of knowledge." (Network Consultant; 2014)

Career: 12 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Information Technology at SUNY Stony Brook in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 1994


"Funding For Technology Is Low...
I was surprised at how little money smaller businesses are willing to invest in updating their technology. It seems like one of the main reasons small business lags behind so often is their lack of desire to put money away for technological improvements." (Network Administrator/Data Processing Manager; 2013)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in California, female
School: Studied Computer Networking Management at American River College in California; completed Associate degree in 2005


"In IT People Skills Are More Important Than Technical Skills...
The most surprising thing about my career, which is based around the administration of Cisco products, is how little value the types of training you undertake to earn Cisco certifications actually plays in my day to day work. Many of the topics I deal with daily are never covered in certification materials. A lot of my job is more about how well you can interact with other humans and communication plays a huge role. I think that is why I have been so successful. Though I had no formal training for the IT industry, my English degree prepared me for success just because I could communicate so well with others and certainly a lot better than 90% of my peers." (IT - Network Analyst; 2014)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, male
School: Studied English at Eastern Michigan University in Michigan; completed Bachelor degree in 1996


"As A Network Admin My Training Never Stops...
IT is not a career that you get to settle into. It's always changing and you will never stop learning if you plan to be successful. This also means that you generally get to handle some of the newest technology out there depending on where you work." (Network Administrator; 2013)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Network Systems at Cisco Academy in California; completed Associate degree in 2002


"Diverse Skills Necessary...
I was surprised that my job required cross knowledge of so many fields outside of networking. I was also surprised that my job included presentations and required speech skills." (Network Administrator; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Kentucky, male
School: Studied Networking at Bellarmine University in Kentucky; completed Associate degree in 2012


"Networks Are People, Not Just Hardware...
I was most surprised to find out just how much interaction I would have with the various departments of the organizations I have worked with. It's given me a great big picture understanding of how many different types of businesses operate on higher levels. It's wonderful to be able to learn so much about how each department operates because I have to understand their day to day needs." (Network Administrator; 2013)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Massachusetts, male
School: Studied Electromechanical Engineering at MIT in Massachusetts; completed Bachelor degree in 1999


"Career Advancement Opps...
I was surprised at the many different levels and opportunities there were in my field to work in. I started my career in Desktop Support and quickly moved to Network Administration. I am now in training to move into the Cyber Security." (Network Administrator; 2013)

Career: 13 years of experience, currently based in District of Columbia, male
School: Studied Computer Science at Montgomery College in Maryland; completed Bachelor degree in 1997


"Become Hands On In Advance Networking...
When I was hired I didn't think my title would have a high concentration in advance field of networking and management decision. I became hands on both virtual environment and networking environment as well as more experience then many other technicians in other companies." (IT Support Assistant; 2013)

Career: , currently based in New York, male
School: Studied BTech at New York College Of Technology in New York; completed Associate degree in 1996


"I was surprised to find out how much hardware knowledge I needed in addition to the software information." (Server Administrator; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, male
School: Studied Network Administration at New Horizons Computer Learning Center in California; completed Certificate degree in 2012


"Just Going To School Alone Wasn't Enough To Get My Job...
I was surprised at the odd computer science jobs I had to take to get to this point in my career. In addition to the odd jobs I take, I have to also go and get my networking certification through CompTIa." (Network Administrator; 2014)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in North Carolina, male
School: Studied Computer Science at Winston Salem State University in North Carolina; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"I was surprised to find out that being a network administrator, you deal with a lot of customer service. You have the opportunity to see and interact with your customers." (Network Specialist; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Maryland, male
School: Studied Network Communications Management at DeVry in District of Columbia; completed Bachelor degree in 2011


"While college gave me a broad view of computing, I was surprised at how useful it was in a very specific fields. The courses were more toward programming and theory but still very applicable to things such as learning network topology, configuration, deployment, etc. So I believe that college background was very helpful even in another area of IT." (Network Engineer; 2013)

Career: 10 years of experience, male
School: Studied Computer Science at Baylor University in Texas; completed Bachelor degree in 1999


"Expectations Of Others Are Often Unrealistic...
The expectations that others have for IT professionals are often surprising and unrealistic. I can fix a multitude of issues off the top of my head, therefore it is expected that I can do the same thing with all of them." (System Engineer; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Oklahoma, male
School: Studied Mass Communication at Oklahoma Christian in Oklahoma; completed Bachelor degree in 2006


"Volume Of Creative Writing...
I was surprised at how much creative writing I needed to do on a daily basis. I was also surprised at how much coding I would be reading." (Editor; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied English at University Of Texas In Arlington in Texas; completed Bachelor degree in 2011


"People Are Not Always Satisfied...
Having to deal with so many people and being diplomatic with them. Most people outside of IT won't understand what you are talking about so you have to develop a way of explaining things that doesn't make it sound like you are talking down to them." (Network Admin; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Massachusetts, male
School: Studied Information Technology at Massasoit State in Massachusetts; completed Bachelor degree in 2004


"No Trouble Found...
I was really surprised with how often people complain that something is wrong with a computer on the network, even when nothing is wrong at all. It becomes a bit frustrating at times, but since often nothing goes seriously wrong, it can at least keep you a bit busy at work." (Network Administrator; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in West Virginia, male
School: Studied Networking at West Virginia University in West Virginia; completed Associate degree in 2012


"How Interests Change In The Evolving IT Industry...
My biggest surprise was seeing how quickly my interests move. When I started college I wanted to work with WAN connectivity but since becoming a network administrator I primarily want to focus on virtualization and storage. The amount I'm able to automate now that I was unable to previously was another big change for me." (LAN Administrator; 2013)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in New Jersey, male
School: Studied Network Engineering at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey; completed Associate degree in 2004


"Building A Network Is Fun But Challenging...
Television and the movies have seemed to make it look like doing administrative tasks with computers is quick and easy, like you can quickly hack your way into a network or, alternatively, throw up two or three firewalls to quickly deter hackers. It is not really like that. There is a lot of thought and training that goes into successfully running a network, but it is sometimes fun and games." (Network Administrator; 2013)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Utah, male
School: Studied Mass Communication at University Of Utah in Utah; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"Lots Of Basic Tech Support...
I was surprised at the amount of demand you can get from other employees, just because you work with computers. I really thought that being a network administrator meant ONLY working on a network. However, I tend to do a lot more interaction with employees that require work outside of the network." (Network Administrator; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, male
School: Studied Social Studies Education at Millersville University Of Pennsylvania in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Vendor Certification More Important Than Degree...
I was surprised so many coworkers do not have degrees. I was surprised how many technical employees want to get into management because they feel the technology has passed them up." (Computer Engineer; 2013)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, male
School: Studied Electrical Engineering at U Of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 1991


"People Networking...
Communication skills that are needed in positions like network administration are often understated but are almost (not quite) as vital as technical knowhow. Being able to effectively communicate with people of differing technical ability inside and outside the company and taking the initiative to communicate is very important." (Network Administrator; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Networking, Systems Administration at Rochester Institute Of Technology in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 2010


"Keys To An Effect Being A Network Admin...
My surprise for the most part was the amount of End user support I would be doing as a network administrator. I was for the most part expecting to work on systems and networking most my time, but end user support turns out to be quite a large part of tracking down and working out bugs and issues within your network. Not just working with end users however, but good communications between other members of your department are key. Good communication goes a long way to making sure everyone is on the same pages in terms of changes and troubleshooting, as to cut down the need for doing the same job repeatedly. Good interpersonal skills and communication are keys to success!" (Network Administrator; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Information Technology, Microsoft Systems at Cypress College, Self Study in California; completed Associate degree in 2006


"Technology Moves Fast...
What surprises me most is how quickly technology can move. You have to stay on top of what's new because if you don't know the new system by the time it rolls around you have to be trained just like all the other people looking for a job." (Network Specialist; 2013)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Washington, male
School: Studied Networking at DeVry University in Arizona; completed Bachelor degree in 1983


"Communication Is Key...
I was surprised at the amount of interaction I have with clients. My impression was that I would be working mainly with computers and network devices but you have to have great communications skills in order to properly convey issues and solutions to your clients. I thought I would be ready to jump in and get my hands dirty but your first few months on the job really open your eyes to how much you really don't know." (Network Engineer; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Utah, male
School: Studied Computer Science at Copper Mountain College in California; completed Associate degree in 2004


"Technology Constantly Changes And So Too Should Your Training...
Computers and programming are in a constant state of flux. Changes occur all the time so it is necessary to be constantly updating your knowledge by reading books, online articles and taking additional classes from the various manufacturers out there. When I graduated I became surprised in how much I still needed to learn in order to get ahead and prosper." (Information Systems Analyst; 2013)

Career: 30 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Systems Programming at Southern California Regional Occupational Center - SCROC in California; completed Certificate degree in 1976


"When I first started working with computers, I really enjoyed it. I'm curious by nature, and I loved learning all about them. Honestly, my college work wasn't a basis for the career I fell into with computers. I just wound up as a network admin (and EVERYTHING else - help desk, telephony troubleshooter, programmer...a one-person IT department, if you will) for a small business, and learned on-the-job. What surprised me most, though, was that after a few years, it got very, very old. I felt like I had already learned most of what I needed to know, and I no longer enjoyed fixing problems, rebuilding systems, tweaking the server settings, or any of the other things that I did on a daily basis. The only IT-related function I still actually enjoy is programming. I think it's the fact that there's always a new problem to solve, and always a new way to approach a problem." (Information Technology Coordinator; 2013)

Career: 8 years of experience, currently based in Tennessee, female
School: Studied Business at Manatee Community College in Florida; completed Associate degree in 2001


"IT Isn't Just About Computers...
I am surprised at how much you have to deal with office politics. Its not all about fixing computers but making people happy with you and happy with your department, would be surprised how much easier things are when your co-workers like you. Also am surprised on how much school did not get me ready for the real job, I would strongly recommend and internship to learn hands on." (Network Administrator; 2013)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Wisconsin, male
School: Studied Network Hardware & Network Software at Fox Valley Technical College in Wisconsin; completed Associate degree in 2004


"Downtime In Related Career...
How much down time you can really have. There will be weeks at times with absolutely nothing to do, and this is the norm for all positions I've had. On the other hand, there are times you need to work 80 hours in one week including weekends and late nights." (Network Engineer; 2013)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, male
School: Studied CIS at SVSU in Michigan; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Being Able To Learn And Grow Is Important As A Systems Admin...
One of the first things I was surprised by was the ever evolving ecosystem of IT and Network Technology. It really drew me into as I love learning new things and facing new challenges. Another thing that was surprising is how much my computer repair skills have grown by leaps and bounds by having to support so much differing hardware and software." (Systems Administrator; 2014)

Career: 18 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Business Admin And Liberal Arts at North Country Community College, Jefferson Community College in New York; completed Associate degree in 1994


"Availability Of Jobs...
I was surprised to see how few jobs there were out there. When I started in college it seemed like there was significantly more jobs out there." (Carpe Facto Advisor; 2013)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Computer Networking at ITT Technical School in Colorado; completed Associate degree in 2002


"What College Doesn't Cover...
I was surprised about how much the classroom doesn't teach you. I thought I was fully prepared but to apply the knowledge I learned was not necessarily useless, however, it did give me help. The practical application of such knowledge was a bit different than what I expected it to be." (Networking; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Alabama, female
School: Studied Networking at ITT TECH in Alabama; completed Associate degree in 2012


"In general there is sometimes a lot of downtime during my work week. Work seems to come in chunks of time, so I may be very busy one week and not all the next, it is hit or miss. Also, you have to have good problem solving skills and be able to manipulate people to get the information you need. This was kind of surprising to me." (Network Engineer; 2013)

Career: 18 years of experience, currently based in South Dakota, male
School: Studied Network Engineering at Southwest Florida College in Florida; completed Associate degree in 2002


"I was surprised that I didn't really need a technical degree or specific training to obtain my current job. I am mostly self-taught, though my degree helped me understand how businesses operate and how to fit in at my current institution." (Network Administration; 2012)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Tennessee, male
School: Studied Enterprise Management at University Of Tennessee - Knoxville in Tennessee; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"I was surprised to find out exactly how much I didn't know about my field after graduation. When I got my job as Network Administrator, I quickly learned that I still had a lot to learn. I am definitely more knowledgeable now 10 years later, but the learning never stops." (Network Administrator; 2012)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Indiana, male
School: Studied Information Technology at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana; completed Associate degree in 2004

Best & Worst Things About This Career


Network Engineer As An Army Civilian: "My career is great for people that enjoy always having new challenges. The same problem never occurs twice, so you cannot simply write down instructions for others to solve certain problems when they arise. I enjoy a career that takes advantage of my ability to think about the big picture and identify correlated factors that could be causing the problem. The worst part about the career is attempting to explain the degree of difficulty of work to your supervisors and managers. Most of the time, these people are not technically oriented themselves, and do not understand the intricacies of the technology." (2011)


Network Engineer: "The best part of my job is problem solving. I have to think on my feet and sometimes think in detail about how something should work and why it works that way. I also have to figure out in detail what went wrong in order to provide a fix for the problem. The worst part of the job is that sometimes the day can get very long. We are required to work on an on-call basis at all hours of the night." (2011)

Career Background


Network Administrator

  Schools and Degrees
  Salaries
  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Schools for This Career

Zipcode (optional)

Career Video

Career Tips


"Always Continue Your Education In Network Tech And Systems Admin...
If you are going to be a network tech and systems admin make sure you learn more than just hardware or software. Learn them both and never stop learning the new as it comes out and you will never become obsolete." (Systems Administrator; 2014)


"You Must Pay Your Dues To Succeed...
If you want to be successful in this career, you need to start at the bottom, at the helpdesk level. Learn the basics, work your way up, and then the more advanced ideas will be easier to understand, and more importantly, troubleshoot and fix." (Network Consultant; 2014)


"Work Hard And Network With Others To Broaden Your Skill Set...
I would suggest you get an entry level job doing networking anywhere you can get it and then spend a lot of time networking with others in the field. Join a club with other IT folks so you can be on the lookout for a better job. Keep your skills sharp. IT is always moving towards convergence and it is not enough to just know routing and switching anymore. Learn VM, Security, VOIP, etc." (IT - Network Analyst; 2014)


"Students Looking To Start Their Career Should Get Certifications...
If a student wanted to get in my field they should be prepared to work other computer science jobs until they get to that point. Also they should look into getting certifications through CompTia to help further their career quicker and more efficient." (Network Administrator; 2014)


"Getting Started And Keeping Ahead Of The Curve...
Don't expect to find a Systems admin or network admin job right out of school. Even find a Junior position will be quite difficult without prior experience. Don't be afraid to get your feet wet with internships and Help desk positions while keeping your eye out for the career starting jobs your looking for. Experience is key, and don't be afraid to take initiative and challenge your self with new tasks, and ALWAYS stay ahead of the tech curve. Keep yourself informed of new technologies and study up on your area of expertise constantly as the moment your knowledge is behind you'll find your opportunities dwindling." (Network Administrator; 2013)


"Better Experience Is Better Pay...
Get as much on the job training as you can, most places are looking for people with experience. Your starting pay may not be great but don't worry about it, within 5 years you will be making what you thought." (Network Administrator; 2013)


"Master One But Learn Them All...
Learn about multiple systems. Don't put your eggs in one basket. Learn MAC OS, Linux, and Windows but become an expert in at least one." (LAN Administrator; 2013)


"Work Small Business...
If you want to be more than just a name in someone's email, work in small business. Far better feelings of belonging there." (Network Administrator/Data Processing Manager; 2013)


"Social Interactions Are Ultimately Important...
People skills are an absolute must. If you isolate yourself socially you are easily dismissed professionally. Find time to integrate yourself into the social fabric of your office and not let yourself get drawn into the depths of IT focus." (System Engineer; 2013)


"Varied Experiences Thrive...
Learn to work in groups and learn as much about related fields as possible." (Network Administrator; 2013)


"Always Learning Is Key...
Strive for new certifications that will advance your career. You can never stop learning, or else you will end up unemployed." (Network Engineer; 2013)


"Experience Above All...
I would suggest that you get as much hands on experience as you can possibly get. Volunteer someplace if you need to or build a home lab, study hard for the CCNA Routing & Switching Exam." (Network Engineer; 2013)


"Learn How To Speak Business...
If you want to be successful in network administration, make sure that you learn some business skills. In today's market, the geek who can speak the business language with the CEO will go much father." (Network Administrator; 2013)


"Take On Many Roles And Be Objective, Be Successful...
By taking on many roles and interests in the different part of networking will help you become favorable chosen for many projects. Being objective in the networking fields helps make you stand out and chosen to be a team leader." (IT Support Assistant; 2013)


"Virtualization Is The Wave Of The Future...
If you plan to be successful in the work of IT than start to familiarize yourself with Vitualization and Cloud computing." (Network Administrator; 2013)


"Adapt To Change...
Be prepared to constantly evolve to a changing environment. Technology is constantly developing and you need to be able to shift with it." (Carpe Facto Advisor; 2013)


"How To Choose Your Technical Schooling...
As a student, call a company you want to work for and ask to speak to the department you think you ant to be in, ask them what course of study or school could prepare you for the job. Community colleges have very affordable classes and often have technical courses." (Computer Engineer; 2013)


"Constantly Update Your Training...
In order to succeed in the computer sector, constantly upgrade your knowledge. Reading books by known authorities and to take training classes from manufacturers are just some of the steps that you need to take in order to get ahead." (Information Systems Analyst; 2013)


"Get Certified...
Aim for company specific certifications to get in good with them." (Network Specialist; 2013)


"Have Your Own Networking Lab...
If you're starting to go into networking, get GNS3 and make your own lab environment (better yet, get some cheap Cisco gear). Running your own labs and getting comfortable with troubleshooting issues is vital in your role." (Network Administrator; 2013)


"People Have Strange PC Habits...
Learning how to fix computers is easy, teaching others how not to break them is not. People tend to have odd habits when it comes to computers, and it's not always easy to explain to them that there are better ways." (Network Admin; 2013)


"They'll Either Not Know You, Or Hate You...
Probably the best tip I can offer for prospective Network Admins is to be prepared for long odd hours, and lots of stress. More so than most other departments, if yours fails, everyone fails. When things are good, nobody notices you, but when it breaks, and it will, every eye is upon you." (Network Administrator; 2013)


"Learn Basic Troubleshooting Skills...
It might not seem important, but brush up on basic troubleshooting steps and computer repair. At least several times a week I end up upgrading RAM; un-jamming printers; or helping with a simple spreadsheet question. Don't be afraid to work a first job that requires this experience, it is great practice!" (Network Administrator; 2013)


"Never Become Complacent...
Always stay on top of new information when it comes to the IT field. Technology is changes daily, and even if you knew everything about a field several years ago, often you'll be left behind if you don't keep up with the ever-changing career field." (Network Administrator; 2013)


"Practice Writing...
I would recommend to read and write as much as you can in whatever you are interested in." (Editor; 2013)


"Take The Tough Courses...
Take as many courses as you can. Take the ones you think you may not succeed in or ones you don't like. Chances are, you will like them and choose that area as a concentration. Furthermore, it will be the path that you will love the most about your career." (Network Administrator; 2013)


"Subscribe To Technical Periodicals...
Subscribe to as many relevant information sources as you can, to keep current in the field." (Server Administrator; 2013)


"Stay On Top Of This Fast Changing Field...
You should always study the latest technology. It changes so much these days and you need to be on top of it all." (Network Specialist; 2013)


"Changing Specialties Is OK...
Don't be afraid to change your specialty in IT as you progress through your career. While I still have to be a jack of all trades, I mostly consider myself a programmer now, even though that's not close to the only thing I do." (Information Technology Coordinator; 2013)


"Start Building A Network In College...
Be sure to make friends and keep up with them post-college. Lots of leads and job opportunities come from referrals. It's very important to be able to have others for recommendations to employers. So try to be somewhat social during your studies if possible." (Network Engineer; 2013)


"Raise Your Hand To Advance Your Career...
1) Volunteer to work on an projects that come up, as they are all opportunities to expand your knowledge and network with people in your company. It will be a big help when you want to advance your career. 2) When starting off, be knowledgeable on topics covered by the CompTIA exams (A+, Security+ and Network+). If you can obtain these certifications, they will help you get your foot in the door when you are starting out. 3) The IT career field can get stressful when things aren't working right. Stay level-headed, and remember not to burn bridges with anyone you are working with. You never know when you may next need their help." (Network Engineer As An Army Civilian; 2011)


"Self Learning Harder But Possible...
You need to have a high level of interest in computers and networks. Continue to study. This type of career requires you to study and take new certification tests every few years. You have to be able to keep up with the changes in technology. Take college courses. You will get more detailed and practical instructions. However, it is possible to do a self study program. I did it that way. It has been difficult and I have had to work harder, but it is possible." (Network Engineer; 2011)