Inside Systems Administrator Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises


"Coordination Is More Than Necessary...
I was surprised by the amount of collaboration needed to be a good systems admin. I have to reach out to not only other members of my team to deploy new hardware but with the software team to ensure hardware is compatible." (Systems Admin; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, male
School: Studied Computer Science at University Of Toledo in Ohio; completed Bachelor degree in 2010


"Software Selection Process...
I was surprised by how much influence vendor's sales people have on the choices made by my company. It seems that instead of actually evaluating which product would fit better into our environment, the lunch with the sales guy would usually be the deciding factor. I never actually caught anyone taking bribes, but gifts were common also." (Systems Engineer; 2013)

Career: 30 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Mathematics at University Of California, San Diego in California; completed Bachelor degree in 1974


"What An Easy Field...
I was relatively surprised how easy it is in this field and I feel that a degree isn't necessary at all. I was also surprised by the amount of repetitiveness this job requires." (IT & Data Entry; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied Computer Science at TSTC in Texas; completed Associate degree in 2009


"Constant Education And Training Is Required To Keep Up With Changes In Technology...
The amount of people from differing educational backgrounds is much larger than I anticipated, lots of people have picked up the necessary IT skills without that being their major in college." (IT Administrator; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, male
School: Studied Business Info Systems at Valdosta State University in Georgia; completed Master degree in 2008


"Everyone Relies On Your...
I was surprised that there was so much demand placed on a systems admin. Everyone needs your help pretty much all of the time." (Systems Administrator; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Systems And Network Administration at ITT Tech in North Carolina; completed Bachelor degree in 2010


"Computers Are A Stable And Booming Field...
That people are going to be hiring regardless. Computers are a part of everything in modern life, and there's always going to be a need for people to make sure they're running well." (Sys Admin; 2014)

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


"Working Environment Was Pleasant And Enjoyable...
I was surprised at how much quick advancement this career has. I was surprised that this job was had a competitive salary for working day shift, evening shift or night shift." (IT Security; 2014)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, male
School: Studied Computer Engineering at Lansing Community College in Michigan; completed Associate degree in 1999


"Job Market Changed Quickly...
I was surprised that there were so many options for IT jobs when I started. I was surprised surprised at how many jobs had been eliminated or shipped to India about 8 years later." (System Administrator; 2013)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Missouri, female
School: Studied Management Information Systems at University Of Missouri - St. Louis in Missouri; completed Master degree in 1998


"Things Need To Be Made Really Easy For End-Users...
I was surprised at how easy you must make things for people. I was used to having work-arounds for everything. People want it perfect and don't want to have any extra clicks to perform an action." (Systems Administrator; 2013)

Career: , currently based in California, male
School: Studied Computer Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2009


"I was surprised that I could get a decent job in the field without a degree in a computer related field, or even without a degree at all. I found that by working hard studying, obtaining certifications, and working my way up from the bottom, as a PC technician, that I was able to obtain a good paying job within a couple of years." (Systems Administrator; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in North Carolina, male
School: Studied Sociology at UNC Greensboro in North Carolina; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Training Is Constant...
I was surprised to find that I am still learning new things almost every day. This job seemed pretty cut and dry from the outside, but new problems come up all the time and I need to get creative in fixing them." (Systems Integrator; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, female
School: Studied Anthropology at DePaul University in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 2003


"I was surprised how much turnover there has come to be in the IT field, the number of layoffs, off shoring and downsizes that have become routine." (Systems Engineer; 2013)

Career: 13 years of experience, currently based in Nebraska, male
School: Studied Computer Science at University Of Missouri Columbia in Missouri; completed Bachelor degree in 1994


"Easy To Get A Job With No Formal Education...
I was surprised how easy it was to get and maintain a high paying IT job with no formal schooling. Its also generally a very easy job that doesn't require much actual work. HA!" (Systems Administrator; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Wisconsin, male
School: Studied Systems Administration at No College in Wisconsin; completed Certificate degree in 1999


"Vast Amount Of Skills...
I was surprised at how many different things that need to know in order to run FIM. Including SQL, XML, Active Directory, Exchange, FIM specific things (MPR's, Sync Rules, Sets, Workflows, etc...)" (System Administrator For Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager (FIM); 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied Computer Forensics at American Intercontinental University in Texas; completed Bachelor degree in 2010


"Writing Skills Are Very Important...
I was surprised how much writing I have to do. I have to type various reports, memos, and emails throughout the day." (Systems Administrator; 2013)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Business Information Systems at California State University, Fullerton in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2006


"I'm frequently surprised by the variety of skills needed to complete my job. I work for a small business so I have to wear many hats - while my title is Systems Administrator I also handle desktop/technical support, web design and have programmed custom software for the organization. I've done everything from graphic design to repairing electronics to training users on top of my systems administration duties. My education is in an engineering field (closely related to electrical engineering) and it only covers a very small fraction of the tasks I perform at work - I've learned the rest myself as I go. By the same token, when taking interns under my wing at times, I'm often surprised at how many fail to have that one critical skill - the ability to find answers for themselves. I've worked with a number of bright kids over the years who are at the top of their class in school, but when it comes to a real world situation where the answer isn't in one of their books, it amazes me how many fall flat on their face. I'm thankful to have the natural ability to be not good at what I do - but to be able to figure out how to become good at anything I need to do." (Systems Administrator; 2013)

Career: 12 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Telecommunications Engineering at Rochester Institute Of Technology (RIT) in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 2004


"Social Skills Can't Be Ignored...
I was surprised at how much user interaction I have day to day. I find that having social skills put me at an extreme advantage over some other IT professionals." (Sys Admin; 2013)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied MIS at Northeastern in Massachusetts; completed Bachelor degree in 2005


"Learn More From Work Than From School...
What surprised me the most was how much initiative an IT job like this requires. The things I learned in school, apart from business topics, aren't really relevant or helpful to my job doing system administration. Most of the learning is from on the job or extra reading." (Junior Systems Administrator; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Louisiana, male
School: Studied Information Systems And Decision Sciences at Louisiana State University in Louisiana; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"I Was Surprised At My Ability To Advance And Get More Opportunities...
I was surprised at the ability I had to move up in this position. It turns out that learning Linux had greatly increased my ability to move forward. Also, being in computer science has opened the door for different opportunities up to me. I have enough flexibility to always have a position if I need it." (Systems Administrator; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, male
School: Studied Computer Science at Michigan State University in Michigan; completed Bachelor degree in 2009


"Mental Fatigue...
I am very surprised on how technology changes and adapts very quickly. Also depending on the type of position you get in to, the work may not be very physical but you get mental fatigue." (Systems Administrator; 2013)

Career: 11 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Computer Technology at Heald College in California; completed Associate degree in 2002


"The vast amount of changing knowledge that you need to keep up to date on to get ahead. I'm also surprised by the many different 'forms' of each job in the IT industry (networking at least)." (Junior System Admin.; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, male
School: Studied Information Sciences & Technology at Penn State in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"Everyone Thinks Their Computer Problem Is Urgent...
I am surprised that people look at the IT department as the department that fixes everything, and everything is urgent and needs to be done immediately. Also, the disrespect that is shown to the IT department. A lot of times I need to calm people done, and reassure them that their problem will be resolved." (System Administrator; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Maryland, female
School: Studied Information Sciences And Technology at Penn State University in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 2011


"In The Real Word My Job Isn't As Specific As School Prepared Me For...
I was surprised to find out that a lot of companies think that the title of system administrator means office repairman, coder and computer teacher. I also learned that you need a cool head and some days can be a lot harder than others. The majority of my time is quiet and I can work on my lonesome which I prefer." (System Admin; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Maine, male
School: Studied Network Security at University Of Maine in Maine; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"Perpetual Learning Opportunity...
Information Technology and networking in particular holds immeasurable opportunity for personal growth and career progression. It is surprising to realize how many different paths are available and the diverse fields of study involved in maintaining computer networks. Whether it be in designing and building the network, securing it, or supporting end users, there is a part to play for each member of the team!" (Network Engineer; 2013)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, male
School: Studied Network Support at Computer Learning Network in Pennsylvania; completed Certificate degree in 2002


"Electronics Careers Still Forging New Advancements...
What I am surprised about in my career in electronics is how long the wave has managed to continue, the machines we are building and working with today are unimaginable when I was first starting out, and whenever I think a trend has reached it's peak, some breakthrough takes it to another level." (Computer System Administrator; 2014)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in West Virginia, male
School: Studied Electrical Engineering at West Virginia University in West Virginia; completed Bachelor degree in 1982


"Few Women Choose Technology Careers...
I was surprised that so few women are in IT careers. I've almost always been the only women on my work team. I don't mind it, but IT is a great career for women and so few attempt it." (Systems Engineer; 2013)

Career: 20 years of experience, currently based in Washington, female
School: Studied Business at South Puget Sound College in Washington; completed Associate degree in 1991


"You Don't Need A Technical Degree...
I was surprised that the majority of the most technically-adept people did not have formal credentials in IT, but instead had studied English, biology, or some other seemingly-unrelated subject. Because the IT field changes so rapidly, courses in the major quickly become obsolete. The successful people are as well off, if not better, having studied something they are genuinely interested in that teaches the habits of research, logical thinking, and clear communication. Keeping up with changes in technology is something most workers need to be able to do independently, and if you have a sincere interest in your particular area of IT, you'll do well regardless of what your college degree was in." (Philosophy; 2014)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Missouri, female
School: Studied Computer Science at Ohio State University in Ohio; completed Bachelor degree


"Puzzles, Not Problems...
I truly did not expect to enjoy working with computers and information systems. I expected it to be primarily typing and entering code and documents. Instead, I've found that most of my work involves identifying problems and solutions. I like to tell people, "I make things work."" (Systems Administrator; 2013)

Career: 24 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, male
School: Studied Computer Studies at Northwestern University in Illinois; completed Certificate degree in 1997


"Programming Less Important...
I am surprised to find that a lot of what I learned in school, I really don't need for my job. So much of my schooling was concentrated on programming, and while I do it occasionally, most of my work is maintaining servers. Additionally, so much of my work is decision making and bureaucracy." (Systems Support Specialist; 2013)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Wyoming, female
School: Studied Computer Science at University Of Wyoming in Wyoming; completed Bachelor degree in 2006


"Rapid Advancement...
I was surprised at how fast I rose through the ranks in my company to become a Systems Administrator. After trudging through low-level help desk tickets for 8 months, I received an unexpected promotion." (Systems Administrator; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, male
School: Studied Computer Information Systems at York College Of Pennsylvania in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"Broadness Of Task Assignment...
I was surprised to learn that being a systems administrator required so much interaction with end users. I assumed that most work would be done behind the scenes and I would not have to interact with end users all day every day" (Systems Administrator; 2013)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Mississippi, male
School: Studied Computer Network Technology at Hinds Community College in Mississippi; completed Associate degree in 2012


"Never Stop Learning...
I was surprised to learn that your education does not end when you work as a system administrator. New technologies are constantly developed and it is necessary to keep up. Also, the experience gained is incremental. Everything learned in the past is in some way relevant to current and future technologies that you will deal with." (System Administrator; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied Computer Science at North Harris Montgomery Community College District in Texas; completed Associate degree in 2006


"The amount of money that can be made in the private or government sector." (Unix Administrator; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Computer Science at Seminole Community College in Florida; completed Associate degree in 2005


"Server Equipment Can Cost More Than A House...
What surprised me most is how incredibly expensive server equipment is. It blew my mind and continually blows my mind that a single empty blade chassis costs more than my house." (Systems Engineer; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Louisiana, male
School: Studied Information Systems And Decision Sciences at Louisiana State University in Louisiana; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Speed Of Change Remarkable...
I am surprised how quickly new technology arrives and how very very quickly old (and even reliable) technology falls by the way side." (System Administrator; 2013)

Career: 18 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, male
School: Studied Computer Science at University Of Georgia in Georgia; completed Bachelor degree in 1995


"Hard To Leave And Come Back...
Everything changed so fast, if you leave the field/area for couple years, it is hard to catch up. Especially if a female wants to stay home couple years to take care of the family, it will be hard to get back." (Administrator; 2013)

Career: 25 years of experience, currently based in California, female
School: Studied Computer Science at Cal Poly SLO in California; completed Bachelor degree in 1980


"I was surprised how you can never really be done with your education in the IT field. There is always something new and in order to keep up in your field - you really need to be constantly learning and researching the next technology to be able to keep up." (Systems And Network Administrator; 2013)

Career: 12 years of experience, currently based in Nebraska, female
School: Studied Information Technology at Bellevue University in Nebraska; completed Professional degree in 2009


"The amount of daily tasks and small details that I am required to complete. It can sometimes surprise me with a lot of issues that I did not expect. Another thing is the issues that can arise that will need good knowledge for me to troubleshoot." (System Admin; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied IT at Queensboro Community College in New York; completed Certificate degree in 2011


"Lack Of Computer Savvy (Thankfully!)...
I was personally surprised about how little people know about computers. In today's world, you would expect people to know how to plug in a mouse. Then again, if everyone could do it, I wouldn't have a job." (System Administrator; 2012)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, male
School: Studied Information Technology at Columbus State University in Georgia; completed Bachelor degree in 2010

Best & Worst Things About This Career


Systems Administrator: "I would say that one of the hardest parts of my job is that there are a lot of hours involved. I work anywhere from 45 to 60 hours a week, and at least once a month, I have to work overnight shifts to take care of maintenance issues that are too disruptive to address during normal business hours. On top of this, every few weeks I have to go on 24/7 on-call duty for a week, which severely limits my social life and personal free time during that week. I would say that this is the sort of thing that you can expect from a general career in IT. One of the best things about my job is that its always changing. Technology evolves, and you always have to keep on top of it. It never gets dull...you'll never be doing the same thing five years from now that you were five years ago. I also enjoy the mental challenge of troubleshooting and coming up with solutions to complex IT problems." (2011)


Unix Systems Administrator: "Being on call all of the time, even while on vacation, is very difficult. As I get older, this is becoming more and more of a hardship. One of the really good things about my position is I am constantly being pushed to use my mind in order to come up with better ways of doing things and to keep up with changing technologies." (2010)

Career Background


Computer/Systems Administrator

  Salaries
  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips


"Take Advantage Of Opportunities...
Always be open to opportunities. If you truly work and develop the skills, there will be people wanting them, and you should take advantage of them." (Sys Admin; 2014)


"Finding Your Creative Niche In The Burgeoning Electronics World...
Opportunities for success in electronics, computers and programming are prolific these days, you do not need much to begin making an impact. Pick an area that interests you and make contributions, join in an open source software or hardware project, survey the state of the art and find a niche that needs to be filled and publish your work in that area." (Computer System Administrator; 2014)


"Don't Rest On Your Laurels...
To be successful, you need to dedicate a LOT of time to keeping up with new developments in the area. Software and systems evolve so rapidly that your formal training will be useless in five years." (Philosophy; 2014)


"Study Hard And Reap The Rewards...
If you want a career in IT security, I would tell you to continue to study hard, make sure you get the proper certifications and keep with it. You will find light at the end of the rainbow when you complete the hard studying. This career is very much in high demand now a days and there will be always be work with a competitive salary to go with it." (IT Security; 2014)


"Stay Marketable...
Diversify your skill set as much as possible so that you have flexibility of the market changes." (System Administrator; 2013)


"Learn How To Deal With People...
Pay attention to your business classes and work on interpersonal relationships and networking. These skills are invaluable in IT. I find you spend more time working with people than computers. Also, learn a little bit of everything. Being familiar with a lot of different things helps you understand everything as a whole much better." (Junior Systems Administrator; 2013)


"Know Yourself And Your Abilities...
Get any certifications you can and know your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure you have solid general knowledge before you pursue anything else. When you have that background knowledge, everything else will fall into place for you as you keep learning." (Systems Administrator; 2013)


"Good Help's Hard To Find...
Keep your head down and learn to accept defeat even if you know you're right. Know when to pick your battles with your bosses and your customers. Show your boss you're very proficient at your job and they'll keep a good IT guy around through thick and thin." (System Admin; 2013)


"Don't Speak In Jargon...
Remember that your customers are probably not technology wizards. They just use their equipment to get their job done and they usually don't care much how it "thinks". Learn to explain problems in simple (but not condescending) language, and take a few minutes to teach them something that will help them work easier and/or more effectively. Capable, well-taught users free you up to spend time on enterprise tasks." (Systems Engineer; 2013)


"IT Is Really Technical Customer Service For Internal Employees...
Internal customer service is essential in the IT field." (System Administrator; 2013)


"Take Lots Of Math...
Get a good mathematical foundation, everything comes back down to math. It would be a great idea to take extra math classes, so to master it completely." (Systems Administrator; 2013)


"Make Things Seem Harder Than They Are...
Make everything seem much more complicated than it is, that way people will think you are a genius when you help them with simple stuff." (Systems Administrator; 2013)


"Well Rounded Education...
I would highly recommend that everyone learn a programming language it gives you a more rounded education. Having a working knowledge of any language will put you head and shoulders above most others in your given field." (Systems Admin; 2013)


"Technical Training...
Take a certification or online training class to gain at least the basic skills necessary to get into this profession." (IT Administrator; 2013)


"Career Advice For Prospective IT Personnel...
Try to learn as much as possible about as much as possible. You can specialize in one particular field but the more you know the more valuable you will be. Technology is always changing and it will be a constant learning experience in this field." (Systems Administrator; 2013)


"Consider Database Admin Courses...
I would make sure to pay lots of attention in the networking and DB classes because part of me wishes I went into them instead. I'm not sure what's least likely to get outsourced as it seems anything can be done by distance now but good database programmers are hard to come by and I think companies and employers will still shell out more for someone local." (Systems Support Specialist; 2013)


"Learning To Work Effectively In A Team Is Crucial...
Working together as a team is very important in IT. For most IT professions, you'll be part of a larger team. Communication and working effectively with your teammates is crucial." (Systems Administrator; 2013)


"Technology Fields Are Constantly Growing...
Must have an overall enjoyment with computers. If you're the one that everyone comes to for computer help then this could be your field. Technology fields are constantly growing. I think now is a great time to get into them." (IT & Data Entry; 2013)


"Make Sure To Keep Up With Latest Technology...
Always need to continuously learning new things. Need to keep up with the latest technology and skills. Companies will always want to be looking for the latest in technology and people to support that technology." (System Administrator For Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager (FIM); 2013)


"Practice Patience...
You will probably be working with a lot of people that barely understand technology, so patience is extremely important. It's also a constantly changing field that requires constant training for you and others. Be prepared to spend time teaching." (Systems Integrator; 2013)


"Specialize...
Specialize. Being a jack-of-all-trades is useful, but won't make you "big bucks". Pick a specialty: Systems, Network, Security, etc. and become really good at it. Bonus tip: Experience trumps certifications/degrees." (Systems Administrator; 2013)


"A College Degree Alone Isn't Enough To Land A Good Job In IT...
Just having a degree in an IT related field is almost certainly not enough to land you a job when you graduate. You will also need work experience, so get an internship or find a help desk job or do whatever you can to get some solid work experience that's at least somewhat IT-related on your resume?." (Systems Engineer; 2013)


"Certifications Always A Plus...
Definitely pursue IT certifications before graduation. For employers, a degree means you can put in the effort they desire, but a certification means you've shown that you know what you're doing." (Systems Administrator; 2013)


"Learn To Present Yourself...
Take a class in public speaking so you are comfortable expressing yourself in meetings." (Sys Admin; 2013)


"Focus Your Studies...
To really be successful in Information Technology, it would be wise to find the niche that keeps you most interested. Each piece of the networking puzzle brings its own in-depth field of study." (Network Engineer; 2013)


"Don't Be Afraid To Create Solutions...
Don't be afraid to say, "What if I try doing X?" If you work in this field for any significant amount of time, you are going to be presented with a problem or challenge that you haven't encountered before. You won't always be able to ask someone else how to handle it, so don't be afraid to develop possible solutions on your own." (Systems Administrator; 2013)


"Become An Expert...
It is good to be knowledgeable in many different areas, but it is also important to pick a specific niche that you enjoy and develop the skills necessary to become an expert in it. For example, developing specific skills towards databases, operating systems, etc." (System Administrator; 2013)


"Keep Pace With Certifications...
Never stop taking classes and obtaining certification. Technology changes constantly and you need to be up to speed." (Systems Administrator; 2013)


"Track The Trends...
Stay up to date on the latest trends in the field. Often, styles will change quickly and you need to keep up to keep employed. This can be difficult since there always seems to be something new coming along." (Systems Engineer; 2013)


"Pick A Broadly Marketable Specialization...
-try to specialize in something generalized and common, like JAVA. -avoid something to niche, as if you lose your job finding another one will be very difficult." (Systems Engineer; 2013)


"Set Up A Lab At Home...
Get as much hands-on experience as you can! Take advantage of free trials offered by Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, etc. and setup a virtualized lab on your home computer. Having a virtualized lab at home is one of the greatest learning and confidence-building tools you can have for many jobs in the field, as you can get real experience with things you may not have access to otherwise and don't have to worry about breaking anything." (Systems Administrator; 2013)


"Learning After Graduation...
School is a good start but the face of IT changes daily - teach yourself how to teach yourself; you can't stop learning after school, learning needs to be a lifelong obsession if you want to stand out from the crowd." (Systems Administrator; 2013)


"A Good Living For The Right Type...
If you're interested in technology and making a decent income, this is the career to choose." (Unix Administrator; 2013)


"Internships Make Job Hunting Easier...
Try to get at least one internship while in college. It's much easier to get a job with one on your resume, then without. I've seen that happen with my friends who had some trouble because they did not have experience working in IT." (Junior System Admin.; 2013)


"Pointers For Systems Administrators...
1. Read as much as you can to stay current with the industry: Books, magazines, websites etc. 2. Certifications certainly aren't required, but you should be prepared to at least get the basics: A+ and Network+ at a minimum. CCNA and Security+ are decent "second tier" certs. Again, these aren't end all be all...they won't guarantee that you will get a job or a promotion, but I can guarantee you that the Powers That Be care enough about them that they will be considered more than you might realize. 3. If you are wanting to work on hardware, be prepared to invest in a setup in your own home, so that you can help train yourself and study. This can be as simple as building a new PC with your own hands, or somehow procuring some Cisco professional grade equipment and building a small managed test network in your living room. Some of this hardware can be virtualized though, which is sometimes a cheaper option, but it's not always the best." (Systems Administrator; 2011)


"Consider Project Management Courses...
If you have programming and computer logic skills already, it is a very good idea to include project management courses to the mix. It's also good to know a lot about PC packages. Linux is the latest flavor of Unix to become popular. It is a good starting point. If you would like to earn more, you must move in to the higher end operating systems like HPUX, Solaris and AIX." (Unix Systems Administrator; 2010)