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Computer Systems Administrator


Description

One of the most interesting things about computers is that they can talk to one another. They are in constant communication, through networks. Computer networks can be large, and encompass millions of computers at once, like the Internet, or they can be small, and accessible to only a few people who share an office.

These networks, just like many other things in the computer world, can break down. Companies that rely on computers and their many uses have computer systems administrators on staff. These experts are in charge of computer servers, server accounts, networking, computer hardware, software and the operating systems.

Computer systems administrators are responsible for whole systems at offices, businesses, libraries and anywhere computers play an active role in daily life and work. They look for ways to monitor and maintain systems so that they don't break and so that they can be fixed quickly if they do.

They are constantly on the lookout for new ways to improve the systems they look after. They investigate new technology, keeping connected with the latest trends and developments. They help with designing software, as well, if the products available don't quite fit the needs of the company's computer systems. They must also be prepared to jump in and fix any problems that may arise.

There are thousands of things to know about computers and the various programs and systems used. However, the computer systems administrator doesn't have to worry about knowing it all off by heart. The administrator only has to have in depth knowledge about the basics of operating systems, programming languages, and applications, as well as the Internet. Most problems are similar but a little bit of detective work will resolve most problems. A firm understanding of the fundamentals is required in order to troubleshoot the more complex programs, systems and hardware that are being developed today.

The computer systems administrator is concerned with ensuring the systems are up and running, but they are also preoccupied with ensuring the users are finding the programs and systems easy to understand and navigate. When the systems are up and running, the hardware functioning properly, and the users have no complaints, then the computer systems administrator has done an excellent job.
 
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Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
Ashford University
You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.
Programs Offered:
  • BA/Public Relations and Marketing - Information Systems
  • BA/Sports and Recreation Management - Information Systems

 

 



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
$34,460
 
Median Salary:
$54,810
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
$86,440

  Interests and Skills  
Interested in becoming a computer systems administrator? Along with a thorough knowledge of PCs, operating systems, and databases, they need to be organized and able to balance a number of pressing projects at once. They need to be calm, patient and respectful of others, regardless of their circumstances or questions. Computer systems administrators must have good listening skills, and be able to ask questions to gather additional information. Finally, they should be inquisitive, and enjoy solving problems.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Consult with other parts of an organization, such as the financial or policy section
  • Purchase hardware and software
  • Set up computer networks and operating systems
  • Ensure networks and systems are running smoothly
  • Communicate regularly with users
  • Maintain computer systems for users
  • Find and fix problems
  • Collect information, research solutions, and analyze possible resolutions to issues
  • Test and implement new solutions
  • Evaluate resolutions for ways to prevent future problems
  • Place follow-up calls to users about ongoing issues
  • Install and maintain security systems on equipment
  • The typical day for a computer systems administrator will involve a lot of work with both computers and people. The administrator will ask a lot of questions about the problems, and experiment with the computers and the systems to try and find quick, effective solutions. They don't travel much, working from home or an office; however, if they work at a company they travel throughout the building, from computer to computer. They work in small teams of computer specialists, and alongside the workers in the company.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Computer systems administrators work for companies, organizations, libraries, government agencies or any business that uses databases, operating systems, and the Internet. They can also work independently on contract to more than one organization at once.
  • They can work in offices, or from home. Because they work with many computers at once, often large, noisy computers, their work space can be busy, crowded and hectic. They work in small teams of computer specialists; however, with smaller companies they may perform a number of tasks and work alone. They usually work regular hours, unless there is a computer-related emergency and they have to solve it before heading home.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Computer systems administrators can go on to become help desk specialists, computer technicians or PC administrators. They can write IT manuals, or sell programs and computers. They can become IT instructors, or write information books and articles for people learning to use PCs on their own.
 

  Educational Paths  
To work as a computer systems administrators individuals must take a college program in computer engineering or PC support. They should also consider some courses in psychology and communication to ensure good relationships with clients.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

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Ashford University
You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.
Programs Offered:
  • BA/Public Relations and Marketing - Information Systems
  • BA/Sports and Recreation Management - Information Systems

 
Grand Canyon University
Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
Programs Offered:
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Only Coding Dojo teaches five full stacks of the industry’s most in-demand web and mobile development technologies and languages with its onsite flex bootcamp.

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ABCO Technology

ABCO Technology is an accredited computer training academy that offers diploma programs for individual students, professionals and companies to learn different areas of Information technology and seek gainful employment.

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ECPI University

Making the decision to earn your degree and pursue your career goals could be the best decision you ever make. Enroll at ECPI University and you’ll join a collaborative and fostering learning environment, surrounded by faculty and staff who are there to support you through the entire process.

 

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UEI College

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

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  • Computer Systems Technician (8-Month Diploma Program)

 
Maryville University

Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a four-year, private university located in west St. Louis County.

Programs Offered:
  • Online Master of Business Administration Information Technology Concentration

 
University of Maryland at College Park

Study online with University of Maryland at College Park.

Programs Offered:
  • MBA - Information Systems & Business Analytics

 
Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) recently received state approval to enroll students with little to no prior college experience. To help ensure student success, the university has created a program especially for these students who plan on starting their college experience for the first time with us.

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Milan Institute
Prepare for an exciting new career at the Milan Institute.
Programs Offered:
  • Computer & Network Technician

 
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