Computer Systems Administrator

Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     

Computer Systems Administrator


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.
View Schools for this Career: 
         Related Careers
arrow Aerial Survey Technician
arrow Application Programmer
arrow Applications Analyst
arrow [ view all related careers ]

Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad


  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
Median Salary:
Highest 10% of Earners:

  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.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002,

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Ottawa
York University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Privacy Notice | Site Map | Cities Site Map | California - Do Not Sell My Info

Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved.