Most senior network administrator jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree or occasionally an associate’s degree in computer science or a related field. To become a senior network administrator, many companies require significant network experience in the company’s preferred platform. Meeting experience requirements means that the bulk of a senior network administrator’s education is earning certifications through book study, experimenting on equipment, and taking examinations. As the majority of a senior network administrator’s job duties revolve around the design, maintenance, and operation of computer networks, an analytical mind and strong problem-solving skills are crucial to succeeding in this position.
Increasingly, it’s necessary to have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering from an accredited university to secure a job as a senior network administrator. Sometimes an associate’s degree may be enough to obtain a job as a junior network administrator. As experience is a crucial part of the job, administrators who are willing to work their way up can frequently secure a job as a senior network administrator after a few years, even without a bachelor’s degree. Still, this can hamper later attempts at changing jobs, as other companies may require a bachelor’s degree for a similar position.
Companies typically want a senior network administrator to have experience with the vendor software they currently use. For this reason, it’s helpful for a person who wants to become a senior network administrator to gain experience and certification with a wide variety of vendors. Certifications can help define a network administrator’s skill set and make it easier for an employer to determine if a job applicant who wants to become a senior network administrator qualifies. Many companies will pay for employees to take courses and examinations that lead to certification.
If this is not the case, it’s possible to become a senior network administrator by taking courses and exams independently and applying for jobs with these in hand. The disadvantage is that this can be an expensive option without guarantees of landing a permanent position. Certifications are most effective when coupled with hands-on experience with industry software. Working with vendor software on a daily basis is the most effective way of obtaining the necessary experience to become a senior network administrator. Some network professionals have secured jobs after setting up a network at home, studying books, and troubleshooting problems independently to learn the system.
Senior network administrators work with both computer systems and people. They must have strong technical skills in hardware and software and good critical thinking skills. Part of the senior network administrator’s job is to make sure the network system is working smoothly for the people who use it. This requires good communication and an ability to take user concerns into account when solving problems.