System Administrator – Best IT Jobs of 2011 Series
System administration is a great career for those of you who are heavily interested in the nitty-gritty of computer systems. System administrators are responsible for sustaining and managing computer systems or networks in a company. They are involved in ensuring that the system works perfectly day in and day out and must also be able to identify problems when they arise and solve them in the best possible way. System administrators are extremely vital in most firms as they alone are in charge of troubleshooting problems and ensuring that the workload is completed smoothly. As a career, system administration demands a great deal of dedication and meticulousness as you will be on call at all times and will be expected to skillfully handle any problems that may arise. Naturally, the dependency on the internet has ensured that system administrators are highly in demand in all firms.
Copious Computer Knowledge – Since working in the administration of a system requires the analysis of all components, a thorough understanding of these components is essential. You should be well-versed in the various features and aspects of many operating systems so that you can work well no matter which operating system your company uses.
Troubleshooting Skills – A good system administrator will have excellent problem-solving skills as problem-solving is the essence of your profession! You will be called upon frequently to solve problems of varying degrees and it is thus crucial that you be able to do so as quickly as you can so as to avoid the negative repercussions.
Ability to Manage Stress – System administration is a career fraught with stress as you will be pulled in all directions by various colleagues demanding your help. You should be able to stay calm in such situations so that you can help solve a wide variety of problems.
Familiarity with Security Software – Besides maintaining the basic working of the system, you will also have to protect it from the attacks of malicious hackers or viruses using firewalls and intrusion detection systems. For this, you obviously need to be extremely familiar with all possible threats and the best ways to deal with them.
Patience – This is by far the most important virtue of a good system administrator; you must be patient when dealing with colleagues who are convinced that their problems are bigger than the next person’s. In a busy office, any small problem will be augmented by employees unfamiliar with computing and hence you will have to be able to deal with them in the best possible way without hurting their sentiments.
In effect, a system administrator is the backbone of a company as it is he who ensures that work continues without impediments. Thus as a system administrator, you will definitely be greatly treasured and appreciated.
Since system administration demands not only the organization of a system but also its maintenance it is a very demanding job. A system is composed of numerous elements which all need to be checked regularly to avert disaster!
Moreover, many components will need upgrades to keep up with changing technology and this is another responsibility of the system administrator. You will thus be in charge of making sure that the system runs at the best possible level to guarantee maximum benefits for the company you work for.
By becoming a system administrator, you are setting yourself up in a career that will feed your technological ego to the hilt! Imagine being the only person in a building full of competent individuals who can solve that one problem that could ruin the entire company – satisfying, right? Your immense popularity will only grow with each ‘close shave’ and you will definitely be the one with the most contacts!
For the tech whiz, a profession where you get to fiddle around with computer systems is like being paid to continue your hobby! You can spend all your time examining the operating systems of the computers you love and you will never have to be apart from them!
If you’ve secretly nursed monarchical dreams, system administration is one way of fulfilling them as you are effectively the king of the office: you make decisions that will affect the entire building and this is definitely a powerful feeling!
If you enter this field you should be prepared to spend endless hours under tables, working on the CPUs of several computers at a time. Factor in the number of times you’ll hit your head on the table while getting up and you’ve got yourself an extremely trying profession.
The fact that you’re so in demand also has its negatives as you will quite honestly never have a free moment ever again! You will be at the beck and call of your boss and all your colleagues for even the tiniest of problems. Moreover, since your colleagues aren’t as experienced as you are, expect to be called in at odd hours to switch on things they have conveniently forgotten to look at!
Anything that goes wrong and things will go wrong often, will be blamed on you, the wretched system administrator. In the climate of hysteria that usually prevails after a major network issue is discovered, you will be called every terrible name possible until you magically manage to solve the problem; the mood swings of your colleagues will definitely be the most trying factor in the first few months of your career.
However, the size of your firm is an important factor; if you work in a firm with less than one hundred employees, the number of computers you will manage is obviously less and so your salary will be less. On the other hand, firms that employ numerous employees have complicated computer set-ups which will require a great deal of attention; hence a higher salary will be paid.
Besides the firm, you should also consider the field the firm specializes in. Though all firms depend heavily on computers these days, some do so more than others. It is by working in these firms that you will make the most money as your presence is most vital in these dependent firms than anywhere else.