Network Administrator Skills (With Definitions And Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Network administrators handle hardware, software, network infrastructures and information systems to make sure they work as intended. Professionals working in this field require a variety of hard skills and soft skills to perform their duties effectively. If you are interested in pursuing a career in network administration, you can benefit from knowing the technical skills and soft skills required for the job role. In this article, we discuss various network administrator skills, review some examples, find out how to develop these skills and look at some ways to highlight them during a job search.

What Are Network Administrator Skills?

Network administrator skills are a combination of hard and soft skills that network management professionals use on the job or to advance their careers. Network administrators handle configuration, optimisation, security and maintenance of computer networks for businesses. They may specialise in a variety of areas, including network management, computer hardware, disaster recovery and troubleshooting as part of a four-year degree programme. Additional certification courses allow graduates to learn and improve the skills they need for this career.

Related: Top 50 Network Interview Questions And Answers

Examples Of Network Administration Skills

Here are some examples of hard skills and soft skills that network administrators use:

Hard skills

Here are some hard skills required for a job in this field:

Network security

Network administrators need a thorough understanding of network security requirements, security protocols and common vulnerabilities. This helps them ensure that an organisation has security measures in place to mitigate risks, such as unauthorised attacks and vulnerabilities. They are also responsible for implementing security policies, managing host security and file permissions, preparing disaster recovery plans and producing system and network documentation.

Hardware and infrastructure

An in-depth understanding of system hardware helps professionals to understand system-level design and to monitor product configuration, including the selection of hardware, operating systems and other platform specifications. They handle the maintenance and administration of computer networks and other computing environments, including hardware, operating systems and application software. The role also requires them to install, configure and maintain local area network (LAN) hardware, software and services.

Related: Top 37 Networking Interview Questions And Sample Answers

Virtualisation

A virtualisation process creates a virtual version of a resource or device, such as a storage device, network, server and operating system. Being knowledgeable about virtualisation helps them understand an existing infrastructure and design a virtual infrastructure as part of a new installation or upgrade that is stable, efficient and flexible. You can improve your employability if you are familiar with virtual networks, virtual storage and virtual security.

Troubleshooting

A troubleshooting process involves analysing and fixing any type of problem within an application or machine. Professionals in this field are responsible for monitoring network performance, troubleshooting network outages and providing network support for multiple projects. Configuring hardware and software systems and troubleshooting related issues are also significant aspects of the role.

Soft skills

Here are some soft skills required for a job in this field:

Problem-solving abilities

Network administrators may encounter problems related to software, hardware and networks. Professionals with problem-solving skills can analyse these issues and provide adequate solutions. Professionals in this field may also use problem-solving skills to identify and implement strategies that enhance an organisation's IT infrastructures, such as system maintenance, security and latest software upgrades.

Related: Popular Jobs In Networking (With Duties And Requirements)

Communication skills

This field often requires professionals to present findings to non-technical clients and management. Excellent communication skills enable you to deliver this information so that they can make informed decisions. You may also work with people from different disciplines as a part of a larger project. Communicating effectively helps you establish trust among colleagues, improve teamwork and foster a positive work environment.

Organisational skills

The role requires documenting common errors, software and hardware incompatibilities, upgrades and configuration changes. These comprehensive documents help new users and IT staff gain a solid understanding of the working of a company's systems and networks. Network administrators require effective organisational skills to maintain accurate documentation of the systems and networks they manage.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition And Examples

Time management

Working in this field requires working on multiple tasks, such as supporting long-term projects and troubleshooting everyday problems. An effective time management strategy helps professionals organise their work well and complete tasks on time. By prioritising tasks, creating to-do lists, checking progress and delegating tasks, they can effectively manage their time.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples

How To Improve Network Administration Skills?

Follow these steps if you want to improve your skills:

1. Get certified

Most employers expect professionals in this field to be certified in their areas of expertise. Some relevant certification courses are:

  • Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)

  • Cisco Certified Network Admin (CCNA)

  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)

  • CompTIA Network+

  • Network 5 Certification

  • VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

Enhance your credibility by including certifications on your resume.

Related: How To Become A Network Engineer: A Complete Guide

2. Stay updated

Update your knowledge of the latest technologies and research areas. Here are some ways you can stay current with the latest developments:

  • Reading research papers and journals

  • Attending workshops, live events and seminars

  • Following other professionals and industry experts

  • Learning programming languages

  • Completing mini-projects

3. Focus on your soft skills

Apart from technical proficiency, companies seek candidates who can collaborate well with others and foster a positive work environment. Other soft skills include communication, leadership, problem-solving and teamwork. Here are some ways you can improve them:

  • Practicing active learning

  • Pursuing additional courses to improve your communication skills

  • Building positive relationships at the workplace

  • Adapting to workplace changes

  • Emphasising teamwork

  • Asking for feedback and making improvements

Related: Soft Skills: Definitions And Examples

Network Administration Skills At The Workplace

The ability to demonstrate your skills at the workplace helps you gain the credibility and trust of your colleagues and managers. Listed below are some ways to present your skills at the workplace:

  • Make recommendations. You can recommend improving the existing network systems by proposing innovative solutions that reduce costs and improve efficiency. This shows that you are up-to-date with the current technology and industry trends.

  • Conduct training sessions. You can conduct sessions to share recent developments in the field. This shows that you are eager to learn new things and share your knowledge with others in the team.

  • Propose unique solutions. By identifying a unique solution to a problem or an alternative method to accomplish something, you can demonstrate your creative problem-solving skills.

  • Accept challenging projects. A challenging project can help you strengthen your technical skills, collaborate with people from different backgrounds, propose creative solutions and contribute to an organisation's growth.

Related: What Is A Peer-To-Peer Network?

Ways To Highlight Network Administration Skills

It is important to highlight your technical skills and soft skills during your application process. Here are some ways you can do so:

On a resume

You can begin by listing your skills in the professional summary section of your resume. This helps the interviewer gain a better understanding of your background and work experience. When describing your work experience, mention how you used your skills to achieve goals in the past. Include a separate section to mention your technical skills, such as knowledge of operating systems, network migration, troubleshooting software and hardware related problems and server management.

Review the job description to ensure you add skills and include specific keywords that the employer may look for when screening resumes.

Related: Best Font for Resume: How To Choose Type and Size

In a cover letter

In your cover letter, mention how you used your skills to achieve your objectives in your previous roles. As an example, you can mention how you successfully implemented agile methodology and six sigma techniques to improve the workflow process and reduced the number of issues by 15%. Explain how you plan to achieve similar results for the company for which you are applying. Through this, you can clearly demonstrate to potential employers that you understand their mission, challenges and goals and are eager to contribute to the organisation's growth.

During an interview

As part of your job interview, the interviewer may ask you questions related to your past work experience. Mention how you applied your technical skills to solve problems at your previous companies. For example, you can mention how you reduced the number of vulnerabilities by 25% and improved network performance by 30%, which led to less congestion and faster processing, resulting in greater profits. This helps the interviewer assess if you are a suitable candidate for the job role.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in the article are associated with Indeed.

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