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Why Network Administrator is the Hot IT Job of the Future

Aug. 23, 2013
John Mark Ivey

networking145193778Are you at a crossroads professionally or looking to start training for a new job? If so, you might want to consider pursuing network administration as a career.

Network administrators are responsible for maintaining computer hardware and software systems that make up a computer network, including maintaining and monitoring active data networks, converged infrastructure networks, and related network equipment.

According to employment projections from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy will need an additional 100,000 network administrators by the year 2020. That’s a 10-year growth projection of nearly 28%.

Are you as surprised as I am by this news? After a few steps back five or so years ago, IT jobs have been on the upswing of late. But 100,000 new jobs in this field is amazing!

Usually job growth lists are full of physical therapists, nurses, and dental hygienists.
Robots alone can’t fix the human body—at least not yet. You’ll also typically see electricians and systems software developers on job growth lists.

Why the need for so many network administrators in the next decade? As American businesses and organizations try to fend off the growing number of attacks on their networks by hackers, malware, and phishing, they’ll find the need for additional well-trained network admins. At least hackers are good for something, right? Who knew they would be a boost to job growth in the IT sector?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these new network administrators can expect to make between $55,000 and $91,000, especially if they plan on earning a bachelor’s degree.

Who’s going to be hiring these future network admins? For starters, the federal government will be hiring thousands of network administrators. Your state and local governments also will need network administrators as hackers and hacktivists increasingly target them and their networks. Even your neighborhood doctor’s offices and hospitals will have to better secure their digital databases from unintended eyes, which means more network administrators.

It’s not just the US that needs more network admins. It’s a worldwide phenomenon as we progress further into the decade. If the US needs 100,000 network admins by 2020, then the rest of the world will probably need twice, if not three times, as many with emerging nations in Asia, Africa, and South America becoming more technologically advanced everyday.

Who’s best suited for these new network administrator jobs? If you have a background in IT and networking, you have an advantage already. If you are lucky enough to have a degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering, you also are well on your way to becoming a future network administrator.

Be mindful that some employers are going to require vendor-specific training before you get your hands on their network, which will involve training on Cisco, Juniper, Microsoft, and possibly Red Hat equipment and services.

It’s nice to have some good news on the job front—especially for those looking to enter the workforce or making a career change in the next few years. With the right training, the future looks bright for future network administrators.

Related Course
Understanding Networking Fundamentals