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Information Technology Administration 101: Your Guide to Becoming an IT Administrator

As a technology enthusiast, you’re determined to take on a career path that challenges you to reach your full potential. Perhaps, you should consider a future in IT administration. This profession appeals greatly to analytical types with an appreciation for advanced network systems, mobile applications, and cybersecurity.

At ACU Online, our Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Administration offers a versatile program intended to prepare you for the challenges you might face in an IT career. You’ll also be equipped to grow and respond as the profession evolves, which is sure to undergo exciting changes in the next few years.

Read on to learn more about this valuable degree program—and to discover how it could lead to your next job.

Essential Skills for Becoming an IT Administrator

IT administration requires an analytical mindset in which no detail is too small to warrant consideration. Beyond this, however, a variety of skills are necessary. Some of these skills may come naturally to some professionals, but others need to be developed in an academic setting or on the job. Examples of traits exhibited by an ideal job candidate in IT administration include:

Knowledge of IT Operating Systems 

IT administrators should feel comfortable working with a broad range of operating systems, such as Windows, Citrix, Linux, and Exchange. A basic understanding of SQL (structured query language) will also prove essential, as it forms the backbone of communication for relational database management systems. Furthermore, administrators should be willing to master new operating systems or database management languages as needed.

Troubleshooting and Repair

While proper installation and maintenance of IT systems can prevent many network issues, administrators will still need to address glitches from time to time. This process could entail extensive troubleshooting, followed by repairs, and eventually, upgrades to ensure that systems function optimally in the future.

Soft Skills

Technical skills may be a boon for aspiring IT administrators, but these alone won’t ensure success in this demanding field. Soft skills are just as important. IT administrators regularly communicate network concerns in writing. Many coordinate with employees from other departments, so the ability to work effectively in a team is essential. Other necessary soft skills include:

  • Problem solving
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure
  • Excellent time management
  • Willingness to learn new skills
  • Ability to take criticism and adapt accordingly

While the bulk of coursework in your program will involve the development of technical skills, you’ll also gain essential soft skills in your core courses and electives.

A Day in the Life: What It’s Like to Work in IT Administration

If you desire a certain level of routine but also seek variety, you’ll love working in IT administration. Be prepared to spend the bulk of your time in the digital sphere; as an IT administrator, most of your workplace efforts will be directed towards computer and mobile systems. Most administrators work in dedicated offices for corporations or government agencies, although an increasing number serve as consultants. Some spend more time in server rooms than in offices, as this location provides better access to essential hardware and other resources.

IT administration is a surprisingly versatile field; while certain patterns tend to emerge regarding systems maintenance, new challenges and opportunities abound. Many administrators thrive on the ever-evolving challenges that accompany this position. While general tasks include maintaining servers and upgrading hardware or software, many IT administrators are also responsible for overseeing resource budgets. With sufficient experience and ambition, administrators may even take on leadership positions within their companies’ IT departments.

How an administrator’s day plays out depends largely on the organization he or she serves and the industry it occupies. An IT administrator working in the healthcare industry, for example, will see different workplace challenges than somebody in banking or education. Regardless of industry, administrators work hard. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), one in four spends over forty hours per week on the job. The work can, at times, be high stress, particularly when security concerns arise. That being said, most administrators thrive on such challenges.

Pay and Perks

As an IT administrator, you could command impressive pay while also scoring a multitude of job perks. The BLS highlights median annual earnings of $82,050 for network and computer systems administrators. IT administrators working in finance and information systems typically out-earn their counterparts in educational services or other public entities. Depending on your credentials, experience, and industry of choice, you could reach six figures in compensation.

If you’re interested in becoming an IT administrator, your path ahead is clear: You will gain the greatest professional edge by obtaining your Bachelor of Science in IT Administration. Along the way, you will accrue technical and communication skills that will prove of immeasurable value as you take on of the digital sphere’s most interesting and rewarding professions.

Ready to take a closer look at ACU Online’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Administration? Contact us at 855-219-7300 or acu.edu/online for more information on how ACU Online can help you pursue your academic and career goals.

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