7 Skills of a Highly Effective Network Administrator
It is fair to say that a highly effective network administrator is not made overnight. It takes a career college certification and some on the job experience to become a professional network administrator. There are many skills that make a highly effective network administrator. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics there are four main skills that are important qualities for a network administrator. They include analytical skills, communication skills, multitasking skills and problem-solving skills. We have added three additional skills that supplement those four main skills, they include critical thinking skills, computer skills and innovation skills.
Skill #1: Be Analytical
Network administrators evaluate networks at their organization to make sure they are running at peak performance. They also need to anticipate what will be needed for the network by keeping up on industry and customer trends. A highly effective network administrator will be able to collect and analyze information to improve the network and its vulnerabilities. This will ultimately increase the company’s productivity.
Having good analytical skills means the network administrator can communicate well and be able to explain the patterns in the network data. They must be able to find creative solutions to complex problems. Finally, the network administrator will need to be able to research a problem and then examine a large volume of data to find the trends hiding in the data.
Skill #2: Use Critical Thinking
A network administrator should be able to analyze network data objectively and come to a reasonable solution. A good critical thinker can disregard personal feelings, opinions or biases when coming up with the proper solutions to network problems. They will identify the network problem, do some research, compile data about the network problem, draw a conclusion and create a plan of action. The network administrator will be able to identify less useful information, weeding it out to determine the best solution possible.
Skills #3: Practice Good Communication
A network administrator must listen to be a good communicator. They must fully understand the situation at hand before they start looking for the solution. It is important to be able to explain the situation to a non-IT worker because network administrators train employees on how to properly use the network. A good way to explain technical subjects with non-IT workers is to be empathetic. The network administrator will put themselves in the non-IT workers mindset and explain the highly technical subject without jargon or computer acronyms, explaining everything so anyone can understand. They must however not talk down to the employee or try to sound superior.
Skills #4: Computer Proficiency
Network administrators are responsible for overseeing the connections of computer equipment and network systems. They must ensure that the computers and network work together properly. The network administrator must be able to determine the IP address of individual computers and routers. They must be able to verify physical connectivity to the network and check that all employees have a connection to the network.
Skill #5: Be Innovative
Many network issues will be complex and network administrators will need to think out of the box. Whether they adapt current options for better network connectivity or innovate new solutions, the network administrator must take the initiative in solving network problems.
Skill #6: Multitasking
Network administrators may have multiple tasks to work on all at the same time. They will manage requests from email, text message, phone calls and in-person contact. A good multitasker will use a job que to prioritize and keep track of the different network and computer issues that arise. By using a job que or ticket system, the network administrators can prioritize different issues, getting the most crucial tasks completed first.
Skill #7: Be a Problem-Solver
Problems may arise for a network administrator. A good problem solver will be able to identify that there is a problem, complete the proper research to understand the situation, weigh all the options and pick the solution that best fits the situation. After the best solution is identified, the network administrator will implement the plan of action and assess the effectiveness off the solution.