In any modern organization, technology administrators perform a vital task - ensuring that the computers and electronic devices are in proper order for use. To do this, they must be experienced with computers, which is why they typically hold a bachelor's degree in computer or information science. While some technology administrators work in the computer systems design industry, a wide variety of companies and organizations rely on computer technology and therefore hire these professionals.
Technology administrators implement, manage and maintain an organization's computer networks, software and systems, and may also provide support to end users and business strategy. Technology administrators require an understanding of electronics, computer systems and math, as well as good communication and managerial skills. Individuals interested in advanced roles may require a master's degree, although a bachelor's degree is generally sufficient for entry-level positions. Certification can facilitate professional advancement and may be required for employment.
|Required Education||Bachelor's or master's degree|
|Other Requirements||Certification required by some employers|
|Projected Job Growth||4% from 2019-2029*|
|Median Salary (2020)||$84,810 annually*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Education Requirements for Technology Administrators
Technology administrators may start out as systems specialists and work their way up to administrator positions, though administration opportunities may be available to those with adequate education and training. An understanding of electronics, computer systems and math, as well as good communication and managerial skills are just a few of the competencies required for a job as an information technology (IT) administrator. Administrators typically specialize in a specific technology field, such as server hardware, databases or networking.
A well-balanced academic program for IT administrators offers not only advanced training in a particular technical area, but includes a broad foundation in a myriad of technology disciplines. An associate or bachelor's degree in management information systems (MIS), computer science or network administration introduces students to technology standards and fundamental knowledge required for IT administrators. This academic training coupled with professional certification and previous work experience may be sufficient for an entry-level administrator position.
While a bachelor's degree is often sufficient, some employers look for candidates with a master's degree for advanced administrator positions. In addition to technology management, IT administrators must usually factor in business needs and budgetary constraints. Many master's degree programs combine business acumen with a concentration in information technology; the most popular graduate degree for professionals in the field is the Master of Business Administration.
Certification, while optional, can lead to professional advancement and is typically required by employers. Credentials relevant to IT administrator jobs are generally offered through software, hardware and technology manufacturers, such as Microsoft, Cisco or IBM, or industry standards associations, like CompTIA or the Quality Assurance Institute. Certification allows professionals to specialize in a particular area, demonstrate advanced proficiency in a specific technology and stay abreast of new systems. Intensive training courses may be offered by several schools and organizations to prepare technology administrators for certification.
Career and Salary Information
Systems administrators work in a multitude of organizations, from corporations and financial institutions to insurance companies and schools. Accounting for about 373,900 jobs in 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected the number of computer systems and network administrator positions to grow 4% between 2019-2029.
In 2020, BLS statistics indicated that systems and network administrators earned an annual median salary of $84,810. The most profitable industries for systems and network administrators during this time were computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing and specialized design services.
Most technology administrators hold at least a bachelor's degree in a field relating to computer technology. Further education and/or certification can help keep these professionals apprised of the newest technology, and therefore more valuable to employers.