Getting the job of your dreams is not that tough anymore.
With a clear mindset about your career path driven with passion, you could go heights!
Thanks to the technological advancements that you can learn plenty of things with a simple Internet search and grab a plethora of opportunities available.
Information technology is one of the fields booming as a result of advances in modern technology. And Network Administrators play crucial roles in an IT-driven workforce.
So, if this job relates to you, online courses are available at your disposal. In this article, I will provide deep insights into what this job is all about, why it’s on-demand, the reason why big firms need it, and some of the best online courses to become a network administrator.
Let’s get started!
Network Administrators: What on Earth are they?
A network administrator forms the backbone of an organization. They are the people responsible for keeping the network systems and computers running smoothly with security.
The jobs of a network administrator may vary based on the size of a company. But the basic thing always remains the same, which is to set up the network, monitor them, and fix any issues related to networking.
What does a network administrator do?
The days of a network administrator are unique and challenging. It demands you to be versatile and capable of adapting to change. In addition to technical knowledge, you need to be multitasking while staying focused on your job.
In a small company, they can supervise all the aspects of a computer system, ranging from setting up a network to hardware installation. Sometimes their work may also coincide with a system administrator. A network administrator often works together with the firewall team.
They can collaborate with hardware and software engineers to find actual network requirements and oversee system security.
In a large firm, network administrators may focus on a particular area like system performance. Their work can be flexible where they are involved in researching new software in the office or installing them. They may also be found checking network systems and installing hardware for weeks.
Some duties of a network administrator are:
- Installing software and hardware when new software releases and systems are updated
- Repairing software and hardware in case software gets infected, encounter compatibility issues, or device breakdowns.
- Training new joiners on using a software or hardware
- Checking properly functioning of security systems
- Monitoring system performance speed and implementing changes when required
- Adding or removing users and updating permissions
- Solving issues on the computer system of an employee within the network
Why does every big organization need them?
With the growing economic challenges and security threats, organizations hire network administrators for optimizing their existing networks. They need them to increase business productivity and secure their network from vulnerabilities, especially online threats.
Hiring network administrators also help them reduce the cost invested in new systems and damages incurred due to security-related attacks. Not to mention, they also help them secure their business reputation as well by keeping systems updated, so there occur no grounds for loopholes.
As a result, there has been an increased demand for network administrators for the past few years. In fact, many gave dub this career as a “recession-proof” career. And it’s smart to take up a growing field where there’s plenty of chances for handsome income and exciting work.
And that’s what you can expect when you become a network administrator!
Furthermore, organizations are also embracing cloud computing widely, which also increases the need for network administrators. Even healthcare systems are not untouched with the waves of network administrators; they also hire them to handle connectivity between users to the doctors to the systems.
No wonder why the network administrator career is one of the hottest currently. According to a report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of computer systems and network administrators is estimated to grow 5% from 2018-2028.
What’s the Salary?
Yeah, now comes the exciting part!
Networking is one of the highest-paying career paths in IT. In a similar fashion, network administrators have potential career growth and impressive paychecks as well.
The same BLS report also states that in May 2019, the average salary of network administrators was around $83,510 or $40/hour.
So, if you want to pursue a network administrator job, let me introduce you to some of the awesome online avenues where you can hone your skills.
Udemy is, without a doubt, one of the best platforms where you can learn many things from data analytics, digital marketing, network administrations, and many more.
They offer online courses from beginner to advanced level, so you get proficient with the subject matter.
To get started, you can take up “Network Essentials.” In this course, you will learn the skills and essential knowledge needed to configure, manage, protect, and troubleshoot data networks.
For beginners, other courses like HAProxy to build services for load balancing and high availability, Arista networking, and many more.
The Complete Networking Fundamentals Course
Learn about different aspects of networking to kick start your certification journey for Cisco 200-301. It covers network fundamentals as well as how to create simple LANs, routers, switches, and hubs.
You will also get an idea about address allocation using DHCP, Access Control Lists (ACLs), how to safeguard your network from threats like Kali Linux hackings. They explain subnetting, IP addressing, TCP/IP models, OSI, name resolution through DNS, Wi-Fi technologies, and more.
The name of this course is Linux Networking and Administration (LFS211), that Linux Foundation offers.
The course is formulated for IT professionals and system administrators wanting to gain hands-on knowledge on Linux network services and configurations along with topics like performance and security.
The advanced course teaches how to build, design, maintain, and deploy a network that runs under Linux. It also teaches you to administer its network services, skills to operate or create a network under a Linux distribution, to configure and deploy its network interface, to configure web, files, name servers, and emails.
It includes 50 hours of lessons, including assignments, hand-on labs, video content, and discussion forum. They offer 12-month access to the online course along with a digital badge for successful completion of the course.
It’s available at $299 for only the course and $499 for the course plus exam.
Bits and Bytes
The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking by Google are offered on Coursera.
This course is beginner-friendly, and you learn the basics of networking, TCP/IP communication, DNS, DHCP, etc.
If you are familiar with the basics and interested in learning in detail, then you can check another course by Google – Networking in Google Cloud. In this course, you can explore networking technologies like Terraform, design patterns, network interconnection, etc. and deploy them. Besides, participants can also learn to troubleshoot network issues.
The website – Study-ccna.com is specially designed for helping professionals to prepare for the Cisco CCNA examination. It follows the curriculum of the real exam.
You can also use it as your reference for networking topics. Here, you will get materials curated with deep insights that are required to study for the CCNA exam. They also have lots of articles categorized by chapters.
The first few chapters are dedicated to basic networking terminologies and devices, while the later ones possess in-depth knowledge. This is a completely FREE tutorial that you can open anytime and clear your doubts.
Once you are confident and ready to take an exam, you may want to try a practice test by Whizlabs. It is a mock exam with 180 questions and answers.
Udacity helps you land your network administrator job with its knowledgeable instructor videos taught by top industry professionals.
It offers a “computer networking” course by Georgia Tech, and it is free. It also covers some advanced topics like Software-Defined Networking (SDN), content distribution, and Datacenter networking.
The course comprises of 3 parts:
- Implementation of computer network goals and design principles. It touches various strings of routing algorithms that are used in CN like distance vector and link-state.
- Content distribution and resource control in networking applications, covering areas such as traffic shaping and congestion control.
- Management and operation of computer networks surrounding SDNs, network security, and traffic engineering.
The course is inclusive of interactive quizzes and brainstorming exercises.
SkillShare also has some courses to help you master network administration. It offers some exquisite courses like IP addressing & subnetting, which is great for beginners, Zabbix 5 applications & network monitoring, Cisco CCNA 200-301 guide, and many more.
The trainers are professionals yet easy for students in terms of providing quality learning. Their courses include complete instructions for lab setup and recommendations, detailed lectures, numerous practice questions, and a handful of labs for you to practice.
Buckle up to venture into the skies of networking with Cybrary. Get started by clearing the Linux+ and CCNA to grow your career in the field of network engineering.
The course encapsulates the lessons where you can learn how to build, administrate, and protect networks. In addition, you will get to know system performance management, diagnose and troubleshoot network issues, an idea about infrastructure protocols, transport, and application to help companies scale securely.
They offer 100s of lab environments to gain hands-on experience with the latest technologies and tools. 40+ mentors and top experts are there to help you master the skills. You can even go through practice tests to gain confidence through virtual labs and standard questions.
After finishing the course and hand-on project, you can earn a certificate that you can share with employees and a professional network.
edX has come with the course – Network and Security Foundations by WGUx, which introduces the different components of computer networks along with the role and concept of communication protocols.
The course includes network classifications, topologies, layered abstractions, and physical devices. It also covers basic security concepts, network vulnerabilities, security procedures and policies, mitigation techniques, and physical media security.
Do you know what’s the best thing – it’s completely FREE. In case you want a certificate, you pay a little fee. The duration of the course is eight weeks, which needs your effort for about 9-10 hours a week.
A Cloud Guru
Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) by A Cloud Guru helps you get ready for taking the CISSP certification exam and pass it with a great percentile.
They have designed this course to provide extensive knowledge, instructor support, and learning strategies in network security. Throughout the course journey, you will understand the concepts of security, risk management, cryptography, asset security, and different types of online threats.
It will also include regulations, encryption protocols, standards, policies, and laws about network security. They offer a unique way of teaching, for instance, flashcards, video lessons, interactive diagrams, and expert instructors.
Widen your IT skills with the Network administration course by Lynda. The courses offered will help you learn how to organize and install a network, master the concepts, configure switches and routers, and troubleshoot the network.
In fact, Lynda has now become LinkedIn learning. It offers networking basics, IP addressing, network media for LANs and WANs, CLI tools and protocols, troubleshooting, subnetting, and so much more.
The online course consists of video tutorials by experts for 31 hours and lets you practice to make you perfect.
Like reading books?
Become well-versed in the concepts and technologies associated with networking by choosing Network Fundamental course by Packt.
They will help you understand different network infrastructures like extranets, intranets, and more. Learn about network switches, routers, and more hardware devices, network protocols like OSI, TCP/IP, network services like NAT, DHCP, firewalls, remote access, etc., and application of networking concepts on real-world scenarios.
The course length is approximately 15 hours and 18 minutes, which will help you get prepared for mock tests consisting of updated exam questions.
The course – Implementing & Administering Cisco Solutions is offered by Cisco Learning Network. It can help you prepare for the exam by providing study materials, practice tests, and study materials.
You can learn how to operate, install, verify, and configure basic IPv6 and IPv4 networks.
There’s a FREE course available on YouTube on Fundamentals of Networking by UniNets. It offers full exposure to topic-wise training videos on Cisco CCNA switching and routing.
The lessons are easy to grasp and are categorized into different modules. There are a total of 88 videos included in the channel that you can refer to cover various networking aspects.
With these videos, you can understand basic networking fundamentals as per the latest exam pattern of Cisco.
What the future of Network Administration looks like?
Organizations continue investing in more efficient and faster IT systems these days. Hence, network administrators are going to be busy more than ever. Not to forget the rampant increase in security vulnerabilities, nobody wants to lose their reputation, data, or money.
In the near future, the job of network administrators will be on the rise, and we don’t know when the complete “The Matrix” age starts, so they will continue to be in demand.
Anything involving computers with networks tends to encompass network administrators somewhere. The job is challenging yet rewarding as the journey never gets boring. They always find new issues and think about new ways to fix those issues, which is fun for many, especially those who love playing with computers and fixing things.
If you are the one, the above-mentioned online courses can help you get that dream job you always wanted.
Learn Network Security.