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A network administrator is an IT expert who manages an organization's network. The network administrator must possess a high level of technological knowledge and is most commonly the highest level of technical staff within a given organization. Network administrators keep networks operational and monitor functions and operations within the network.
A network administrator is responsible for installing, maintaining and upgrading any software or hardware required to efficiently run a computer network. The IT or computer network may extend to a local area network, wide area network, the Internet and intranets.
The network administrator usually has a higher degree associated with computer science and IT. Administrators typically also acquire certificates related to networking or undergo high-level training related to specific software or hardware included in the network. This enables the network administrator to rapidly take control of new network additions or even create a new network completely from scratch. Certificates related to network administration are offered by well-known organizations like Microsoft, Cisco, Redhat and Juniper.
Network administrators are rarely involved in direct user support like help desk duties. Instead, they engage in high-level technological support, such as maintaining network hardware and software equipment, and monitoring equipment to ensure overall network operations. Network addresses are often assigned through the network administrator. In addition, network administrators configure the authorization and authentication of individuals or groups who access network resources.
Network administrators may also technically take part in the management and maintenance of desktop computers, servers, printers, switches, routers, firewalls, software implementations, security updates, VPN gateways, file servers, intrusion detection systems and a wide range of additional technologies associated with both software and hardware within the network.