Network and Computer Systems Administrators Certification Requirements and Hiring Process

Jan 15, 2024

13 Min Read


1. What are the general certification requirements for a Network and Computer Systems Administrator?

To become a certified Network and Computer Systems Administrator, you typically need to meet the following requirements:

1. Education: Most employers require at least a bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science or a related field.

2. Experience: Many employers also prefer candidates with previous experience in IT support or a related role.

3. Technical Knowledge: Network and Computer Systems Administrators must have a strong understanding of computer networks, operating systems, hardware, and software.

4. Certification: While not always mandatory, many employers prefer candidates with industry-recognized certifications such as CompTIA Network+ or Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

5. Continuing Education: As technology evolves rapidly, it is important for Network and Computer Systems Administrators to stay current with the latest developments through ongoing training and education programs.

6. Soft Skills: Strong problem-solving, communication, and time-management skills are important for success in this role.

7. Background Check: Some employers may require a background check before hiring an administrator to ensure they have no criminal record that could jeopardize network security.

Overall, the specific requirements for certification may vary depending on the employer and job position, but having a combination of education, experience, technical knowledge, certification(s), and soft skills can increase your chances of becoming a qualified Network and Computer Systems Administrator.

2. Are there any specific certifications that are highly desirable for this role?

The specific certifications that are highly desirable for this role may vary depending on the industry and job requirements. However, some common certifications that may be valued for a salesperson include:

1. Sales Certificate/Certified Sales Professional (CSP)
2. Strategic Selling Certification (SPIN Selling)
3. Challenger Sales Certification
4. Social Selling Certification
5. Negotiation Skills Certification
6. Product Knowledge Certifications (specific to the product or industry)
7. Time Management/Planning Certification
8. Relationship Management/Networking Certification
9. Customer Service/Satisfaction Certifications
10. Digital Marketing/Social Media Certifications

Ultimately, it is important for a salesperson to have a combination of soft skills, such as communication, persuasion, and problem-solving abilities, along with any relevant qualifications or certificates related to their particular field of sales.

3. Can someone become a Network and Computer Systems Administrator without any formal certifications?

Yes, it is possible for someone to become a Network and Computer Systems Administrator without any formal certifications. While having certifications can demonstrate a level of knowledge and skill in a specific area or technology, hands-on experience and on-the-job training can also provide the necessary skills and knowledge to work as a Network and Computer Systems Administrator. Many employers also value practical experience over certifications when hiring for this role.

4. How relevant and up-to-date do the certifications need to be in order to be considered for a hiring position?

The relevance and recency of certifications will depend on the specific job requirements and industry standards. Generally, employers prefer candidates with recent and relevant certifications, especially for rapidly advancing fields such as technology or healthcare. However, for some industries, certifications may have a longer validity period and may still hold value even if obtained several years ago. It is important for job seekers to research the specific certifications that are in demand for their desired position and make sure they are up-to-date with any necessary renewals or updates.

5. Is there a certain level of experience that is required in addition to certifications?

Yes, many employers prefer candidates who have both certifications and a certain level of experience in the field. This shows that the individual has not only obtained knowledge through the certification process but also gained practical skills through hands-on experience in a real work environment. The specific level of experience required may vary depending on the industry and position, but generally, having a few years of relevant experience can be beneficial when applying for jobs requiring certifications.

6. Do employers typically pay for their employees’ certification exams and training courses?

It depends on the employer and their policies. Some employers may offer to cover the cost of certification exams and training courses as part of their employee development or professional development programs. Others may require employees to cover the cost themselves, but may offer reimbursement upon successful completion. It is best to check with your employer directly for more information on their specific policies.

7. Are there any ongoing education or renewal requirements for maintaining the certifications?

PMP certification holders are required to earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years to maintain their certification. These PDUs can be earned through various activities such as attending training courses, participating in webinars or conferences, writing articles, and contributing to the project management profession. Recertification is also required every three years, and candidates must complete an online application and pay a fee to renew their certification.

8. Are there any online or self-study options available for obtaining these certifications?

Yes, there are online and self-study options available for obtaining these certifications. Many training providers offer online courses and study guides that you can access at your own pace. However, it is important to note that some certifications may require in-person testing or hands-on experience, so it is important to research the specific requirements for each certification before deciding on a study method.

9. How long does it usually take to complete all necessary certification exams and requirements?

The time it takes to complete all necessary certification exams and requirements can vary depending on the individual and the specific certification they are seeking. Some certifications may require only a few weeks of studying and preparation, while others may take several months or even years. Additionally, some certifications may have prerequisites that need to be completed before taking the exam. It is important to thoroughly research the requirements for the specific certification you are interested in pursuing to have a better understanding of the timeline involved.

10. Can someone hold multiple certifications in this field, and if so, which ones are complimentary or most beneficial to have together?

Yes, someone can hold multiple certifications in this field. Some certifications that are complimentary or beneficial to have together may include:

1. CompTIA A+ and Network+: These two certifications focus on the fundamentals of computer hardware, software, and networking. Having both can demonstrate a well-rounded understanding of IT essentials.

2. CompTIA Security+ and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Security: The Security+ certification covers security concepts, while the CCNA Security focuses on implementing and maintaining network security. Combining these two certifications can showcase a strong foundation in IT security.

3. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): These certifications focus on different aspects of cybersecurity – CISSP covers security management and strategy while CEH focuses on ethical hacking techniques. Together, they can demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of cybersecurity.

4. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and VMware Certified Professional – Data Center Virtualization (VCP-DCV): The MCSE certification focuses on Windows Server technologies, while VCP-DCV covers virtualization using VMware products. Having both demonstrates proficiency in two widely-used technologies in enterprise environments.

5. Project Management Professional (PMP) and ITIL Foundation: PMP is a globally recognized project management certification, while ITIL is a framework for IT service management. Holding both shows an individual’s ability to manage complex IT projects effectively.

Note: The combinations mentioned above are just some suggestions; there may be other combinations that could be beneficial depending on an individual’s career goals or job requirements.

11. Other than technical skills, what other qualities do employers look for when hiring Network and Computer Systems Administrators?

Employers also look for the following qualities in Network and Computer Systems Administrators:

1. Strong problem-solving skills: Network and computer systems can encounter various issues, and employers want administrators who can quickly identify and resolve these problems.

2. Communication skills: Administrators must be able to effectively communicate technical information to non-technical staff, as well as interact with vendors and other IT professionals.

3. Attention to detail: Network and computer systems administrators need to pay close attention to detail when configuring and troubleshooting systems to avoid errors or security breaches.

4. Time-management skills: With multiple projects and tasks at hand, employers want administrators who can manage their time efficiently to meet deadlines.

5. Flexibility: The IT field is constantly evolving, so employers look for administrators who are open to learning new technologies and adapting to changes.

6. Analytical thinking: Administrators must have strong critical-thinking skills to analyze complex data, troubleshoot, and develop solutions.

7. Teamwork/collaboration: Network and computer systems administrators often work with a team of IT professionals on projects, so it’s essential to be able to collaborate effectively with others.

8. Customer service orientation: In some organizations, network and computer systems administrators may also provide customer support; therefore, having a customer service mindset is beneficial in this role.

9. Adaptability: As technology advances rapidly, an ability to learn new skills quickly is vital for staying current in the IT field.

10. Leadership potential: Employers may value leadership qualities in network and computer systems administrators who may eventually take on managerial roles within the IT department.

11. Business acumen: Having a good understanding of business operations and how technology supports them is beneficial for network and computer systems administrators in aligning IT strategies with overall business goals.

12. How competitive is the job market for this profession, considering both entry-level and experienced positions?

It varies depending on the specific industry and location, but in general, the job market for this profession can be quite competitive. With a growing number of people pursuing degrees in marketing and related fields, there is a larger pool of applicants for entry-level positions. Additionally, experienced marketers often have numerous transferrable skills that can make them desirable candidates for a range of industries, increasing competition further.

However, with the constantly evolving landscape of digital marketing and the need for companies to stay ahead of trends and reach new audiences, there is also high demand for skilled and experienced marketers. It’s important to stay up-to-date with industry trends and continually develop your skills to stand out in a competitive job market. Networking and building a strong personal brand can also help increase your chances of landing a coveted position in this field.

13. What kind of salary range can someone expect with these certifications and experience in the field?

The salary range for someone with these certifications and experience in the field can vary based on factors such as location, company size, and job role. On average, individuals with these credentials can expect a starting salary of $70,000 to $80,000 per year. With 1-4 years of experience, the salary range could increase to $80,000 to $100,000 per year. With 5 or more years of experience, salaries can range from $100,00 to $150,000+. This is just a general estimate and can vary greatly depending on individual qualifications and job opportunities.

14. Does having a degree in computer science or related field make a difference in the hiring process for this role?

Having a degree in computer science or a related field may make a difference in the hiring process for this role, as it demonstrates a strong foundation and knowledge of essential skills and concepts. However, it is not the only factor that employers consider when evaluating candidates. Other factors such as relevant experience, skills, and qualifications may also play a significant role in the hiring decision. Ultimately, it depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the employer and the individual’s overall qualifications and potential for success in the role.

15. Are there any common mistakes or misconceptions people should avoid when pursuing these certifications or applying for jobs as a Network and Computer Systems Administrator?

1. Underestimating the time and effort required: Obtaining these certifications and/or finding a job as a network and computer systems administrator requires dedication, study, and hard work. Many people make the mistake of thinking it will be an easy process or that they can achieve it quickly.

2. Neglecting ongoing education and skill-building: Technology is constantly evolving, so it’s important for network and computer systems administrators to continuously learn and update their skills. Certifications require maintenance through ongoing continuing education credits or recertification exams.

3. Not researching the specific certification or job requirements: Each certification has its own set of prerequisites, and each job posting may have its own specific requirements. It’s important to carefully research these beforehand to ensure you are prepared for the application process.

4. Lack of hands-on experience: While certifications are valuable, employers often value practical experience just as highly. Make sure to gain as much hands-on experience as possible through internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer opportunities related to networking and system administration.

5. Poorly written resumes or cover letters: A resume is often your first impression with a potential employer, so it’s crucial to make sure it’s well-written and tailored specifically for the role you’re applying for.

6. Overselling yourself: Avoid exaggerating your skills or experience on your resume or during an interview. Employers often have ways of testing your skills during interviews or on-the-job training, so honesty is key.

7. Not preparing for technical interviews: Many employers will include technical questions in their interviews to assess your problem-solving abilities and technical knowledge. Make sure to brush up on commonly used tools, protocols, and concepts before your interview.


16. Is it necessary to have hands-on experience in addition to theoretical knowledge to pass these certification exams effectively?

Yes, hands-on experience is necessary in addition to theoretical knowledge to pass these certification exams effectively. This is because these exams often require practical application of the concepts and skills learned in theoretical courses. Hands-on experience allows you to further understand the material, build problem-solving skills, and apply critical thinking in real-world scenarios. Without hands-on experience, you may struggle to answer questions or complete tasks on the exam accurately and efficiently.

17. What kind of networking skills should one possess, other than technical knowledge, while searching for employment opportunities as an administrator?

Some important networking skills that an administrator should possess include:
1. Communication skills: The ability to effectively communicate with people in person, over the phone or through writing is essential for building strong professional relationships.

2. Active listening: Being a good listener is crucial in networking as it allows you to understand others’ needs and interests better.

3. Relationship-building: Building genuine and meaningful connections with others can help in creating a strong network that can lead to job opportunities.

4. Interpersonal skills: Having strong interpersonal skills, such as being empathetic, respectful, and cooperative, can help in establishing trust and rapport with new contacts.

5. Time management: Being able to manage your time effectively while networking can help you make the most out of every interaction and build a wide network in a timely manner.

6. Social media proficiency: In today’s digital era, having knowledge of social media platforms and how to use them for professional networking can be an added advantage.

7. Flexibility and adaptability: Networking events can take various forms, so having the ability to adapt to different situations and environments is important for successful networking.

8. Confidence: Having confidence in yourself is key to making a good first impression while networking.

9. Proactive attitude: Actively seeking out opportunities to network and keeping yourself updated on industry events and conferences shows your proactive attitude towards career development.

10. Maintaining relationships: It’s essential to maintain relationships by following up with contacts regularly, showing interest in their work, and offering support whenever possible.

18. Do employers prefer candidates with industry-specific knowledge or those who have broad knowledge across different platforms and systems?

It depends on the specific job and industry. Some employers may prefer candidates with deep knowledge and experience within a certain industry, while others may value a broad range of skills and a willingness to adapt to new technologies and systems. It is important for candidates to research the specific requirements and preferences of the company they are applying to in order to position themselves as the most qualified candidate.

19.What kind of software applications or operating systems are most frequently tested during certification exams?

Commonly tested software applications and operating systems in certification exams may vary depending on the specific industry or field. However, some examples of commonly tested applications or operating systems include Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Adobe Photoshop, Linux, Windows OS, Cisco networking software, Salesforce CRM, and various programming languages like Java or Python. It ultimately depends on the specific skills and knowledge that are required for the specific certification being pursued.

20. How can someone stand out in a competitive job market and increase their chances of getting hired as a Network and Computer Systems Administrator?

1. Gain Relevant Education and Certifications: Employers often look for candidates with a degree in computer science, information technology or a related field. Additionally, pursuing relevant certifications such as the CompTIA Network+ or the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) can help demonstrate expertise in networking and increase employability.

2. Develop Technical Skills: As a Network and Computer Systems Administrator, it is essential to have technical skills such as knowledge of network infrastructure, operating systems, hardware and software troubleshooting, and security protocols. Candidates should continue to acquire and develop these skills to stay competitive in the job market.

3. Showcase Hands-on Experience: Employers value hands-on experience when hiring for this role. Candidates can stand out by highlighting any internships, part-time jobs or volunteer work they have done in the field of network and computer systems administration.

4. Build a Strong Professional Network: Building relationships with professionals in the industry can provide valuable insights into job opportunities and increase visibility among potential employers. Attending networking events and connecting with professionals on online platforms like LinkedIn can be beneficial.

5. Tailor Resume and Cover Letter: It is crucial to customize your resume and cover letter to match the specific job requirements of each position you apply for. Highlight relevant skills, experiences and achievements that align with the job description.

6. Highlight Soft Skills: In addition to technical skills, employers also value soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork and time management. Be sure to emphasize these qualities in your resume and during interviews.

7.Use Social Media Effectively: Utilizing social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter can help showcase your expertise by sharing articles or joining discussions related to network and computer systems administration.

8.Be Proactive: Don’t wait for job postings; reach out to companies directly even if they are not currently hiring. This shows initiative and may lead to future opportunities.

9.Be Up-to-date with Industry Trends: The field of network and computer systems administration is constantly evolving. Stay updated with the latest industry trends, technologies, and developments to remain competitive in the job market.

10.Prepare for Interviews: Research the company beforehand and practice answering common interview questions related to network and computer systems administration. Showing familiarity and enthusiasm for the company and position can set you apart from other candidates.


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