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ICT Network Professionals

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to November 2019: 5,001 to 10,000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: $1301 to $1700 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
Brief In most reasonably sized organisations, people's personal computers are connected to a central server. It's the job of the network administrator to maintain that server.

There are approximately 2,100 network administrators in South Australia. Employment is mostly full-time with the majority working in the Property and Business Services industry. Most persons in this occupation are males. The median age for those employed in this occupation is 36 years.

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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: ICT Network Professionals

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Introduction

A network administrator has the challenging task of ensuring that the equipment and programs which are used to connect computers to a server, are running efficiently. Due to their technical expertise, these administrators may also be known as network technicians. The connections may be between a few personal computers in the same room, or a huge communications network that spans the globe. The job of establishing connectivity is enormous, because the software and hardware communicate on many different levels.

A university network administrator, says the need for network administrators evolved as personal computers became the norm in organisations. 'When people began to connect PCs together so they could share information, they found it was easier to have one central server which was connected to all the PCs. The development of network software meant that access, file space and a range of other things could be controlled at a single point, rather than on each machine.'

A network administrator is the person in charge of maintaining the central server and its functions. To do this they must plan and install the hardware and software that comprises the network and maintain the printers connected to the network. This could include LAN, WAN, Internet or Intranet systems. They may also assess future IT requirements for the organisation.

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Education Requirements

Of those currently employed 41% have Bachelor Degrees; 20% have Advanced Diplomas or Diplomas; 16% have Certificate III or Certificate IV; and 17% have no post-school qualifications. In order for you to have the best possible chance of finding employment it is recommended that you gain the available qualifications.

TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Advanced Diploma of Network Security. Pathways include the Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology, Certificate III Program in Information, Digital Media and Technology (Network Administration), Certificate IV in Computer Systems Technology, Certificate IV and Diploma in Information Technology Networking.

Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest and most successful pathways towards a University Degree. Dual offer courses are available to TAFE SA and Flinders University in the Diploma of Information Technology Networking/Bachelor of Information Technology, Diploma of Information Technology Networking/Bachelor of Information Technology (Network Systems), Advanced Diploma of Network Security/Bachelor of Information Technology, Advanced Diploma of Network Security/Bachelor of Information Technology (Network Systems).

SA Apprenticeships are available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship Services Website at http://www.skills.sa.gov.au/apprenticeships-traineeships or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.

Career Path

Skills shortage surveys indicate that the demand for some computing professionals is likely to remain high. Information technology recruitment specialists anticipate that there will be ongoing demand for network administrators, as networks become more sophisticated and operate for 24 hours a day. This must be balanced with the fact that there is a considerable number of people currently employed or trained in this area of IT. From the position of network administrator, you can progress to a network team leader, where you will be supervising a small team. Advancement to a management role, with less technical duties, is then possible.

Industry

Property and Business Services

Interview

To be updated.

Nature of the Job

There is a lot of hands-on keyboard work, too. Files may need to be added or deleted on the network server and file servers are regularly backed up on disc in the event of computer problems. Another important part of their job is to monitor the network and resolve any problems. Software tools are used to monitor the speed of the network and to ensure that details are recorded accurately. At all times they must ensure that the network is available to all system users in the organisation.

A network administrator is also responsible for setting up user accounts so that users can access the organisation's computing facilities. They organise security passwords and assess any breaches of company confidentiality, changing passwords and denying access if necessary. In some smaller organisations they may be required to train new staff to use the hardware and software, solving any problems staff may have encountered. In a larger organisation they work closely as part of the help desk team answering client queries.

Typical Physical Working Environment

A person suited to working as a network administrator would have an interest in computers and enjoy solving challenging problems, because network related problems can be complex. They would also need to know about networking hardware and how it is used and have an understanding of the types of cabling and wiring used. As well as this they would need to have a knowledge of the main network protocols (languages) and knowledge of at least one major network operating system package, such as Windows NT. A high level of organisation, the ability to adapt to new technology quickly, good communication skills and being a team player are also necessary to succeed in this occupation.

Typical Occupational Example

The Art Of Networking 'There can be opportunities for travel, especially if the network is spread over a wide area. Where I worked I went all over the metropolitan area, although it could have easily been to other towns,' says Ralph. Network administrators mainly work in offices in information technology companies, in educational institutions, mining companies, government departments and a range of large businesses.

For further information, contact:

Australian Computer Society (SA Branch)
Phone: (08) 8363 6660
Fax: (08) 8363 6660
Email: info@acs.org.au
Website: www.acs.org.au

Earning Potential

The starting salary is approximately $50,000 per year and for experienced administrators, this may go as high as $80,000.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online