Becoming a Systems Administrator - A Realistic Look of What it Takes to Get There and Succeed!
Who are Systems Administrators?
Given that you are a High School Senior or an unemployed person and considering this
career path. This is a Primer about the career choice of becoming a Systems Administrator.
This is an exciting career choice and offers wonderfully beneficial rewards both financially
and professionally that you can attain in this field.
Also, there is a something to consider. If you are a bit of a "Brain" and enjoy number
crunching and complex equations and formulas, there is a massive amount of notoriety (or fame)
that you can garner for yourself, Bill Gates on the Operating Systems and Software side of the
house, Michael Dell and Steve Jobs on the Hardware side of the house.
The term Systems Administrator has grown to encompass many types of Computer Systems
Administrators (Sys Admin, Systems Admin, Systems Administrators, SA and CSA) these differing
titles include many non-Systems Admin's. Such as many types of Public Key Administrators,
these Admins are actually Encryption Key Administrators who deal more with Operating Systems
and Network Operating Systems (OS and NOS.) on the level of the Authentication of Identities
within a Network.
There are three widely excepted ways to become a Systems Administrator:
1. On the job training.
2. Trade Schools and Accelerated Learning Centers.
3. Formal education.
On the job Training
This option for some students could be a viable option. But I advise against it. If in
the beginning you choose this option, in the long run it is a "Dead End." A veritable Black Hole
for your career to get off to a very poor start. As your humble advisor I suggest that you
use the other two options and here is why.
After leaving the Army in 1993 I started at Morgan State University at the Administrative
Computing Center. I excelled at the IT side of the job. I was told when Windows NT 3.51 (NT)
Advanced Server first came out. Here is your Server and your Operating Systems, you have one
week to learn it or you're fired! Oh, this is not meant as a joke it was real.
So within a week I had the NT Server up and running, much to the chagrin of my boss. Who
then tasked me with the Northern LAN at the University and I just kept confounding my boss.
So I left and went to T Rowe Price in Baltimore Maryland. Again my skills eclipsed many that I
worked with and this was without Certification. In the long run my career was hampered by the
lack of Certification and not possessing the needed Academic Credentials.
Even after achieving the MCSE 4, there was still a missing piece to the puzzle. The Degree of
any sort in Information Systems or Computer Sciences, so my career was stunted, there have
been times that I made $12,000 per week as a Consultant. Those times have been few and far
between. So trust what I say when I tell you, to choose either of the following choices not this one!
Trade Schools and Accelerated Learning Centers
In surveys conducted by Network World in 2008, they showed that many IT CIO (Along with
surveys conducted in CIO Magazine in 2008) was mostly happy with the up and coming Systems
Administrators and Network Engineers. This was stated to let you the reader know that nearly
all of these Systems Administrators and Network Engineers were Certified and many of the also
had at least an A.A. Degree within the Computer Sciences realm.