What Is A Systems Administrator: An Easy Guide for 2021


If you work in any organization with a large IT network, you need to know what a systems administrator means. If you are new to IT, you maybe have no idea what these words mean but you are going to need to understand the responsibilities that come with it. This article will help you learn what is a systems administrator most easily and clearly. Read on to find out everything there is to know

  1. Who Is A SA?
  2. What Does A System Administrator Do?
  3. What are the skills required for a system administrator?
  4. How do I become a system administrator?
  5. Is a system administrator a good career?

1. Who is a SA? 

Let’s start with the basics, who is a SA, or what is a sysadmin? A sysadmin is a person who is responsible for the configuration, upkeep, and operation of computer systems like servers. This means that the sysadmin is responsible for providing a reliable work environment and network, especially when multi-systems are involved. This includes maintaining the network setup and all servers required by the organization such as mail servers and file servers and many more.  

Thus, the sysadmins are required to have a deep understanding of computer software, hardware and networks. They have to make sure that strong and secure computer infrastructure is built and maintained so that all digital communications can continue uninterrupted and smoothly. Sysadmins are the IT directors who ensure that all the networks and servers required and used by the organization are installed and up to date. 

2. What does a system administrator do? 

A system administrator’s roles and responsibilities include making sure that all computer systems and networks are in perfect working condition. They have to make sure all servers are installed and updated and they also have to be ready to arrange for replacements needed or resolve any issue that may come as quickly as possible to avoid major setbacks in communications. A part of the system administrator role also includes being accountable for all backup and recovery policies. 

Sysadmins are responsible for setting up all security policies for users and handling identity management. They look after the user accounts, permissions, access rights, and storage allocations of all users of their network. They need to be prepared for all troubleshoots, both software and hardware, and with all technical support whenever needed. A system administrator is answerable for complete security and uninterrupted operation of all servers and networks that are needed in their organization at all times, and to be able to fix any interruption that may come up in the least amount of time to ensure maximum efficiency and output for the organization. 

3. What are the skills required for a system administrator?

Succeeding in systems management calls for all hard IT and soft skills. vare most important to make sure all networks are organized precisely. Sysadmins are problem-solvers who think of innovative solutions in time-sensitive situations. They should have vital thinking capabilities to diagnose IT issues and find solutions to them as quickly as possible. Analytical capabilities assist systems administrators to run network assessments and become aware of inefficiencies and security vulnerabilities. 

Other system admin skills include leadership capabilities, as they are needed to communicate with other employees to discuss policies and to put in force all protocols for IT branch staff. Speaking skills are vital to be able to describe how networks work to managers without technical jargon. Systems administrators are savvy with multitasking to ensure all network components are working with no interruptions at all. Being patient, ambitious, determined, and fascinated with computers and everything related to it are the skills required for a system administrator to succeed in their jobs and also enjoy what they do.

4. How do I become a system administrator?

The basic requirement for becoming a system administrator is a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field like computer science, information technology, information systems management or another related field. There are degrees that focus on specialized courses like computer networks, system administration, hardware, or software engineering. A degree from colleges with an accreditation by the ABET- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology is valued more in the industry. Bigger organizations sometimes require a master’s degree in information systems as well as for senior-level jobs. 

Other than a college degree, you can complete certain certification courses to increase your marketability in the industry. Certifications can be done by third-party credentials to prove one’s skills. You can choose certifications based on the products your organization uses, or products that are most popular in the industry you’re aiming for. Some of the popular certifications available are from Microsoft- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), Oracle- Oracle Linux System Administrator, VMware- VMware Certified Professional 6-Data Center Virtualization, and Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE). Amazon Web Services also offers the title of Certified SysOps Administrator after clearing a test of 130 minutes. 

5. Is a system administrator a good career?

System administrators are hired and needed by any organization that has an IT infrastructure, making it an important position in an organization. Sysadmins all over the world work for all types of industries including IT, educational services, financial institutions, hospitals, government agencies, and manufacturing industries. Mostly, system administrators work for 40 to 60 hours per week, when they’re working full time, but in some cases, sysadmins are on call at all times as these companies require the network to be working with no problems 24/7. In these companies, sysadmins work in shifts and have to be available at all times in case of any interruption in the network. 

The US News & World Report ranked system administrator 63rd on the Best Job list. It is not difficult to find a job in this field, as all industries require system administrator, and the unemployment rate is only 2.3 percent. Some of the top companies which hire sysadmins are Google, IBM, AT&T, Subaru, and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of a system administrator is $87,070 and they also predict that the employment for the same will rise by 5 percent by 2028. 


We hope you now have a clear picture on who sysadmin is and what exactly they do. Understanding all the roles and skills of a system administrator will help you if you are interested in the field, or if you work in any organization with large IT infrastructures.

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