Career Development

What Does an Information Systems Administrator Do?

Find out what an information systems administrator does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an information systems administrator.

Information systems (IS) administrators are responsible for maintaining the computer networks and software applications that keep organizations running smoothly. They commonly work with a team of other IT professionals to ensure that all company data is secure, accessible, and up-to-date at all times.

The role of an IS administrator can vary greatly depending on the organization they work for. Some may be tasked with managing large-scale projects or initiatives, while others may focus more on day-to-day maintenance tasks. Regardless of their specific duties, these individuals must have strong technical knowledge in order to effectively perform their job.

Information Systems Administrator Job Duties

Information systems administrators have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Managing an organization’s computer network, including installing new software or hardware, fixing bugs, and assisting users with technical problems
  • Maintaining an organization’s computer network by performing tasks such as monitoring network performance, troubleshooting problems, and updating software
  • Maintaining an organization’s computer hardware by installing new hardware, upgrading existing hardware, and troubleshooting hardware problems
  • Designing and implementing new computer systems or designing improvements to existing systems
  • Designing, developing, testing, and implementing new information technology (IT) systems or processes for businesses or other organizations
  • Managing an organization’s computer systems, including installing new software or hardware, fixing bugs, and assisting users with technical problems
  • Planning and implementing security measures to protect computer networks from disruption or damage by hackers or other threats
  • Providing technical support, such as troubleshooting computer problems, answering questions about computer use, or teaching computer skills to employees
  • Monitoring network performance, troubleshooting problems, and updating software to improve performance

Information Systems Administrator Salary & Outlook

Information systems administrators’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $70,500 ($33.89/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $125,000 ($60.1/hour)

The employment of information systems administrators is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the need to update and maintain existing information technology (IT) systems. As IT systems age, they become more expensive to maintain. In addition, new technologies are being developed that will require updates to existing systems.

Information Systems Administrator Job Requirements

There are a number of requirements for obtaining a position as an information systems administrator, which may include:

Education: Information systems administrators are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in information systems, computer science, computer engineering or a related field. Some employers may hire candidates who have a two-year associate’s degree with a concentration in information systems.

Training & Experience: Much of the training for this role happens on the job or through formal education. Some employers may require new hires to complete a training program to learn the company’s specific systems and procedures. This training program may last for a few weeks to a few months.

Some information systems administrators pursue formal education through a bachelor’s or master’s program. These programs can help students learn the technical skills and industry knowledge they need to excel in this role.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not a requirement to become an information systems administrator, but they can help you stand out when applying to jobs.

Information Systems Administrator Skills

Information systems administrators need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Technical skills are the abilities to use software, tools and applications to complete tasks. These skills are essential for information systems administrators as they are responsible for maintaining and repairing computer systems and software. Examples of technical skills include troubleshooting, debugging and repairing software, installing and configuring software and hardware and using software to create and edit documents.

Communication skills: As an information systems administrator, you may be required to communicate with clients, other IT staff and management. Effective communication skills can help you convey information clearly and answer questions. You may also need to communicate technical information to clients and employees who aren’t familiar with IT terminology.

Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills are essential for information systems administrators, as they are often tasked with identifying and resolving technical issues. These professionals may use their problem-solving skills to identify the source of a technical issue, develop a solution and implement the solution to fix the issue.

Organizational skills: As an information systems administrator, you may be required to keep track of multiple projects at once. Having strong organizational skills can help you manage your time and responsibilities more efficiently. It can also help you keep track of important files and documents.

Leadership skills: As an information systems administrator, you may be required to supervise other IT staff, such as computer programmers or computer engineers. Leadership skills can help you to manage and motivate your team to complete projects on time and to the highest quality standards.

Information Systems Administrator Work Environment

Information systems administrators work in a variety of settings, including small businesses, large corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions. They typically work in well-lit, comfortable offices and spend much of their time in front of computer monitors. They may work alone or as part of a team, and they may have to work evenings or weekends to solve system problems or to install new systems. Although most information systems administrators work regular hours, some may be on call 24 hours a day in case of system emergencies.

Information Systems Administrator Trends

Here are three trends influencing how information systems administrators work. Information systems administrators will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for Better Cybersecurity

As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for better cybersecurity becomes increasingly important. This is because hackers are becoming more sophisticated and are able to find new ways to exploit weaknesses in systems.

Information systems administrators can help to protect their company by implementing strong cybersecurity measures and by educating employees about how to stay safe online. They can also work with other departments to develop a plan for responding to cyberattacks.

The Growth of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is growing rapidly as businesses realize the benefits of using services that are hosted online. This trend is having a major impact on the information systems administrator profession, as cloud computing requires professionals who are familiar with managing and maintaining cloud-based systems.

As cloud computing continues to grow, information systems administrators will need to learn how to manage and maintain these systems in order to keep up with the latest trends. They will also need to be familiar with the various cloud-based services that are available and which ones are best suited for different types of businesses.

Cybersecurity Will Become More Important

As cybersecurity becomes more important, Information Systems Administrators (ISAs) will need to become experts in this area.

ISAs will need to be able to identify potential vulnerabilities in their company’s systems and make sure that they are patched quickly. They will also need to be able to detect and stop attacks from hackers before they cause any damage. In addition, ISAs will need to be able to create and implement security policies that will help to protect their company from future attacks.

How to Become an Information Systems Administrator

There are many different paths you can take when planning your career as an information systems administrator. You could specialize in a particular area, such as networking or security; work for a specific industry, such as healthcare or education; or focus on a certain type of technology, such as cloud computing or mobile apps.

No matter which path you choose, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends. Read industry publications and attend conferences and workshops to learn about new developments and best practices. Also make sure to keep your skills sharp by taking online courses or participating in training programs offered by your employer.

Related: How to Write an Information Systems Administrator Resume

Advancement Prospects

The most common way to advance as an information systems administrator is to move into a management position. In larger organizations, there may be several tiers of management, starting with team leaders and moving up to directors and chief information officers. As an administrator moves up the management ladder, they will be responsible for more people and more resources. They will also have more influence over decision-making and strategy. Another way to advance as an administrator is to move into a specialized area, such as security or network administration.

Information Systems Administrator Job Description Example

The Information Systems Administrator will be responsible for the maintenance, configuration, and reliable operation of computer systems, servers, and storage systems.

The Information Systems Administrator will install, maintain, and upgrade systems and software, troubleshoot issues, and perform regular maintenance tasks. He or she will also be responsible for monitoring system performance, ensuring security, and managing user accounts.

The ideal candidate will have experience with a variety of operating systems and server hardware, as well as networking, virtualization, and storage systems. He or she will be able to work independently and be able to troubleshoot complex problems.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Manage and monitor all installed systems and infrastructure
  • Install, configure, test and maintain operating systems, application software and system management tools
  • Proactively ensure the highest levels of systems and infrastructure availability
  • Monitor and test system performance for capacity planning
  • Liaise with vendors and other IT personnel for problem resolution
  • Provide Tier III/other support per request from various teams
  • Respond to inquiries from staff, administrators, service providers, site personnel and outside vendors to provide technical assistance and information
  • Perform daily backup operations, ensuring all required file systems and system data are successfully backed up to the appropriate media, recovery tapes or disks are created, and media is recycled and sent off site as necessary
  • Perform regular security monitoring to identify any possible intrusions
  • Repair and recover from hardware or software failures
  • Coordinate and communicate with impacted departments or business units
  • Develop and maintain installation and configuration procedures

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or related field
  • 5+ years experience in systems administration or a similar role
  • Solid understanding of networking concepts and experience with network configuration
  • Experience with Linux/Unix operating systems and Windows Server
  • Proficient in at least one scripting language, such as Perl, Python, Ruby, or PowerShell
  • Experience with virtualization technologies, such as VMware, Xen, or Hyper-V

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Certification in MCSE, CCNA, RHCE, or similar
  • Experience with cloud computing platforms, such as AWS or Azure
  • Experience with database administration, including MySQL, Oracle, or SQL Server
  • Strong project management skills

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