Senior Network Systems Administrator - Systems Integrator

"I maintain, support, troubleshoot and optimize computer networks (LANs, WANs and Intranets). I keep corporate servers and storage functional. I sustain communication within companies and I know my way around hardware, software and network connections. Without me, the organizations I work with would be inefficient and uncoordinated, and could be susceptible to a cyber-attack. I manage network and computer systems administration."

Salary Range:

$65,000 - $80,000

The Tip

Build your work experience and pick external certifications that align to your mission, then make a plan to get these one by one. This planning not only signals expertise, it signals intentionality and focus.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Technical Knowledge & Skills
  • Data & information management

  • Enterprise systems & architecture

  • IT infrastructure design & management

  • Systems fundamentals & computer architecture

  • Networking & communications

  • Web administration

  • Information technology security configuration & management

Languages & Certifications
  • Cisco Networking

  • CompTIA A+ Certification

  • CompTIA Network+ Certification

  • CompTIA Security+ Certification

  • Cisco CCNA Certification

  • Cisco CCNP Certification

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Science (computer science)

  • Completed networking certifications

 

"I’ve been a techie since I was a kid. I knew what I wanted to study; that part was easy. The best part of computing is it’s always changing; the most challenging part is it’s always changing. You need to be on top of certifications and be looking forward not backward."

 

Employment Experiences:
  • Worked in Apple Store part time as a client services technician

  • Did an internship at a local technology start-up as a network technician assistant. This company offered me a position upon graduation.

  • First position was as a network technician assistant

  • Promoted to network technician and was mentored by senior network administrator, who gave me additional network administration responsibilities

  • Recruited by large systems integrator as senior network administrator (moved to Toronto). Currently have a team of six reporting to me.

 

"I tell people: to succeed you need to be hungry and humble. You need to start by doing anything and everything. Just say “yes.” Every day is a learning curve; the more you’re prepared to put in, the more you will get out. The best decision I made was to be intentional about being client-facing. To be a network administrator, you need to possess a good level of technical competence, coupled with some element of client management skills. Developing client management skills is difficult, but you then have a sweet mix of technical and people skills. This mix was what the head hunter was looking for when they recruited me to my current role."

Community Experiences:
  • Served as president of my computing student society during university

  • I am an alumni mentor at my university

  • Very active in the local gaming community through the Game Developers Association

 

"Engaging in your professional community is win-win. It feels awesome to give back, but it also connects you with other inspiring people and builds your professional network."

Contextual Experiences:
  • To progress in this career, I chose to move. This wasn’t essential, but in a larger city, I found there were far more opportunities.

 

"My contextual experiences in different types of organizations were critical. I worked as network technician for a start-up and now I’m a senior network administrator for a global systems integrator. These related experiences allowed me early to realize what I really liked to do and where I wanted to do it."

Relationships:
  • I met the founder of a start-up at an alumni event in my first year of university. This led to my internship and the founder is still a valued friend to this day.

 

"When you are in school, one of the most valuable assets is the thousands of alumni who have been in your shoes before. Use your professors or tools like LinkedIn to reach out for a coffee. It may take time, but I’ve never had an alumnus decline to meet me (and as an alumni mentor today, I NEVER say no)."