IT is one of the most exciting and profitable fields to be in today. Entire industries, from healthcare to manufacturing, are undergoing a digital transformation. It’s changing the way work is getting done, how companies engage with clients, and the products and services customers are investing in. If you are at all interested in exploring a career in IT, there are many, many opportunities for you to grow your career in a big way.

One of the most interesting and engaging opportunities in tech right now is the role of system administrator. Companies are actively seeking candidates who are qualified to join the team in this capacity. Here’s what the job entails and the skills our team of recruiters at ESGI feel you will need to bring to the table to qualify for the opportunity.

Job Overview

System administrators are essential to keeping IT operations running smoothly. They are the first line of defense for companies looking to reduce downtime, improve system performance, and generally keep the company running smoothly. As is the case for many jobs in IT, system administrators need to demonstrate strong problem-solving, communication, and analytical skills. But a system admin also needs a strong technical understanding of the company’s specific hardware and software.

System admins are tasked with installing, upgrading, and monitoring software and hardware across the company. They usually maintain essentials such as operating systems, business applications, security tools, web-servers, email, and networks. The work environment is typical for the tech industry, in that most will work in an office environment. Though considering that more and more different types of businesses are realizing the need for full time, on-site system admins, the industry could easily see a growth in more non-traditional work environments, such as hospitals, factories, and energy facilities.

Required Skills and Education

System admins need to be experienced with servers, backup, recovery and installing, patching and upgrading software. They also should have a good amount of experience in troubleshooting and resolving hardware, software, and network issues. They generally need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, an associate’s degree, or a technical training certificate with equivalent experience. Certifications such as the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) or Sun Certified System Administrator (SCSA) are also likely to be helpful and will set you apart from other candidates looking to earn the title of systems administrator.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the job outlook for system administrators is strong for coming years. The average salary for this role is $79,700 per year or $38.32 per hour. With almost 400,000 U.S. system admin jobs in 2016 and a 6 percent growth rate, this might be the perfect opportunity for you to use your technology skills to help a company stay productive and make a greater impact. With the right positioning, you could be the next system admin to be that cornerstone for the movers and shakers of the energy industry.

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