How to Become a Network Administrator without a degree(Skills needed)

How to Become a Network Administrator without a degree

How to Become a Network Administrator without a degree: In today’s world, information technology, especially the role of a network administrator, is crucial for any company or organization. It’s like the heart of every life and every home. What’s interesting is that networking, which involves connecting and sharing information between devices, is changing fast. This is because of cool things like artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, the Internet of Things, machine learning, and fancy analytics.

Surprisingly, networking is a bit like a hidden hero in the tech world. It often doesn’t get as much attention as other big technologies, but it’s super important. Many of the technologies we know and love depend on networking and communication in some way. Just look at cool stuff like edge computing, mesh networks, 5G and ultra-fast internet solutions, network function virtualization, and software-defined networking. These are all ways that networking has adapted and grown with the latest technologies.

These days, companies need network administrators, and it’s one of the top ten most wanted tech jobs. Network administrators play a crucial role in organizations by setting up, managing, enforcing, and fixing all the stuff related to network hardware and software.

If you’re thinking of stepping into the world of network administration, we’ve got all the info you need. We’ve gathered everything to help you understand this important IT job better and plan your career path. (And if you’re super sure about becoming a network administrator, reach out to CIBR Warriors!) [How to Become a Network Administrator without a degree]

Also read: Can you become a Prompt Engineer without a degree?

What is a Network Administrator?

How to Become a Network Administrator without a degree

These days, IT specialists are super important for taking care of computers, data, and communication networks to make sure they run smoothly for all kinds of companies. And that’s where network administrators come in. But what does a network administrator actually do, and what do they need for the job? Let’s find out.

Network administrators are like the superheroes of technology networks. They design, manage, and take care of these networks. They work for all sorts of businesses, groups, and even government bodies. Their job is to keep an eye on different parts of the network, like local and wide area networks, and any other systems needed for data communication.

Duties of Network Administration

A network administrator’s typical duties, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, include:

  • Figuring out what computer systems a company needs and setting up the hardware and software for networks.
  •  Doing necessary maintenance and fixing any issues to make sure everything runs smoothly.
  •  Keeping computer systems and networks secure.
  •  Checking and improving how well the system or network works.
  •  Giving and changing permissions for users to access the network and helping them with any tech stuff.
  •  Teaching users how to use software and hardware correctly.
  •  Solving problems that come up, whether it’s from a user or a monitoring system letting them know. [How to Become a Network Administrator without a degree]

Skills for Network Administrator

When it comes to network administrator skills, they can be divided into two types: hard skills and soft skills.

Here are the hard skills usually needed for network administrator roles:

  • Two or more years of experience dealing with technical issues in networks.
  •  Knowing how to handle complex networks.
  •  Being good at managing, controlling, and keeping an eye on server infrastructures.
  •  Understanding virtual private networks (VPNs), wide area networks (WANs), and local area networks (LANs).

Network administrators can show their technical expertise and experience through hard skills. On the other hand, soft skills help them demonstrate their ability to work well with others and build positive relationships within a company or organization.

  • Cooperating with others and being a good team player.
  •  Being adaptable and flexible.
  •  Having effective communication skills.
  •  Being able to work alone.
  •  Being ready to adjust to changes.

Network administrators deal with hardware, software, and LAN/WAN protocol, so they need to be available in case of emergencies or malfunctions. They also spend a lot of time fixing issues, which means they should be prepared to be “on call.

How to Become a Network Administrator Without a Degree

When it comes to qualifications and training for working as a network administrator, the good news is that you don’t need to spend four years in school. People with any level of education can apply for this IT job.

While employers often prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science, or related business management subjects, you can still get a job with just an associate’s degree or a certificate, especially if you have relevant work experience. So, you have options, and you don’t necessarily need a four-year degree to enter this field. [How to Become a Network Administrator without a degree]

Also read: How to Become a Data Engineer without a Degree (6 skills needed)

Network administrators need to do more than just configure complex networks; they should also be able to monitor, operate, and administer server infrastructures. These IT specialists should know about the three basic types of wireless networks: WAN, LAN, and VPN.

If you want to specialize in a specific area of technology, you can also think about pursuing additional degrees in information systems and technology. For example, if you aim for a career in system security or data analysis, you can choose majors that focus on those fields.

  • Network administration;
  •  Computer science;
  •  Network management;
  •  Software engineering; and
  •  Information technology.

Getting certified can boost a network administrator’s career prospects. Certifications like CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, Professional Routing & Switching (CCNP R&S), Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), and Cisco’s Certified Network Associate (CNNA) can help secure higher-paying positions. Opting for vendor-specific certifications might be beneficial, depending on the products and platforms an employer uses.

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While an advanced degree is not typically required for a network administrator role, having one can make a candidate stand out, and in some cases, employers may prefer or require it. It’s an additional qualification that can enhance your credibility in the field. [How to Become a Network Administrator without a degree]

Salary and Employment Prospects for Entry-Level Network Administrator Roles

If you’re seriously considering a career in network administration, you’re probably curious about the potential earnings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network administrators earned an average annual salary of$90,520 per year in 2022, which is notably higher than the national average for all occupations. It’s worth noting that specific industries may offer considerably higher salaries than others.

Here are the top five U.S. states where network administrators earn the highest salaries:

  1. California
  2.  New Jersey
  3.  New York
  4.  District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.)
  5.  Maryland

Looking ahead, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 4% increase in employment opportunities for network administrators by the year 2029.

For individuals working in IT, starting as a network administrator opens the door to various career paths. Advancements to roles such as senior system administrators, data center managers, information system managers, IT directors, and other positions are achievable for network administrators.

Moreover, the skills acquired in network administration can be beneficial in various IT roles. For example, many network administrators transition into roles such as lead technicians, software engineers, web developers, system analysts, IT consultants, and more.

Popular Certifications for Network Administrators.

While hands-on experience is valuable, many employers typically look for a network administration certificate or a degree in an information technology-related field when considering candidates. [How to Become a Network Administrator without a degree]

Here are some of the most popular qualifications that network administrators often hold:

  • CompTIA A+
  •  CompTIA Network +
  •  CompTIA Security +
  •  CompTIA Project +
  •  LPI Linux Essentials
  •  Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
  •  Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
  •  Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  •  Cisco Certified Network Professional Routing & Switching (CCNP R&S)
  •  Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud Practitioner

If you’re serious about a career in network administration, it’s a good idea to consider getting a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or Network Engineering. Some individuals might also think about earning a degree in business administration to enhance their skill sets.

Also read: How to Become a Blockchain Developer Without a Degree(7 Steps)

How much time does it take to become a network administrator?

The time it takes to become a network administrator can differ, but typically, you’ll need at least two years for an associate’s degree or certification for an entry-level job. If you pursue a bachelor’s degree or more, it will take at least four years and additional time for internships to gain extra experience.

How Can You Search for a Job in Network Administration?

Internships provide a fantastic chance to gain experience and connect with potential employers. Additionally, exploring job boards on the internet and industry-specific websites is a great way to discover job opportunities.

When it comes to searching for a job, you should:

Tailor your resume to each job application. Create different versions of your resume that align with the job description, highlighting relevant experience and skills.

Research the company before applying for a job. Understanding the company culture, benefits, salary range, work environment, and more can better inform your application.

Arrange informational interviews with professionals in the organization or industry you’re interested in to gain valuable insights. [How long does it take to become a network administrator]


If you dream of working as a network administrator and don’t have a degree. Many companies rely heavily on this crucial role in information technology. The way devices and information connect and share, known as networking, is evolving fast due to cool technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, the Internet of Things, machine learning, and analytics.

In summary, to kickstart a successful journey as a network administrator, focus on building the necessary skills, consider relevant degrees and certifications, and explore opportunities through internships and job boards.

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