Some businesses require that an administrator get a master's degree, while others are willing to accept an associate degree or professional certification along with related work experience. Completing certification programs and otherwise keeping up with new technologies is also important.

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"It's imperative to stay current with technology trends and changes by reading blogs, technology magazines and attending conferences," says Simran Sandhu, senior manager of network engineering services at Splunk, a software company based in San Francisco. "It's also important to study and learn the basics of network technology and acquire an acute understanding of how information flows. Be able to identify key services such as DNS, DHCP and firewalls, and define the roles they play in a network infrastructure." The system administrator's role can be seen as the 'puzzle solver' of the company and this can be highly stressful, especially if you work in an industry such as finance which is very dependent on its IT operations.

They require excellent problem solving and multitasking skills, should be a constant learner and able to remain calm when dealing with a crisis.System administrators also need to be aware that they may come across confidential information from time to time when monitoring network traffic, which needs to be kept private to maintain their professionalism.


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