COMPUTER & NETWORK SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATION
Required Skills/Jobs & Salary Outlook

Students in the CNSA program

Program Objectives

Curriculum

Faculty

FAQ

Advising Committee

Required Skills/Jobs & Salary Outlook

Analyze, test, troubleshoot, and evaluate existing network systems, such as local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet systems or a segment of a network system. Perform network maintenance to ensure networks operate correctly with minimal interruption.


Tasks

  • Analyze network data to determine network usage, disk space availability, or server function.
  • Configure and define parameters for installation or testing of local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), hubs, routers, switches, controllers, multiplexers, or related networking equipment.
  • Configure security settings or access permissions for groups or individuals.
  • Configure wide area network (WAN) or local area network (LAN) routers or related equipment.
  • Document network support activities.
  • Evaluate local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) performance data to ensure sufficient availability or speed, to identify network problems, or for disaster recovery purposes.
  • Identify the causes of networking problems, using diagnostic testing software and equipment.
  • Install and configure wireless networking equipment.
  • Install network software, including security or firewall software.
  • Install new hardware or software systems or components, ensuring integration with existing network systems.


Tools used in this occupation

  • Circuit tester — Continuity testers; Test lights
  • Computer servers — Caching engines; Network address translation NAT appliances
  • Facsimile machines — Fax machines
  • Network analyzers — Asynchronous transfer mode ATM analyzers; Port analyzer adapters; Synchronous optical network SONET analyzers; Throughput testers
  • Photocopiers — Copy machines


Technology used in this occupation

  • Administration software — Cisco Systems CiscoWorks; ifconfig *; ipconfig *; SolarWinds software
  • Backup or archival software — EMC NetWorker; NovaStor NovaBACKUP; Roxio Retrospect; Tape backup system software
  • Network monitoring software — Dartware InterMapper; Ethereal *; WildPackets OmniPeek Network Analyzer; Wireshark *
  • Network security or virtual private network VPN management software — Intrusion prevention system IPS software; Network and system vulnerability assessment software; NIKSUN NetDetector; Sonicwall SonicOS Enhanced
  • Operating system software — Apple Macintosh OS; Microsoft Hyper-V Server; Microsoft Windows; Microsoft Windows PowerShell
  • Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.


Education

  • This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
  • Computer Science — Computer and Information Sciences, General; Computer and Information Systems Security; Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst; Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications


Work Values

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.


State and National Wages & Employment Trends

Location

Pay
Period

2011

10%

25%

Median

75%

90%

United States

Hourly

$13.93

$17.78

$22.91

$30.06

$39.03

Yearly

$29,000

$37,000

$47,700

$62,500

$81,200

Pennsylvania

Hourly

$13.76

$17.01

$21.52

$27.77

$36.00

Yearly

$28,600

$35,400

$44,800

$57,800

$74,900

 

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Computer Support Specialists

607,100

717,100

+18%

26,950

Pennsylvania

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

1Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.


Note: The data for the State Employment Trends and the National Employment Trends are not directly comparable. The projections period for state data is 2008-2018, while the projections period for national data is 2010-2020.


Information provided by CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration