Is becoming a server administrator right for me?

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What do server administrators do?
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How to become a Server Administrator

Becoming a server administrator involves a combination of education, experience, and technical skills. Here are the general steps you can take to pursue a career as a server administrator:

  • Education: Obtain a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as computer science, information technology, or computer engineering. While a degree is not always required, it can provide a strong foundation in networking, operating systems, and server administration principles.
  • Gain Technical Skills: Develop proficiency in server operating systems such as Windows Server, Linux, or Unix. Familiarize yourself with server hardware, network protocols, virtualization technologies, and server management tools. Hands-on experience with server administration tasks, such as installing, configuring, and troubleshooting servers, is essential.
  • Obtain Certifications: Consider obtaining industry-recognized certifications to validate your skills and expertise in server administration (see below).
  • Gain Experience: Start your career in entry-level IT positions, such as help desk support, IT technician, or junior system administrator. As you gain experience, take on roles with increasing responsibility and focus on server administration tasks. Seek opportunities to work with servers in different environments, such as small businesses, large enterprises, or cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Continuing Education and Training: Stay updated on emerging technologies and best practices in server administration through continuing education, online courses, workshops, and conferences. This helps you remain competitive in the field and expand your skillset to meet evolving industry demands.
  • Build a Professional Network: Join professional organizations, attend networking events, and connect with other IT professionals in the field. Networking can help you stay informed about job opportunities, industry trends, and professional development opportunities.
  • Apply for Jobs: Search for server administrator positions on job boards, company websites, and through professional networking channels. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your relevant skills, experience, and certifications. Prepare for interviews by practicing common technical and behavioral interview questions.

Server administrators can benefit from obtaining industry-recognized certifications to validate their skills and expertise. Here are some common certifications for server administrators:

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate: This certification validates skills in implementing, managing, and monitoring an organization's Azure infrastructure, including virtual machines, storage, and networking services.
  • CompTIA Server+: This vendor-neutral certification covers server hardware, software, storage, security, and troubleshooting. It validates skills in server installation, configuration, maintenance, and troubleshooting.
  • Linux Professional Institute Certification (LPIC): LPIC certifications validate skills in Linux server administration, including installation, configuration, maintenance, and security. There are three levels of LPIC certification: LPIC-1, LPIC-2, and LPIC-3, each with increasing levels of complexity and expertise.
  • VMware Certified Professional (VCP): Offered by VMware, this certification validates skills in virtualization technologies, including VMware vSphere, ESXi, and vCenter Server. It demonstrates expertise in deploying, managing, and troubleshooting VMware environments.
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA): While not specifically for server administration, CCNA certification validates networking skills that are essential for server administrators. It covers networking fundamentals, routing and switching, security, and wireless technologies.
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate: This certification validates skills in managing and operating systems on the AWS platform, including provisioning, monitoring, and troubleshooting AWS resources.
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): While not specific to server administration, CISSP certification is valuable for server administrators who are responsible for security management. It covers various domains of information security, including access control, cryptography, and security architecture.