Network Administrator

See also Computer Section.  Modern society is becoming increasingly dependent on computers. This ensures a great demand for skilled manpower in the computer field. Network administrators connect different devices together to form fast and efficient networks. They are responsible for maintaining the links and solving any problems that may occur with computer networks.

Network administrators are responsible for the design, implementation and maintenance of equipment used to link computer networks through the telephone system and other communication systems. They may be involved in designing such networks. Important tasks are consulting with clients to specify system requirements and design solutions, budgeting for equipment and assembly costs, assembling new systems, maintaining existing software and hardware and upgrading any that have become obsolete, working in tandem with IT support personnel and providing network administration and support.  They install computer equipment and maintain the system. When necessary, they detect and correct faults in network systems.

The traditional services offered by the Internet are well known to most, but the explosive growth of its use has sparked further demand for access to new and enhanced services provided by an Information Superhighway (of which the Internet is only a part).

These would include services in the following areas:

  • Business: telecommuting and electronic commerce
  • Consumer: interactive television, video telephones, video-on-demand, information on demand and other on-line services such as electronic home shopping
  • Academic / Scientific: telemedicine, telerobotics and distance learning.

Key skills for network administrators are patience, technical skills, IT skills, interpersonal skills, enthusiasm, team-working skills, initiative, commitment to quality and attention to detail.

Personal Requirements

  • good communication skills
  • able to think clearly and logically
  • good intellectual abilities
  • creative and have initiative
  • well-disciplined and work accurately
  • aptitude for mathematics
  • good judgement and decision-making abilities
  • patience and perseverance

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics (if you intend studying IT degree at university)
Recommended subjects: Information Technology.

  • If you intend studying a degree or a diploma in IT at university then you need a matric with a Bachelor's pass or a Diploma pass.
  • Meet the admission requirements (APS) set by the university.
  • There are alternative routes into IT which do not require a Bachelor’s or a Diploma pass and which do not require Mathematics.

What to Study

Degree: Computer Science - RU, UCT, UKZN, UFH, UZ, UWC, NMMU, US, UFS, Wits, UP, UL, Information Technology / Science / Studies - Monash, UJ, NMMU, UNISA, UFH, NWU, UKZN.

Diploma: Computer Engineering, Networks etc. - TUT, VUT, CUT.
Information Technology - various TVET colleges, e.g. Tshwane S, Umgungundlovu, Elangeni, Northlink, False Bay, SW Gauteng, KZN Coastal, North and South Cape.

Some network controllers receive in-service training after they have obtained an electrical or communications engineering qualification.


  • internet industry
  • fundamental networking
  • installation
  • web development
  • software maintenance
  • self-employment, with own business and/or consultant

Further Information

Computer Society of SA 
ICT House
546 16th Road
Constantia Park [Unit No.3]
Tel: (011) 315-1319

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work with a computer company
  • arrange to speak to a network administrator about this type of career

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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