Launch Your Network Administration Career with Online Courses

Network administration is a crucial IT role focused on managing, configuring and supporting computer networks. As businesses become more dependent on complex internal networks and cloud-based solutions, there is high demand for skilled network administrators. If you enjoy solving technical problems, learning cutting edge technologies and want a future-proof career, network administration offers immense opportunities.

Luckily, with online courses you can gain the exact skills employers want – all from the comfort of your home! In this guide, I‘ll provide everything you need to start your journey to become a network administrator.

What Does a Network Administrator Do?

Network administrators are responsible for an organization‘s computer network and infrastructure. Typical duties include:

  • Installing, configuring and supporting network hardware/software
  • Troubleshooting connectivity or performance issues
  • Ensuring network security through access controls, backups, firewall policies etc.
  • Adding/removing user access and permissions
  • Monitoring network usage and infrastructure capacity planning
  • Maintaining network documentation and procedures

It‘s complex and challenging work with new issues arising every day, but very rewarding helping users stay securely connected and productive.

Why Become a Network Administrator?

Here are the top reasons to start your network administration career:

  • High pay – average salaries above $80,000 in the US, with senior admins earning $130,000+
  • Great job prospects – networks are mission critical with demand growing much faster than average
  • Varied and engaging work – no two days are the same with new tech and constantly evolving challenges
  • Flexible role – every company needs networks so you can work across different industries

It‘s extremely valuable experience leading to senior IT or cybersecurity roles.

Essential Online Courses

Here are the best online courses to start learning network administration:

1. Cisco CCNA – #1 Networking Certification

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification validates essential knowledge and skills needed for entry-level network admin roles. CCNA certified professionals can install, configure and operate LAN/WAN networks and troubleshoot connectivity issues across devices like routers and switches.

Udemy has outstanding CCNA prep courses like The Complete Networking Fundamentals Course with over 50 hours of content specifically aligned to Cisco‘s CCNA 200-301 exam objectives.

Key topics include:

  • Network fundamentals – OSI model, IP addressing, subnetting etc.
  • Establishing basic network connectivity
  • Concepts of routing and switching
  • Introduction to automation and programmability
  • Securing and monitoring networks
  • Troubleshooting connectivity issues

The instructors break down even advanced topics using demonstrations, whiteboard teaching and real-world examples to cement your understanding. Sign up and pass your CCNA!

2. Network Administration Basics

For foundational network administration concepts, enroll in edX‘s free course – Network and Security Foundations.

Over 8 weeks you will gain well-rounded knowledge covering:

  • Network hardware, protocols, topologies and standards
  • Basic security threats and mitigation policies
  • Common network vulnerabilities
  • Data and physical media protection

It‘s the perfect introductory course with estimated effort of just 9-10 hours weekly. Sign up and start learning network admin basics today.

3. System Administration

To manage infrastructure you‘ll need Linux and system admin skills beyond networking alone.

The Linux Foundation offers the renowned Linux System Administration Essentials course taught by top professionals.

Learn to deploy Linux servers and core services like DNS, databases, web servers, config management and automation. Master skills like:

  • Bash scripting
  • Linux filesystems and package management
  • User administration
  • Network configuration
  • Cloud deployments
  • Security best practices

Pass the end of course exam to showcase your sysadmin skills.

4. Cloud & Virtualization

Modern network admins need cloud and virtualization skills to manage hybrid infrastructure.

Udemy has the perfect course – AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate.

Learn how to architect infrastructure solutions on Amazon Web Services:

  • Design secure, high-performance, resilient applications
  • Select appropriate AWS services like EC2, VPC, S3
  • Best practices for compute, network, storage, databases
  • Hybrid infrastructure and connectivity
  • HA and scaling architecture
  • Migration planning for ROI optimization

The course is constantly updated and provides everything you need to pass the industry-recognized AWS Solutions Architect Associate certification.

Get Certified & Advance Your Career

Complement online courses by getting certified in the most in-demand network, cloud and security technologies.

Valuable certifications to aim for:

  • Cisco CCNA
  • CompTIA Network+
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate
  • ISC2 Certified Cloud Security Professional

These credentials validate technical skills and allow you to command higher salaries.

You can prepare for certification exams through online courses and practice tests from reputed platforms like Udemy, Coursera and edX.

Start Applying for Jobs

Once you have fundamental networking knowledge and a certification or two, start applying for entry-level roles like network operations technician or help desk support engineer.

Many network admin job postings list CCNA certification as mandatory or preferred. Highlight your cloud/security knowledge given increasing convergence with networking teams.

Ensure your LinkedIn profile and resume clearly showcase your certifications, online course accomplishments and any small hobby or freelance projects.

Also try getting hands-on experience through internships. Highlight troubleshooting skills, customer service orientation and ability to communicate technical concepts clearly.

Within a few years you can progress to advanced network engineering and architecture roles.

Future-Proof Your Career

Business IT networks are undergoing rapid transformation with virtualization, mobility and cloud adoption. As networks evolve, there is significant disruption and new opportunities.

To stay relevant, network administrators need to continuously learn new technologies like SD-WAN, SASE, 5G infrastructure and zero trust security.

Consider specializing as a network security engineer, cloud infrastructure architect or site reliability engineer for maximum career upside.

Get Started Now!

The demand for advanced networking skills will only accelerate as companies pursue digital transformation. This guide covered the key responsibilities, earning potential plus top online courses and certifications to launch your network administration career.

With thousands of well paid roles needing to be filled, there is massive opportunity regardless of your background. Start learning today to take advantage!