System, Database, or Network Administration
One popular career path in computer science is planning and managing the information technology infrastructure of organizations and other enterprises.
Systems administrators ensure proper working and integration of all computer, network, and software, and maintain system efficiency. They also troubleshoot problems and monitor automated systems. A related area of specialization is web administration, where the system administrator performs the same set of duties for a website.
Database administrators focus on the data storage and handling facilities, determining the best ways to store, retrieve and use data.
Network architects, network engineers or network administrators design and set up computer networks including LAN, WAN, intranets, and other data communications systems.
All these three job profiles remain closely interrelated and very often overlap. These jobs also mandate creating and/or modifying general or specialized applications, interfaces, and utility programs to suit organizational needs and optimizing operational efficiency.
The total number of jobs available for system, database, and networking administrators in 2008 stood at 961,200, with the opportunities expected to grow by 23 percent on average through 2018. Networking engineers have especially bright prospects, with an anticipated growth rate of 53 percent through 2018, making it one of the fastest growing professions.
Entry-level qualifications for these jobs include a bachelor’s degree in computer related subjects and/or certificate courses. Success depends on having a high level of problem solving, analytical, and communication skills.
Database administrators earn $35.71 an hour or $74,290 a year on average. Computer systems administrators earn $34.10 an hour or $70,930 a year on average. Network and data communication administrators earn $36.81 an hour or $76,560 a year on average, with the top ten percentile earning $55.83 an hour or $116,120 a year.