In order to ensure proper upkeep and operation of computer systems in an office network, look for a system administrator with decent skills in the field. A system administrator or a system center configuration manager should be able to handle all types of situations and maintain a fully functional computer network at all times. The average salary for a system administrator is nearly $64,000 per year in the United States, and a proficient system administrator is worth every penny.

The best system administrators are characterized by a few must-have skills. Reference those skills below, to identify everything your company should look for when filling open system administrator roles.

5 crucial skills for a system administrator

Throughout the screening process for your system administrator position, the following skills should be given high priority:  

1. Capability to work under pressure and mitigate challenges

A system administrator's role comes with many responsibilities. When a system goes down, system administrators spring into action, restoring their single or multi-user computer environment as quickly and safely as possible. He or she not only works to fix the system; they will also need to answer company questions and improve security defenses to prevent a repeat cyberattack. In order to prevent the company from lost time, revenue and network integrity, a system administrator should be proactive in mitigating technical challenges before they occur.

2. Writing and communication skills

A system administrator should be open to learning new skills, particularly since computer programs and technical best practices regularly evolve. The best systems administrators understand the value in ongoing training, not only in technical strategies but also in effective written and verbal communication. After all, many systems administrators will spend time not only fortifying an organization's technology, but also in helping employees practice safe network and cyber habits. This means that your next systems administrator should be able to write and communicate well, helping non-technical employees understand more complicated concepts.

3. Interaction skills

A system administrator often interacts with a wide range of individuals — customers, internal employees, executives and stakeholders. This makes conversational skills for a system administrator extremely important. Without sound interaction skills, your systems administrator won't be able to efficiently complete tasks that include one or more other team members. Interacting with other individuals, and understanding both internal and external priorities, is important for a systems administrator employed by almost any organization.

4. Networking skills

Networking skills are an important part of the skills repertoire for any system administrator. Systems admins need the ability to create and maintain a network of contacts, even while comfortably employed. From an internal perspective, systems administrators must be in touch with every single stakeholder in an IT infrastructure. Whenever there is an outage, network interruption or other system issue, your systems administrator needs to reach out proactively to any affected individuals, and provide a timeline for a resolution.

5. Technical skills

Technical skills are often the differentiating factor between satisfactory systems administrators, and the best administrators available today. The right systems administrator for your organization should prioritize ongoing education, to help your organization implement best practices as they develop. An administrator who keeps upgrading his or her skillset with time becomes an even greater asset to your employer. People who have earned certifications, like those in system center configuration management, are worthy candidates for the profile of system administrator.

If you're ready to begin your career as a system administrator, start your 7-day free trial with QuickStart and quickly earn hands-on experience in training courses and the right certifications.

Benefits of a systems center configuration manager

System center configuration managers offer valuable network insights, and fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Monitor system health
  • Deploy new software and updating current technologies
  • Protect user information
  • Enforce compliance across all devices in an organization

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, a common tool used by organizational systems administrators, can improve your entire organization's flexibility:

  • Prepare a management infrastructure
  • Integrate mobile-device management with Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Configure distribution and management content used for deployments
  • Configure/monitor hardware and software inventory that utilize asset intelligence and software metering
  • Maintain CPU software updates managed by configuration managers
  • Implement Endpoint Protection
  • Sustain a Configuration Manager site

Systems administrators should understand how to leverage Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and other programs, to improve operations while keeping all technology secure.

Best training for system administrators

If you're looking to hire system administrators with a thorough understanding of Systems Center Configuration Manager, you'll want to start with candidates who have completed certifications from reputable institutions. As a pioneer in advanced IT certifications, we understand a thing or two about systems administration credibility. We offer the best configuration manager training, particularly helpful if you're looking to train your IT team to handle new system administration responsibilities.

Not sure where to start in learning systems administration, or in deploying systems administration for your current IT workforce. Our experts can help you decide. Connect with them today to get started.