Network, system, and database administrators help people and businesses share and store information through computer networks and systems. This is one of the most critical tasks in IT, and as such, this work will be in increasing demand over the next several years.
So roll up your sleeves and get ready to travel from LANs to WANs, over the Internet, through intranets and on the web of your favorite data communications systems.
These administrators all have the same end-goals -- to efficiently share and store information over computer networks and systems, but each role has a different part to play in this effort.
Network architects (or network engineers) design the computer networks we use every day. They set up, test, and evaluate such things as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), the Internet, intranets, e-mail and a host of other data communications systems. There are many ways these systems can be configured, and it is the network architects who make these decisions. Their plans for networks may involve hardware and software, and they are also key in modeling, analyzing, and planning.
Network and systems administrators install and support the computer systems (LAN, WAN, Internet, intranets), designed by the network architects. They monitor the networks to ensure everything is working properly, and to maintain system efficiency. They are also often responsible for network security.
Database administrators are responsible for database management. They must often integrate old data into new systems, and also identify user needs and set up new databases accordingly. Their work includes testing modifications or changes to a database system, and troubleshooting problems as they arise. Because many databases are connected to the Internet, database administrators also must plan and coordinate security measures with network administrators.
The work of database administrators is increasingly critical to a company's online presence as many companies use content management systems, e-commerce functions, and other website tools that rely on databases.
Computer security specialists are the guardians of the networks - -they plan, coordinate, and maintain an organization’s information security. This invovles educating employees about computer security, installing security software, monitoring networks for security breaches, responding to cyber attacks, and, in some cases, gathering data and evidence to be used in prosecuting cyber crime.
Web developers handle the technical aspects of a Web site creation, including functionality, software tools, and database integration.
Webmasters maintain a Web site, ensuring consistent speed and access for the site users. They may also analyze traffic patterns, web activity, and other analytics, and interact with users to answer site questions.