The rapid adoption of the personal computer has revolutionized how people everywhere live and work. Today computers are as much a part of the typical work day as button down shirts and slacks. Computers allow workers to accomplish tasks at an astonishing rate, and they also allow a level of communication and collaboration that was unheard of thirty years ago. While the computer deserves much of this credit, the server deserves just as much. Servers are a type of computer that allow other computers to communicate with each other. Thus when you share files over a local network with other individuals in your work group, you are sharing those files via a server.
In most organizations these very important machines are maintained by a system administrator. System administrators are tasked with installing new servers, supporting existing servers and dealing with problems or power outages which result in network downtime. In addition, system administrators are expected to have a certain level of proficiency with scripting and light programming. System administrators are also expected to be well versed in several server specific operation systems, and be capable of installing and replacing computer hardware. In some cases system administrators must even build servers from scratch -- assembling all the necessary parts and installing the correct operating system. Finally, system administrators must often consult with building administrators and contractors with regards to ethernet cable placement and server farm construction.
If you would like to pursue a career in network administration, you will need to obtain an IT degree in system administration. With the rise in popularity of IT degrees, most universities and colleges now offer such degrees. Course work includes a mixture of classroom lectures and laboratory exercises. In lecture, students learn about the basics of computer science before advancing towards more specialized topics. Labs are usually attached to lectures and serve as an opportunity for students to apply their new-found knowledge on real world situations. Although college programs are the traditional manner in which IT degrees are awarded, they are by no means the only route available. Online programs can be attractive alternatives for individuals looking for more flexibility or for those who are unable to find a convenient campus in their area.