Job Title: Network Administrator
Age: Late 20s
Works for: Self-employed contractor
"I use a variety of skills and they're not all technical. By working for myself, I get to experiment and meet a lot of people. And I have the flexibility to change things if I want."
Tell us what you do, Jason.
I am a consultant, contracting my services out to companies. I work in Network Infrastructure - that would be the best term for it. I install and help maintain an organisation's network environment. I get to work with heaps of different technologies - things like frame relay, infrared, microwave, DSL technology and all the computer network hardware whether it be Cisco, Nortel and so on. That's on the WAN/LAN infrastructure side. Then there’s the server software such as Windows NT and that sort of thing. I’m also involved in designing and supporting server systems and software, system back-ups as well as planning and implementing software and hardware.
ICT. Where did it all begin for you?
When I was a teenager I spent a lot of time on my computer playing games. That's probably when my interests first were kindled.
Later, I decided to try ICT at Box Hill TAFE. While finishing off my last subject, I applied for a position as a Computer Technician, installing software, repairing PCs and so on. Next I looked into Web Design, developing Intranets and learning about networks. With the skills I developed I was able to move to another job, heading a company’s ICT division and building their network.
During this time I'd been studying through the Cisco Networking Academy. I decided to move into a small company specialising in using technology to assist businesses in meeting their goals. Over time my Cisco skills developed even more and I finally felt ready to go out on my own as a contractor.
What do you like about your job?
The variety. By working for myself, I get to experiment and meet a lot of people. And I have the flexibility to change things if I want.
What skills do you need for your job?
I use a variety of skills and they're not all technical. I need personal and communication skills and the ability to problem solve. I think it's also important to have a solid foundation of general ICT knowledge. Basically, I need to know the theory behind what I do.
What's an average day all about?
It all depends on where I'm working. A client will come to me with a business problem and I’ll help solve it by drawing up specifications, selecting the right hardware and software and organising technicians to install the company’s requirements. Essentially it is a design and project management role combined with the technical aspect of setting up infrastructure and troubleshooting.
Where will your career go next?
At the moment I’m studying, to ensure my skills are up to date with market demands.
What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in ICT?
To get somewhere in ICT you have to keep at it. If you do, the rewards will eventually come. And they'll be worth waiting for.
Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).