To Be a SysAdmin: Is It a Gift or a Curse?
Being a SysAdmin means you are in charge of the IT operations in your company. As the title suggests, you will be in charge which means other employees will look to you for direction and guidance in keeping the company systems together and in the measures they should take in case something goes wrong. This job keeps you on your toes most of the time so you need to be someone who thinks on your feet. There are so many security threats that the company may face due to notorious cyber attacks and you need to ensure that the company’s system’s are rock solid and that even if an attack occurs, you are able to guide your team to respond quickly.
Any job is easy at best and challenging at worst. It is up to you as an employee to find the balance and figure out how to survive and still get the job satisfaction you need. As I said, this is a challenging job, but not every aspect of it is problematic since it also has a good side.
The Worst and Best Points about Being a SysAdmin
SysAdmins in the IT industry view their jobs and roles differently and in terms of the difficulties that arise from the job, opinions differ but there are some aspects that stand out across the board. Here are the worst things about being a SysAdmin:
Companies have huge expectations from SysAdmins as they rely on them to ensure everything is running smoothly but they rarely offer them any training. With the IT industry, professionals need to be certified which does not stop there but includes recertification which means training does not stop when they are hired. Technology that is powerful today easily becomes obsolete in a few years and SysAdmins being in charge of the technology that holds the company together, they need to be constantly trained in order for them to deliver on the company’s needs and expectations. The employees in the IT department also need to be trained in order for the SysAdmin to have an easy time working with them but companies often overlook this important aspect. Managers of various companies claim that they do not train their IT staff in order to avoid making them appealing to other IT companies. This is a huge misconception that has infected the IT industry since great skills help the entire company and not otherwise.
No tolerance for failure
Your boss is only as good as the work you do. The phrase human being makes mistakes does not apply to a SysAdmin. When systems are running smoothly without a glitch, your work life is so peaceful and interesting while on the other hand, if anything goes wrong and any sensitive business files become compromised or are threatened by a cyberattack, you will experience your worst nightmare. System failure means the company has to deal with lost revenue and angry clients and all that frustration will be transferred to you. It does not matter how long you have been successfully managing the systems, one wrong throws that out of the window. For a SysAdmin, this means that you do not have the luxury of taking time off at any moment, every chance you get, you need to be working on back up security measures so that you do not have to deal with the consequences of a breach.
Lack of appreciation does not necessarily happen to SysAdmins only but they also experience it on a significant level. The work they do for the company is so critical that it is a wonder that they receive little to no gratitude from the management. Being the glue that holds a company together, you would think that the management would want to keep them motivated and appreciated at all times but this is not always the case. The moment everything in the company is running on task and there are no security breaches, it is easy for your superiors to turn a blind eye to the exceptional work you are doing and all your hard work goes unnoticed. This easily lowers a SysAdmin’s motivation level and could lead to unforeseen consequences. So many other employees in the IT industry go through this.
Poor technical decisions made by non-technical staff
The position of an IT manager has no occupant in some companies hence there is no bridge between IT staff and the management of the company. This leads to a gap in the chain command. Anyone who speaks for the IT department of a company should possess technical skills; otherwise, they will not fully represent the department. Company’s use executive decisions to apply to the IT department which cause implementation problems because the company executives lack a technical background. SysAdmins are left to implement poor decisions which completely make their jobs difficult and lead to failure in the long run.
If you are a SysAdmin who works in a department that is so comfortable with the technology they work with, your job will be easier since you will only need to ensure that the company systems are working properly and update and reboot the systems whenever necessary. However, if you work for a company that is hungry for new technology, you will undertake a new project every other day. This means that the management would want to try out new technology in the market for the company business and you will need to ensure that the technology works for the company. This can really be overwhelming for a SysAdmin.
Now that the gloom is out of the way, there are great things that come from being a SysAdmin. The IT industry is an interesting career field to work for since there is room for you to create just about anything and many opportunities for you to advance your career. Here are the best things about being a SysAdmin:
Diversity in the industry
The IT industry has managed to gain roots in almost every type of business from retail, sports to manufacturing. There is a need for an IT professional almost everywhere because of the age of digitalization. This leaves a SysAdmin with endless employment opportunities which means he or she can choose where to work. Because IT professionals have become a necessity for any business, it has created diversity which is a positive attribute. Job opportunities are not just local but international and you can work anywhere.
Opportunity for job growth
With the advent of technology, many job positions that were initially offered by companies have become redundant and obsolete. This means that computers are able to do the work that human beings were assigned to do in the past. Being a SysAdmin is so rewarding because there is n increase in SysAdmin jobs in the job market and these jobs are in high demand by companies. This means that you are a hot commodity and any company would bring you on board. This is not a common occurrence in other career fields as college graduates find it hard to get jobs in their chosen fields. For a SysAdmin, you have a clear career path and an opportunity to grow due to the many certifications in the IT industry.
Opportunity for personal growth
We talked about poor training of IT staff by companies but this should not hold you back. You need to take matters into your own hands if you wish to advance your career. The certifications in the IT industry can be achieved through self-study and practice. There are many study guides, videos, eBooks, and tutorials from trusted sources on the Internet that will help you study for the certification exams. The best thing about these certificates is that they keep on advancing and with time and experience you get the hands-on approach you need to advance your career. This is a great opportunity for personal growth.
Great salary potential
A SysAdmin has a great earning potential compared to other IT professionals. Working in the IT industry has great benefits when it comes to earning a decent salary and living a decent life. With exceptional skills, you may be able to live a life that other people only dream of. You have the power to negotiate for a salary that you want as long as you deliver the services that your company requires. This salary has the potential of increasing as you increase your certifications and further your career. Unlike other career fields, the IT industry enjoys huge salary payments for its IT professionals. The pressure of being a SysAdmin is definitely made worth it through your earning and that is the best part of the job.
If you wish to follow this career path, you definitely have an idea of what you will be dealing with. No job, easy or difficult lacks challenges and you should keep in mind that the positive attributes outweigh the negative aspects of the job which is worth your every effort. Being a SysAdmin is a great job opportunity in the IT industry.