Successful career strategies for IT administrators

Last updated:December 2013

Editor's note

The exact details of an IT administrator's job description can change, but the one aspect of the job that stays the same is continually taking steps to ensure the IT department is a successful and integral part of the organization. There are three areas IT admins should focus on to reach this goal: career development, certifications and CIO strategy.

The career development process is important for IT administrators because learning about the options they have to improve their individual skills is a vital contribution for success in the IT department.

Certifications are also vital because specific knowledge about the systems in an organization is an essential job function. But the best thing to know is that certifications are most effective when they're combined with real-world experience.

Finally, paying attention to the strategies that chief information officers have used in their organizations can prepare IT administrators for an eventual move to a CIO position. If a CIO job isn't on the radar, knowing about these strategies can still help admins learn different strategies to apply in their current positions.

We compiled the best content from our Win IT and CIO sites to offer a thorough look at different strategies and actions IT administrators can use to take their jobs to the next level. By using our experts' suggestions, IT admins can use their skills and knowledge to create a successful IT department and a successful career.

1Certifications and strategies to get ahead

Certifications are an important part of IT administrators' careers because specific knowledge about an organization's systems is a hugely important aspect of the IT admin job description. Keeping up with the latest in certifications is also important. For example, it's good to know that certifications for the cloud are gaining in popularity because of the growing skills gap for IT pros who have cloud training versus those who don't. Even so, being certified in something won't automatically make you an expert. That expertise comes from building on your certification knowledge with real-world job experience. These tips cover how IT pros can get the most out of their certifications.

2IT and business management for the CIO

An important part of IT administrators' jobs is following their company's overall vision as well as the goals their CIOs have established. If IT admins work hard enough, they may even be in the CIO position one day. They can prepare for that eventual role -- or use strategies in their IT admin position that successful CIOs use -- by learning about the current topics and strategies getting attention in the CIO realm. Recognizing that key ideas can come from anywhere and anyone in a company may hold a piece of essential knowledge are important, as is understanding the ways in which CIOs can continue to stay relevant in their organizations. These tips take a look at successful strategies CIOs have used in their organizations and the innovative ways in which they've improved their job roles.