Systems coordinators, often known as information systems coordinators or network and computer systems administrators, ensure that computer networks function properly. Most work for private businesses or government-funded institutions, such as public schools, but some are self-employed and do contract work. Systems coordinators install, organize, connect and troubleshoot local area networks and wide area networks so businesses can rely on electronic communications internally within the company and around the world. A hiring manager might ask questions about a job applicant's technical skills and ability to oversee computer systems and telecommunications within an organization.
Planning and Organization Strategies
Hiring managers often ask interview questions about an applicant's ability to plan and organize computer systems to meet organizational demands. Systems coordinators must strategically map out the best way to set up personal desktop computers, cable Internet, Wi-Fi and interconnected information systems. An interviewer might ask, "What experience do you have organizing and managing multiple complex information systems?" "What steps do you take to ensure information systems meet individual employee demands and the company's overall computer needs?" or "How do you determine what information systems a company needs before you begin installation?"
Information systems coordinators must have strong technical skills so they can effectively install and connect LANs and WANs. The coordinator installs information services equipment, connects systems with the appropriate cords and cables, ensures computer systems have a strong and reliable Internet connection, enables interconnectivity among computers at the same location, maintains an inventory log of all required equipment and makes hardware and software updates and improvements as necessary. A hiring manager might ask, "What academic achievements or technical training courses have you taken that equip you to perform this job?" "What technical experience do you have installing complex computer networks?" "What skills do you have that enable you to make information system changes, hardware and software updates and security improvements?" or "Do you have the knowledge and experience to effectively train personnel on how to use computers and complex information systems?"
Evaluation and Troubleshooting Abilities
Installation is only part of system coordinators' jobs. They also evaluate the efficiency of information systems, test computer networks and troubleshoot problem areas. A job applicant can expect a hiring manager to ask questions such as "How do you collect data to test and evaluate a computer network's or an information system's performance?" "What experience do you have repairing and troubleshooting connectivity issues, security concerns and slow performance issues?" "What steps do you take to ensure information systems are operating at peak performance and are running as fast as possible?" or "Have you ever had technical difficulties you were unable to resolve?"
Most of the job requires hands-on technical skills, but strong communication skills and effective interpersonal skills are a huge plus. Information system coordinators must be able to discuss computer system needs, concerns, shortcomings and problems with co-workers and employees who might not fully understand how information systems work. Patience, kindness and friendly communication are keys to successful office relationships. An interviewer might ask questions such as, "What steps do you take to address an individual's frustration, disappointment or unhappiness with a computer's networking capabilities?" "How do you use your communication skills to train or educate workers on the functions of an information or computer networking system?" or "What interpersonal skills do you have that are well suited to problem solving and assisting employees with their information systems needs?"
2016 Salary Information for Network and Computer Systems Administrators
Network and computer systems administrators earned a median annual salary of $79,700 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, network and computer systems administrators earned a 25th percentile salary of $61,870, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $102,400, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 391,300 people were employed in the U.S. as network and computer systems administrators.