Learn Server Administration

a Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning Server Administration

Server administration manages information on a company’s servers, updates hardware and software, and protects against cyberattacks. Server administration is crucial in maintaining and securing a company’s digital services and information. In this overview, you’ll learn more about server administration, what it can do, who uses it, and how to learn it to determine how to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

Learn about the fulfilling career of server administration, which combines aspects of computer science, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and more. Discover how to get started in server administration, the types of careers that it's commonly used in, and the average salary of a Server Administrator.

Key Takeaways:

  • Server administration involves managing computer servers, including tasks such as upgrading software and hardware, data organization, and cybersecurity.
  • Server Administrators work with end-users to troubleshoot technical problems and play a crucial role in managing and securing company data.
  • Individuals interested in becoming Server Administrators need to know programming languages such as Java, C++, and Python and how to set up and create custom databases.
  • The average salary for Server Administrators in the US is $70,000 per year, with job growth expected to increase by 4% from 2019 to 2029.
  • Various sectors heavily rely on server administration, including telecommunications, banking, retail (especially ecommerce), and healthcare services.
  • Noble Desktop offers courses in several areas necessary for server administration, including cloud computing with AWS and Python for network security.

Server administration is a career that utilizes several concepts of computer science, including hardware and software, cybersecurity, cloud computing, coding, network management, and database management. It can be a fulfilling career for problem solvers, those who like to serve customers, and individuals interested in working with the latest technologies. If you’ve always wanted to learn server administration but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn server administration, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use server administration.

What is Server Administration?

Server administration involves the management of computer servers. It includes several tasks, such as upgrading software and hardware, storing and organizing data, and developing processes and protocols. Server Administrators work with end-users to access information, recover lost passwords, and troubleshoot technical problems with both hardware and software. Server Administrators also play an important role in cybersecurity. They are responsible for updating database security, including setting up antivirus and firewall programs. They work closely with the IT team to update protocols and processes and educate end-users on security best practices. 

Server Administrators play a crucial role in managing and securing company data and information. Individuals interested in a career as a Server Administrator require coding knowledge in programming languages such as Java, C++, and Python. They also need to know how to set up and create custom databases. Server Administrators make an average salary in the US of $70,000 a year, though this may swing heavily in either direction depending on your area. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth for server administrators is expected to grow by 4% from 2019 to 2029. 

Read more about what server administration is and why you should learn it. 

What Can You Do with Server Administration?

Server administration can be an exciting and fulfilling career. Server Administrators play a vital role in maintaining company information and troubleshooting end-user issues. In this way, Server Administrators know their services are always needed to help the company and its employees flourish. Serving in an essential role can lead to a sense of fulfillment with seeing that one’s job duties have a daily impact. Every company needs ways to manage its data and keep information secure in today's digital world. Thus, Server Administrators can impact virtually any industry of their choosing.

Server administration is an excellent role for individuals who enjoy problem-solving. Whether troubleshooting hardware, identifying needed systems patches or analyzing system logs, Server Administrators face daily challenges and get to flex their intellectual muscles. Server Administrators also experience the thrill of working with new technologies. Over the past few decades, Server Administrators have moved from physical servers to cloud servers. Cybersecurity threats also continue to grow and involve. For individuals who like learning new things, Server administration possesses opportunities for gaining new skills and talents. 

Server Administrators learn various cybersecurity and database management skills and programming languages. Professionals who learn server administration skills can pursue other careers by further focusing on cybersecurity, database management, or computer science skills. Server Administrators can pursue positions in IT, Cybersecurity, or Web Development, to name a few.

Careers that Use Server Administration

Server Administrators are needed across every industry to protect digital information in today's heavily digital world. However, a few sectors may rely on server administration more heavily than others. Telecommunications relies on the web to deliver services. Banking and other financial services are increasingly moving online and to mobile applications. The same applies to retail (especially ecommerce) and healthcare services. Servers are required to host all of these services, and Server Administrators are needed to keep hardware and software up to date and information secure. Similarly, it’s useful for Web Developers to have server administration skills to host their websites and keep them up to date independently. 

Server administration plays a significant role in information technology and cybersecurity. Server Administrators and IT teams work closely together to develop policies, assist end-users, and protect digital systems against attacks. While IT professionals manage information within a company, Server Administrators focus on a company’s servers. IT professionals and Server Administrators play integral roles within a company’s overall cybersecurity.

Why Learn Server Administration?

Anyone wishing to work in cybersecurity or web development should know server administration. The skill is essential for entrepreneurs and small businesses to manage their servers, protect against cyberattacks, and deploy stable web applications. 

Even if you don’t pursue server administration as a career, learning server administration can give you various skills that will improve your resume or assist with a future career in computer science, IT, or web development. Such skills include coding languages, database administration, and cybersecurity. Server Administrators also gain soft skills in organization, problem-solving, attention to detail, and customer service. 

Server Administrators play a vital role in maintaining and securing company data and personal employee information. They also assist in troubleshooting and keeping hardware and software up to date. Without Server Administrators, a company puts its data and digital security at risk. Professionals pursuing server administration can be assured of job security and take pride in their essential role within a company. 

Read more about why you should learn server administration

How to Learn Server Administration

Cybersecurity is an essential aspect of server administration. There are a few options for learning this vital skill. The most popular learning option includes live classes, which can be taken in-person or live online. Live classes offer engagement with an instructor that will answer a student’s questions in real-time. However, in-person class options are dependent on where a student is located. Live online courses can be taken from anywhere with an internet connection and do their best to replicate the feel of in-person classrooms. They also don’t feature a commute, which can be time-consuming and costly.

A second option includes on-demand, asynchronous, or self-paced learning. This type of learning is best for students who have experience setting their own learning pace or have work or family obligations that interfere with regularly scheduled classes. This option allows students more freedom but lacks an instructor or guidance. Self-motivation is required to progress through the material. 

Finally, students can select from various free options such as seminars, online tutorials, guides, blog posts, or videos. These options are great for individuals wanting to learn the basics of Adobe Creative Suite. However, like other learning options, they don’t feature a live instructor and may fall short for students pursuing more complex topics to advance their careers. Free tutorials can also be outdated. 

Free Introductory Server Administration Course Online 

Not ready to dive into a complete course on server administration? You can start learning server administration for free online. Free online courses teach necessary server administration skills, such as Linux for server management and security, SQL for server management, Windows server administration, database administration, IT support, and cybersecurity fundamentals. You can find these courses through skill-sharing websites such as Youtube, Coursera, or Udemy. 

Free online courses are ideal for beginner learners as they embark on their journey. Free courses can be helpful since they often feature overviews of a skill or program. While these classes can be valuable and cost-effective for beginners, most provide only basics. Free courses also often feature outdated programs or industry standards. Individuals looking to learn server administration to jumpstart a new career likely need to attend professionally-led classes. 

Read about more free server administration videos and online tutorials.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

Server administration on its own is relatively easy to learn. However, it requires computer science basics, such as hardware and software management, network management, cybersecurity, database management, and programming languages. Individuals who are more creatively inclined or aren’t interested in computer science will struggle more to learn server administration.

There are no knowledge prerequisites to beginning your learning journey in server administration or attending professional classes other than basic computer comprehension skills. Individuals who know a little about computer science fundamentals will feel more comfortable with server administration concepts. Server administration also involves a healthy amount of troubleshooting and end-user assistance. Problem solvers and individuals who enjoy helping others would be best suited to the profession.

There are no upfront costs to begin learning server administration since free resources and seminars are available online and through skill-sharing websites. However, those who wish to master server administration concepts to start a new career must attend professional classes. Comprehensive courses that teach server administration cost from $8,000-$14,000. Outside of class, coding languages the Server Administrators use, such as Python and SQL, are open source, have robust communities, and can be learned for free. Tools that Server Administrators may use, depending on their specialization or company, such as Amazon Web Services or Windows Admin Center, are also available for free and offer free training resources. 

Read about how difficult it is to learn server administration.

How Does Learning Server Administration Compare to Other Fields?

Server administration involves skills and job roles similar to other careers, such as systems administration, web development, and cybersecurity. Systems administration is a term you may commonly come across when searching server administration. The two roles perform similar job duties, including troubleshooting, updating systems, and securing information. The main difference is that while a Systems Administrator works with networks within a company, a Server Administrator primarily focuses on servers. The two roles may overlap, but server administrator is considered a level above systems administration.

Server administration and web development are different fields that share some overlap. Web Developers create and update websites while Server Administrators maintain the servers those websites run on. Web Developers primarily work on the front end of web development, while Server Administrators work on the back end. Thus, while Server Administrators don’t need to have web development skills, it’s a good idea for independent Web Developers to have skills in server administration to keep their websites secure and up to date.

Server administration plays a vital role in information technology (IT) and cybersecurity, though both are different fields. IT professionals manage information within a company and work to keep it secure, while cybersecurity professionals focus solely on security and preventing cyberattacks. Server Administrators work closely with IT in developing policies and protecting against attacks, though a Server Administrator’s primary focus is on company servers. IT professionals and Server Administrators play an essential role in a company’s overall cybersecurity. Server Administrators can advance their skills and careers by pursuing roles in IT or cybersecurity.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn Server Administration

The best way to learn server administration will vary greatly on your individual training needs and why you wish to learn it. Do you consider yourself a beginner learner? Do you want not to spend money on your training? Are you looking for a simple overview of server administration? If you answered yes to these questions, free introductory courses would be best for you. However, these courses are often outdated and don't include the depth and complexity necessary to advance a career. They also lack an instructor, so students must troubleshoot solo and possess self-motivation to progress.

If you want to learn server administration to advance your career, a professional server administration bootcamp contains a well-rounded curriculum. These courses feature experienced instructors and cover important server administration aspects and tools. Professional instructors guide the class through a logical scope and sequence: from beginner to mastery skills and pepper in expert-level techniques and tips. Some courses may offer job search assistance, one-on-one career mentorship, or portfolio workshops. Professional training courses and bootcamps are available online and in-person and vary in cost depending on the provider and curriculum.

If you're looking to enter a new career or industry, you’re likely looking to demonstrate mastery of server administration to a potential employer. Certificate programs are likely the best choice for this goal. Gaining certification in server administration shows employers your dedication to training and mastering concepts. These programs are just like regular professional training courses and bootcamps but also include exam preparation for gaining certification. Certification exams have a separate cost from training courses. 

Learn Cybersecurity & Tech Skills with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Server Administrators require cloud computing, cybersecurity, and database administration skills. Individuals can learn all of these skills through Noble Desktop. Their small class sizes feature industry-expert instructors with free retake options. Courses can be taken in-person in NYC or online from anywhere.

Cloud Computing with AWS focuses on Amazon Web Services (AWS), one of the most popular cloud computing platforms. Students learn how to build and secure enterprise-level cloud environments with AWS. 

Python is a coding language commonly used by Server Administrators. Noble Desktop offers Python for Network Security, where students learn how to use Python for network monitoring and security. Students must be comfortable coding with Python or have attended Noble Desktop’s Python Programming Bootcamp. 

The previously mentioned courses are available through Noble Desktop’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp. In this extensive course, students learn cybersecurity threats and prevention practices and how to use Python for cybersecurity, Linux for cybersecurity, digital forensics, and cloud computing. Individuals can also view all of Noble Desktop’s cybersecurity courses should they wish to take them individually. 


An additional course not included in the Cybersecurity Bootcamp that Server Administrators may be interested in is the SQL Server Bootcamp. Students learn the coding language SQL for managing databases, querying information, and extracting insights.

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