System engineer vs. network administrator

Our Cisco certifications expert, David Minutella, answers what the responsibilities of a system engineer and network administrator are and what makes the two jobs different.

What are the exact responsibilities of a system engineer and network administrator? Are they any different?

The responsibilities of a system engineer and network administrator are not as clear cut as they were as little as five years ago. Today, most IT systems thrive on...  ...convergence of technologies. VoIP is a very popular example of how two distinct technologies (voice and data) are no longer divergent. Similarly, systems rely heavily on networking, and networking is useless without systems so, in essence, the two are so interdependent that the job responsibilities for system and network administrators greatly overlap. The only major difference is that system administrators specialize more in the nature of operating systems, applications, and the computers that run the OS. Network admins specialize more in routers and switches and understanding how traffic flows through an internetwork.


This was first published in November 2006

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