Topic Thread

Seeking Systems Administrator for Northwestern University's Master of Science in Analytics

  • 1.  Seeking Systems Administrator for Northwestern University's Master of Science in Analytics

    Posted 04-13-2019 08:01

    Systems Administrator Position at Northwestern University

    Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science is redefining engineering education and research through its pioneering "Whole-Brain Engineering" philosophy, integrating the elements of left-brain thinking - analysis, logic, synthesis, and math - with the kind of high-level right-brain thinking that fosters intuition, metaphorical thought, and creative problem solving. Augmenting the analytical core of engineering with substantial initiatives in design, entrepreneurship, leadership and personal development, and unusual collaborations that span disciplines, Northwestern Engineering students and faculty are prepared to take the world in a whole new direction.

    Northwestern Engineering comprises more than 1,800 undergraduate students, 2,000 graduate students, 190 faculty members across nine academic departments and varied programs, centers, and institutes. Northwestern Engineering staff members support innovative academic programs, an intellectual footprint that deepens the frontiers of knowledge, partnerships that catalyze education and research, and a diverse culture that embraces different viewpoints and ideas.

    Job Summary:

    Under general direction of the Director of the Master of Science in Analytics (MSiA) program, this full-time position will develop and provide support for existing and future computing environments for the master's program. A successful candidate will also be involved in managing and supporting users in the computing clusters and five staff members, maintaining/updating software needs for coursework and project work, coordinating IT based tutorials, and contributing to designing and implementing administrative safeguards for our lab environments. This role will also coordinate all data transfer needs and data destruction required for project work. This position will grow the computing infrastructure to anticipate and accommodate demand cycles each year and will provide service and support for all user requests and maintenance needs.

    Specific job goals are:

    • Maintain the computing resources of the MSiA program    
    • Offer user support in a time-sensitive academic setting    
    • Ensure security and data privacy in compliance with legal requirements and client expectations 
    • Plan and develop new computing resources as the program needs continue to grow
    • IT support for project execution
    • Cloud management for select homework assignments and projects
    • Coordinate IT specific tutorials

    All Goals and duties apply to:

    • A VMWare cluster of Windows Server and Linux virtual machines
    • A PostgreSQL database server
    • A Hadoop Cluster
    • A GPU compute cluster 

    Please note: The Systems Administrator is expected to be on-call off hours to respond to system failures or system malfunctions.

    Specific Responsibilities:

    Strategic Planning

    • Provides recommendations regarding infrastructure planning and budgeting.                                                                        


    • Maintains growth statistics, space forecasts, backup systems, and infrastructure inventories.
    • Performs data backups and recoveries.
    • Monitors and maintains continuity with system licensing and maintenance agreements.
    • Maintains production change control schedule and participates in change control. 
    • Cloud management for select homework assignments and projects
    • Software/database administration, including planning, installing, and maintaining software deployments (R, Python, Hadoop, Postgres,Tableau, Eclipse)                                                                                                                                                                                          


    • Performs infrastructure upgrades including planning and scheduling, testing, and coordination.
    • Performs infrastructure administration setup.
    • Coordinates infrastructure planning and management.
    • Coordinates infrastructure planning and management.
    • Operating system configuration and maintenance, including user management, security policies, and system setup


    • Responds to requests, alerts, and questions from students and faculty in a prompt and courteous fashion. May include weekend remote availability.
    • Other duties as assigned.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in a major such as computer science, information technology, or related; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
    • Experience in the following:
    • Infrastructure: Linux Operating System, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, Outlook), SQL/MySQL/Postgres, Windows Operating System, Other: see position preferred qualifications
    • Programming Languages and Frameworks: Shell Scripting
    • Analytical: critical thinking, decision making, judgment, Troubleshooting
    • Project: agile environment, collaboration and teamwork, cost/benefit analysis, evaluate resources, facilitate collaboration, functional documentation, workflow development & documentation

    Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

    • Prior database experience.
    • Knowledge of SQL.
    • Can provide excellent customer service and user support.
    • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
    • Able to lift weight of computers and/or printers as well as computer peripherals.

    Preferred Qualifications:

    • Bachelor's degree in computer science or related field, or equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
    • Experience in an academic environment
    • Experience working in various operating system environments (Linux and Windows)
    • 2-3 years of related experience.
    • Ability to maintain effective internal and external working relationships.
    • Ability to manage time efficiently and perform effectively with minimal supervision.
    • Demonstrated experience with analytics tools and software.
    • Software/database administration, including planning, installing, and maintaining software deployments: PowerShell, R, Python, Hadoop, Postgres, Tableau, Eclipse, vSphere.

    We are looking to hire immediately for this role. "This is a one-year term appointment with opportunity for renewal." 

    Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

    This is a one-year term appointment with opportunity for renewal.

    Please email with your resume if interested.

    Sarah Mitchell
    Associate Director, Master of Science in Analytics
    Northwestern University
    Evanston, IL