Students in two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs in computer network administration learn about PC applications, routing, networking, troubleshooting and repair through classes and labs. They also develop customer service skills. Some programs allow students to choose a specialization track, such as convergence technology. In order to graduate, students must complete externships.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required for admission. Some of these programs also require that applicants have completed basic computer and programming courses.
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Associate's Degree Programs in Computer Network Administration
In addition to completing coursework, students may complete on-the-job training as help desk technicians or participate in cooperative education experiences. Many of the courses prepare students for certification exams. Courses in this program may include:
- PC operating systems
- Computer programming
- Integrated software applications
- Hardware installation
- Windows client OS
Popular Career Options
Individuals may choose this career because, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for professionals who can design, implement, maintain and manage local area networks (LANs) is growing. Numerous positions are available for people with expertise in the field of computer technology. Some popular career options include:
- Network administrator
- Network systems administrator
- Computer support specialist
- Network technician
- Network engineer
- Help desk technician
The BLS projects an 8% increase in the employment of network and computer systems administrators during the 2014-2024 decade. Computer support specialists should see a 12% increase during the same time period. In 2015, network and computer systems administrators earned a mean annual salary of $82,200, based on BLS data. Computer user support specialists earned an average of $52,430.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates may seek employment immediately or may choose to further their education and pursue bachelor's degree programs. Although candidates with associate's degrees may find work in computer network administration, many companies prefer applicants with bachelor's degrees. On-the-job training and certification often prove beneficial for employment.
In addition to product vendor certifications, individuals can also obtain certifications through certifying organizations and training programs. Possible certifications include:
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
- Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
- Microsoft Certified Technologist Specialist (MCTS)
- Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST)
- Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Network+
- CompTIA Security+
Overall, AAS programs in computer network administration open many doors in the IT field. Graduates can immediately enter the workforce, obtain specialized certifications or enroll in bachelor's degree programs in order to improve their employment prospects.