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Computer Networking Certificate: Program Summary

A computer networking certificate program teaches the basic data communication concepts and skills required to manage networks. Programs are generally comprised of 32-40 hours of coursework and include lecture courses and computer lab sessions.

Essential Information

In a certificate in computer networking program, students learn the basics of networks and important network hardware and software. They will also be trained to design and maintain a local area network (LAN). Credits earned can often be transferred into an associate's program in computer networking.

  • Program Levels in Computer Networking: Certificate in Computer Networking; Certificates in specialized areas; Associate's Degree, Bachelor's Degree (in Computer Networking)
  • Prerequisites: High School Diploma or equivalent; high school transcripts; academic placement test (varies); basic computer skills
  • Online Availability: Available for some degree programs
  • Program Length: 32-40 hours of coursework
  • Other Requirements: 10 hours of related work experience (varies)

Certificate in Computer Networking

This certificate program provides students with the knowledge and training needed for an entry-level position as a computer network technician. It also provides a critical foundation for students interested in pursuing more advanced degree options and certifications. Theoretical coursework is combined with hands-on experience in the lab; some topics covered may include:

  • Computer information systems
  • Computer applications
  • Windows server
  • UNIX and Linux
  • Career exploration
  • Business and research on the Internet

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Graduates of a computer networking certificate program are often prepared to work as network technicians and network support personnel. With additional education and training, they might advance to the position of network system administrator. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment for network and computer systems administrators is projected to increase by 12% from 2012-2022, which is roughly average compared to all occupations.

The advent of mobile technologies will help drive this growth. Network administrators earned a median wage of $75,790 in May 2014. Graduates, upon gaining experience and further advanced training, can go on to open their own computer network maintenance and installation business.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of a certificate program can find entry-level employment as a computer network technician. According to the BLS, however, many network systems administrators must have at least an associate's degree, and many have bachelor's degrees. Some degree programs are available in online format. The Cisco Networking Academy offers certificate programs in specialized areas that prepare graduates to sit for globally-recognized certifications.

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