Some network engineering associate degree programs allow students to specialize in areas such as cybersecurity or Microsoft systems administration, and some of these programs require students to participate in internships that provide practical experience. Prerequisites for an associate degree program often include a high school diploma or GED. Applicants may also need to submit Accuplacer, SAT or ACT scores or transcripts.
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Associate Degree in Internetwork Engineering
Internetworking involves connecting networks together, either LANs (local area networks) or WANs (wide area networks), to make larger networks. This is done with the use of gateways, bridges, and routers. Network engineering involves the various types of networks used to receive, transmit, and store information within a business. Students enrolled in an associate degree program in computer network engineering take classes in electronics and computing.
Learners have opportunities to learn troubleshooting and diagnostic techniques while gaining proficiency in operating systems and mathematical functions. Individuals may gain skills in team building and communication while increasing their understanding of ethical responsibility. Courses may include:
- Digital electronics
- Circuit analysis
- Operating systems
- Wireless networks
Popular Career Options
Graduates from an associate degree program in this field are prepared for careers in computer and network engineering. Individuals may find jobs in network installation, network maintenance, network design, or network administration. Graduates are prepared for positions as:
- Data communication analysts
- Network administrators
- Internet support analysts
- Computer assembly and repair technicians
- Network support technicians
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Employment of computer support specialists is expected to grow by 12% during the period of 2014 through 2024, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Computer specialists who support networks earned a median wage of $62,250 in May 2015. Normal growth of 8% over the 2014-2024 period is estimated for network and computer systems administrators. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $77,810 in May 2015.
Graduates of an associate degree in network engineering may transfer to a bachelor's program in a related area, since many schools have articulating agreements with 4-year institutions. Obtaining a bachelor's degree can lead to positions as network engineers, network security specialists, LAN managers, support specialists, and microcomputer software consultants.
Graduates of an associate degree in network engineering may sit for industry certification exams. Certifications include CCNA (Cisco Network Associate), MCSA (Microsoft Systems Administrator), and MCSE (Microsoft System Engineer), among others. A student may complete a certificate program to prepare for a certification exam and immediate employment in a specialized area. Some colleges allow students to transfer credits from the certificate program to an associate degree in network engineering. Alternatively, a student may finish an associate degree program and then sit for certification exams.
Prospective internetwork engineering students can choose to start by earning an associate degree in network engineering. Classes are likely to consist of telecommunications and circuit analysis and are designed to prepare students for a careers such as network administrator or data communication analyst, among others.