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Associate in Arts Degree (AA): Computer Networking Overview

There are multiple degree options for students who want to study computer networking at the associate's degree level. Find out what these programs entail and what careers students may choose to pursue once they graduate.

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Essential Information

Two-year degree programs in computer networking lead to Associate of Arts, Associate of Technical Arts, Associate of Applied Science, and Associate of Science degrees. Networking is also a common option within a computer technology, information technology or computer science degree program. These programs train students to troubleshoot networking problems, install and maintain wide area networks, install networks, and maintain database management systems. Students typically take coursework in a variety of relevant topics, such as C++ programming and ethics of information technology. Classroom exercises and internship opportunities can augment knowledge acquired.


Associate's Degree in Computer Networking

Within these associate programs, students are typically taught to install, manage, and solve problems associated with specific software, as well as install security programs, configure hardware, identify protocol functions, configure sub-interfaces, and restore data. A high school diploma or GED is required prior to enrollment. General education courses are typically required in addition to networking courses. Students are introduced to networking systems fundamentals in courses that cover topics such as:

  • Operating systems
  • Assembly of a computer
  • UNIX/LINUX
  • Computational statistics
  • Structured query language overview
  • Visual Basic

Popular Career Options

Associate degree programs in computer networking can prepare graduates for entry-level positions where basic skills, like troubleshooting and installation, could be utilized in the successful operation of a computer network. With some work experience, as well as certification, associate degree holders could also move into management positions in this field. Some career titles could include:

  • Server administrators
  • PC support specialists
  • Help desk technicians
  • Network administrators

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Network and computer systems administrators were projected to see 8% job growth from 2014-2024, stated the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average annual wage for these workers was $82,200 in May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Upon successful completion of this program, graduates can go on to attain higher-level degrees at 4-year institutions, such as bachelor's or master's degree programs in computer networking, computer science, information technology or other related areas. Additionally, this degree program can prepare students for networking certifications offered through product vendors and professional organizations, such as the A+, Net+ and Cisco certifications.

No matter which associate's degree option you choose, a computer networking program covers the fundamental aspects of the field. As a result, graduates of these programs have the technological skills they need for entry-level work in the IT field or to transfer to bachelor's degree programs in similar subjects.

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