The associate degree program combines computer network training with general education requirements, including math, science and English. Students also learn to manage various levels of network systems, including private home networks and multi-departmental company networks. Program specializations are available in wireless networks, network security, telecommunication network design, and operating systems. Certification is available to graduates through independent certifying organizations. Degree programs in this field typically require a high school diploma or the equivalent prior to admittance.
Associate's degree in Computer Networking Technology Overview
Students receive in-depth training in electronic network systems and electronic computer networks, examine network hardware, evaluate computers and troubleshoot. Students learn to manage network systems at various levels from home networks to multi-departmental corporate systems. These programs prepare students for entry-level jobs with computer system and network installation firms.
Courses could include but are not limited to:
- Operating system principles
- Telecommunication network design
- Wireless networks
- Internet protocols
- Network security
- Management of technology
Popular Career Options
Upon completion of a degree program in computer networking, individuals are generally qualified for entry-level employment with computer system installation firms. They can also seek opportunities in the information technology departments of companies across a variety of fields. Some possible job titles could include:
- Computer system specialist
- Network support technician
- Help desk consultant
- System-wide administrator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports 8% job growth for computer network support specialists during the period spanning 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Mean annual wages for computer network support specialists in May 2015 were $67,260. Network and computer systems administrator job growth is expected to increase 8% during the 2014-2024 decade. The BLS reported in May 2015 that mean annual wages for these administrators were $82,200.
Graduates can become certified through organizations, such as CompTIA, for advancement opportunities in the workplace, as well as to become qualified for positions requiring certification. Individuals interested in continuing their undergraduate studies can pursue a bachelor's degree in computer-related fields, such as computer science, computer networks or computer information systems. Bachelor's programs provide students with extensive knowledge of electronics, networking hardware and software.
An associate's degree program in computer networking technology helps students develop skills in networking, computer repair and troubleshooting, and customer service. Graduates are prepared for a careers like help desk consultants or system-wide administrators, or for further education.