Students interested in network engineering technology can earn an Associate in Specialized Business if they have completed a high school education. Some schools offer applicants a choice of tracks in specialized areas, such as Microsoft or UNIX networks. Students are given the opportunity to participate in an internship for their chosen track. The programs are designed to be completed in approximately two years. Successful completion of these programs can prepare graduates for industry certification.
Associate in Specialized Business: Network Engineering Technology
These programs consist of 60-105 credits and focus on network installation and computer support. Students learn about operating systems, microprocessors, network administration and network support. They can learn network design as well as how to configure, install and maintain these systems for a variety of businesses. Training is given in programming and programming languages. Some course topics may include:
- Networks and distributed systems, networking, operating systems
- Network digital data communication, installation and troubleshooting
- Data structures
- Structured program design
- UNIX network administration
- Computer information systems
Popular Career Options
Graduates of these programs can find entry-level positions in a wide variety of industries, including telecommunications companies, schools, financial firms, business management organizations and government agencies. Job duties may include analyzing, installing, configuring, troubleshooting and monitoring local area and wide area network systems. Some graduates may become self-employed or work as network consultants. Typical job titles include:
- Network technician
- Computer technical writer
- Computer assembly and repair technician
- Computer support specialist
Job Prospects and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that jobs for computer support specialists, including network technicians, will grow 10% from 2018 to 2028. The BLS reports that the mean annual salary for computer user support specialists was $55,050 in May 2018, while computer network support specialists earned a mean annual salary of $67,260.
Jobs for technical writers are predicted to grow 8% from 2018 to 2028, per the BLS, and technical writing jobs paid a mean annual salary of $75,500 in May 2018. The BLS also predicts that computer repairers (along with ATM and office machine repairers) can expect 1% job decline during that same decade; the mean annual salary for this occupation was $40,880 in May 2018.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of these programs may wish to further their knowledge and skills by enrolling in bachelor's or master's degree programs in subjects like network engineering or computer network technology. Some master's degree programs are available online. Individuals interested in research or teaching at the college level may decide to pursue training in a doctoral degree program. Graduate certificates can also be earned and could provide training in advanced networking skills and techniques.
Students who go on to earn an Associate's in Specialized Business will focus their studies on topics such as data structures, structured program design, and computer information systems. Once students graduate, they will be prepared to earn their certification.