Associate of Applied Science programs in network administration train students to design, implement, and maintain computer networks. Students learn to upgrade systems and networks and evaluate performance and security. These degrees are often designed around vendor certifications, such as the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), and Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). Successful completion of the program often prepares students to sit for these certification exams. Applicants need a high school diploma for entry into the program, and they must demonstrate competency in math, English, and computer skills.
Associate Degree in Network Administration
In total, these programs require 66-69 credit hours. The curriculum of these programs includes general education requirements, such as health, physical education and English composition. Students can also expect to delve into network scripting, support and operations. Typical courses include:
- Web page design
- Programming languages
- Database management
- Networking fundamentals and routing protocols
- Computer security and support
- Server administration
Popular Career Options
Graduates of an AAS program have the theoretical knowledge of networks and operating systems to gain entry-level positions in telecommunications companies, businesses and government agencies. Some job titles include:
- Network administrator
- Network technician
- Systems analyst
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for network and computer systems administrators are predicted to increase by 8% during the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). Based on May 2015 figures from the BLS, these computer professionals earned a median yearly salary of $77,810.
Continuing Education Information
AAS holders can go on to further their education by earning a bachelor's or master's degree in network administration. These programs provide students with knowledge in wireless security, routers, programming and management. Certification programs in vendor-specialty disciplines are also available if a graduate is seeking expertise in specific areas.
Through AAS programs in network administration, students get a general education and strong skills in computer science and technology. When they graduate, they can start working in the field or pursue further education through higher degree or certification programs.