Computer network operations and similar degree programs can award students with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Computer Information Systems - Network Management or an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Network Operations.These programs allow students to develop an understanding of web technologies, programming basics, software integration and the fundamentals of network administration. Students also learn how to install and configure networking devices and administer computer networking infrastructures to different organizations. In addition to coursework, these programs involve lab-oriented courses and hands-on training.
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for admission. Applicants are also required to have good problem-solving and analytical skills. Graduates may qualify for professional certification.
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Associate's Degree in Computer Network Operations
In addition to learning to troubleshoot and repair computers, students learn to build computer systems and become familiar with BIOS/CMOS. Common topics of study include:
- Cisco networking
- Computer security fundamentals
- Network security
- Date, voice and video cabling
- Programming in C
- UNIX operating system
Popular Career Options
Graduates of these programs may find job opportunities in many industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer support specialists were projected to see an employment increase of 12% between 2014 and 2024, while network and computer systems administrators could expect an 8% employment increase that same decade (www.bls.gov). Some other potential career choices include:
- Network manager
- Hardware support specialist
- Computer networking technologist
- Microcomputer sales and service specialist
- Database administrator
Continuing Education and Certification
Graduates of AAS programs have many career options, although some positions require bachelor's degrees. Certifications are also a means for graduates to look more appealing to potential employers. Upon graduation, individuals may obtain certifications such as the Certified Wireless Technology Specialist (CWTS), Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).
By earning an AAS in a field related to computer network operations, students build a solid foundation of technological skills. They are eligible for many entry level positions, including database administrators, network managers and computer support specialists.