In these associate's programs, students learn the necessary career skills for installing and troubleshooting software/hardware, performing help desk troubleshooting tasks with people outside the information technology (IT) field, maintaining client systems and servers and troubleshooting and configuring wide area networks (WAN) and local area networks (LAN). They also learn to work effectively in a group with other IT professionals. Most of these programs take two years to complete.
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Associate's Degree in Computer Network Engineering
An associate's degree in computer network engineering prepares students to manage computer network infrastructures and computer security. Many computer network engineering programs integrate classroom learning with hands-on instruction and computer-based learning. Students are typically required to take courses in:
- Circuit analysis
- Data structures
- Computer architecture
- Computer operating systems
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, network and computer systems administrators can expect favorable job prospects from 2014 to 2024, with a predicted 8% increase in employment, which is about equal to the national average (www.bls.gov). As of 2015, network and computer systems administrators earned a mean annual salary of $82,200 per year, and database administrators earned a mean of $84,250 annually.
Certification programs are available for network engineers in many programs and topics, and obtaining such certification may improve job prospects. Additionally, some students choose to continue to earn a bachelor's degree in network engineering or other IT fields. In some cases, positions such as network engineer may require a bachelor's degree in network engineering or a similar field.
Through both theoretical and practical training, students in associate's degree programs in computer network engineering develop the technological expertise and professional skills they need for entry-level employment in the field or more advanced studies that can lead to upper-level positions in the future.