Students in associate's degree programs in computer network technology develop competencies in email administration, computer hardware and software, networking, security administration and related topics. These programs generally integrate classroom learning with hands-on practice. Students might take between two and four years to complete their studies, depending on whether they choose full-time or part-time study options.
Associate's Degree Program in Computer Network Technology
The curriculum in these programs is designed to teach students about computer networks, databases, programming, servers, routers and other industry-specific areas. In total, students must complete 60-67 credit hours of coursework for graduation. They may take courses in:
- Computer fundamentals
- Computer operating systems
- Network communication systems
- Network security
- Web design
- Software and hardware maintenance
- Network architecture
Possible Career Options
Graduates of computer network technology associate's degree programs have several options for employment due to the diverse program curriculum and vast IT field. Computer network technology programs can prepare students for employment as:
- Computer security specialists
- Network systems analysts
- Network technicians
- User support technicians
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of computer systems analysts is projected to increase by 21% from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). Computer user support specialists should see growth of 13% during the same period of time. Based on 2015 data from the BLS, systems analysts earned an average annual salary of $90,180 and user support specialists received $52,430.
According to the BLS, because new technologies are constantly developing, students interested in studying computer network administration should understand that in order to be competitive in the field, they may need to commit to a lifetime of continuing education courses and programs. These courses are available at a variety of institutions across the country.
In order to gain an advantage in looking for a job, students may opt to obtain professional certification in a variety of computer networking programs. Some students also choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in the field of computer network administration or a similar discipline in order to advance to higher positions such as network architects or database administrators.
Through associate's degree programs in computer network technology, students learn about network systems, architecture, and maintenance. With the technical skills they gain, graduates may find entry-level employment or boost their career prospects by earning a bachelor's degree.