Associate's degree programs in computer and networking technology could be offered under a variety of titles, including computer networking technology or computer science and information technology. In these programs, students take courses like network security, operating systems and computer interfacing. In addition to regular coursework, participants are often required to design and create projects using the theories and practical skills they've obtained in class. They may also be required to complete internships with local businesses. An applicant must have at least a high school diploma or GED for admission to this 2-year program.
Associate's Degree in Computer and Networking Technology
Students typically take courses that prepare them to work in all areas of computer technology and networking. They develop the critical-thinking, business and communication skills required in this profession while building proficiency in computer programming and networking. Students obtain the skills and knowledge to install, repair, upgrade and maintain computer networking systems, computer software and computer equipment. Courses may include:
- Computer interfacing
- Applied computer programming
- Computer upgrade and repair
- Network operations and systems
- Network configuration and control
Popular Career Options
Graduates of associate's degree programs are prepared for entry-level computer careers in professional settings where installation, repair and troubleshooting skills are necessary to maintain computers and their networks. In some cases, associate's degree holders may advance to administrative positions through work experience and certification. Some common career titles upon graduation include:
- Computer support specialist
- Computer network technician
- Computer maintenance technician
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median annual salary of $62,770 for computer network support specialists in 2018. Computer network support specialists were projected by the BLS to see an 6% increase in job opportunities from 2018 to 2028.
Continuing Education Information
Employers may prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree or even a master's degree for management positions in this field, including network, computer and database administrator or network architect. An associate's degree holder may pursue advanced degrees in subjects like information technology, computer science or networking technology. Obtaining professional certification can also improve employment opportunities. Individuals can obtain certification through computer product vendors and certifying agencies.
There are multiple programs that provide students with a general overview of computer and network technology. After finishing one of these degrees, students can get entry-level technician jobs in the IT field or pursue more advanced studies in similar subjects.