Students who successfully complete a program can be prepared to sit for the CompTIA A+ and Network+, Microsoft Certified System Administrator, Microsoft Certified System Engineer, Cisco Certified Network Associate and certification exams. These programs take approximately two years to complete. A high school diploma or GED equivalent is required for entry into these programs. Applicants must submit an official transcript of all coursework.
Associate's of Computer Systems and Network Technology
Coursework focuses on computer hardware and software, operating systems and local area networks (LAN). Students could learn about digital and electronic circuits, computer hardware, operating systems and networks. Program topics may include:
- Microcomputer programming
- Local area networks
- Computer forensics
- Cisco router technologies
- Security introduction
- Computer security
Popular Career Options
Network technicians design, install and configure computer systems and networks. Individuals who complete this associate's degree program in computer systems and network technology may pursue entry-level career opportunities. They can seek employment in businesses, government agencies, public schools and hospitals. Job duties may include systems security, network administration, network installation, configuration and network design. Some job titles may include network technician, network administrator, Internet support analyst, and computer repair technician.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an 5% increase in employment of network and computer systems administrators is projected from 2018 to 2028 (www.bls.gov). Computer support specialists should see growth of 10%. In May of 2018, the BLS reported that network administrators received a median annual wage of $82,050, while support specialists averaged $53,470 per year.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of an associate's degree program may choose to enroll in a bachelor's degree program to increase skills and learn new technologies. Bachelor's degree programs in related subjects, such as computer information systems or information resource management, may teach wireless networking technology, advanced routing and remote access. Master's degree programs in subjects like networking and system administration or information security can teach cryptology, network security, software security and security policies. Working professionals who have completed a bachelor's degree may wish to consider taking a master's degree program online if unable to take classes on campus.
With an associate's degree in computer systems and network technology, graduates have the basic IT skills required for entry-level employment in the field, and they may also have the specific expertise necessary for certain professional certifications. Some graduates choose to transfer to bachelor's degree programs when they finish.