Community colleges and technical schools offer associate's degrees in general network administration. Some programs require students to choose a concentration in a specific operating system, such as Windows or Linux. Other programs let students focus on a particular area, such as web page development. Programs last 2-years and applicants should possess a high school diploma or GED.
Associate of Network Administration
In a network administration program, students study hardware and software installation, network servers and workstations, data administration and network organizations. In addition to major core work, students in a network administration associate's degree program will likely also take general education classes in math, English composition and social studies. Course offerings include Java and the following:
- Systems analysis
- Hardware installation
- Network security
- Windows server OS
- Routing protocols
- Database management systems
Popular Career Options
Graduates could have the knowledge necessary to troubleshoot problems and provide technical support to computer users. They might pursue employment in almost any organization that uses computer networking. Potential occupations for someone with this degree include:
- Network technician
- Computer support specialist
- Assistant network administrator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Computer network support specialists earned an annual median salary of $62,770 in 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. Computer support specialists in general were predicted by the BLS to have 10% employment growth from 2018-2028.
Certification and Continuing Education
An associate's degree program in network administration may qualify graduates to take certification examinations offered by software and product vendors. These certifications show a level of competence to potential clients and employers. Certifications from Cisco, Microsoft and Linux are common.
Earning a bachelor's degree in network administration may lead to more employment opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that a bachelor of information or computer science is most common, but network administrators work with computer hardware, so a degree in computer or electrical engineering would be acceptable. The BLS also notes that network administrators must continually update their skills and knowledge to keep up with new technology.
Graduates of an associate's degree program in network administration learn to create and maintain computer systems for organizations. Students can learn about hardware in these programs and may be able to pursue hardware network administration positions.