Associate of Network Administration: Degree Overview

A 2-year associate's degree program in computer network administration is designed to educate students in operating systems management, troubleshooting and maintenance, and computer programming. It can prepare you for a career in computer systems and network administration.

Essential Information

The associate's degree in network administration program involves a lot of hands-on practice with computers. Applicants to a computer network administration program must provide high school transcripts or a General Educational Development certificate (GED) for admission to most schools. Once admitted, students can choose between a variety of specializations like operating systems management, troubleshooting and maintenance, and computer programming.

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Associate in Network Administration

Courses in network administration provide in-depth explanation of hardware and operating systems. Students learn the ability to solve problems related to computer networks. Courses in a computer network administration program include:

  • Programming
  • Operating systems
  • Computer hardware
  • Network fundamentals
  • Web server administration
  • Computer user support

Popular Career Options

This associate degree program can prepare a graduate to work in a wide variety of professional settings where the management of computer network systems is vital to day-to-day operations. For instance, the integration of computer networks in the workplace has created opportunities in such industries as manufacturing, education, health care, media and government. Although students may eventually obtain administrator positions through work experience, entry-level technician positions are more common for associate degree holders. With the appropriate experience, associate degree holders could obtain career titles such as:

  • Computer support specialist
  • Network administrator
  • Computer systems administrator

Employment Outlook and Salary

Network and computer systems administrators, for example, earn a median annual income of $77,810 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2015. The BLS projects an 8% employment increase from 2014 to 2024.

Continuing Education

A bachelor's degree in a subject such as information systems or other computer-related field can increase opportunities for employment or advancement, and could help students gain administrator or management positions. If a student can transfer directly from an associate degree program, a bachelor's degree program could take two additional years to complete.

Beyond the undergraduate level, a student could complete a master's degree program, such as a Master of Business Administration with a management of information systems concentration, in order to qualify for more advanced positions, such as database administrator or network architect.

Holding an associate's degree in computer network administration can allow individuals to begin a number of careers working with computers and digital networks. Due to the nature of the skills required to enter this field, hands-on training with specific computer systems is required in most programs.

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