AS programs in network engineering technology teach students how to build and maintain computer networks through coursework, lab exercises, internships or cooperative work experiences. Some schools offer variations of engineering technology programs, such as communications engineering technology, with concentrations in networking. These programs often combine courses from the electronics and computing fields and may be offered in various associate's degree options, providing students with a broader field of study. They may also require internships and/or collaborative learning assignments.
Associate of Science (AS) in Network Engineering Technology
Associate's degree programs take two years to complete and include general education courses in liberal arts topics. A high school diploma or the equivalent is usually required for admission. In network engineering technology programs, typical course topics include:
- Network management
- Digital electronics
- UNIX operating systems and networks
- Analysis and design
Popular Career Options
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the demand for professionals who can design, implement, maintain and manage networks continues to grow (www.bls.gov). Numerous positions are available across the country for people with formal training in network engineering technology. Possible career titles include:
- Internet support analyst
- Network technician
- Network administrator
- Network support specialist
The BLS reports that employment opportunities for network and computer systems administrators could increase by 5% between 2018 and 2028, which is about as fast as the national average. As of May 2018, network and computer administrators earned a median annual salary of $82,050.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates can pursue immediate employment in the field or choose to advance their education in related degree programs. Individuals that complete bachelor's degree programs can pursue careers as network engineers or network analysts. Bachelor's degree programs may be available under the titles of computer science or information systems. Certification is another way to improve employment opportunities and demonstrate knowledge of the latest technology. Computer and software vendors often offer certification when their products are being used. Certification can also be obtained through training institutions.
Students who want to pursue careers in network engineering can pursue an associate's degree in a related field. After graduation they can pursue entry-level IT work or continue their education by transferring to a bachelor's degree program.