Students in these programs attain the skills necessary to troubleshoot and repair computer systems and to design, install and maintain local area networks. Graduates of these 2-year programs are prepared to take industry certification examinations. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in these programs.
Associate of Science (AS): Network Technology
Students can learn about network technology through a curriculum of courses, hands-on computer work in labs and cooperative work experiences in the field. Typical course topics may include:
- Wireless LANs
- Microsoft Networking
- Linux system operation and installation
- Network support and troubleshooting
- Personal computer service and maintenance
Popular Career Options
Graduates of these programs can go on to entry-level networking technology positions, or they can transfer into related bachelor's degree programs. They may qualify for employment opportunities in a variety of settings, including government agencies, insurance agencies, financial institutions and schools. Some popular career choices include:
- Computer support specialists
- Network administrators
- Computer systems administrators
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for computer support specialists are expected to increase by 10% between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than average. These professionals earned a median salary of $53,470 as of 2018.
The BLS also predicts an employment increase of 13% for web developers from 2018-2028 and an increase of 5% for network and computer systems administrators for the same time period. The median annual salary for web developers was $69,430 in 2018, while computer systems administrators earned a median of $82,050 per year.
Continuing Education Information
Individuals with associate's degrees, professional certifications and work experience may find work as network and computer systems administrators. If their interest is in becoming database administrators or network architects, they may complete bachelor's degree programs in computer-related fields, such as management information systems or computer science. Master's degree programs could also help network technology professionals advance in the field, possibly into administrative positions.
Voluntary certification may offer professionals an advantage when seeking employment. Many computer and software vendors offer certifications when their products are used. Candidates may prepare to obtain certifications as part of their training programs.
With job growth rates at or exceeding that of the national average, graduates of an associate's degree in network technology are well prepared for the workplace or to further their education.