Bachelor's degree programs that cover computer network management might have titles such as telecommunications management, network technologies or network management. Some programs offer access to internship opportunities that provide hands-on experience in a research- or business-focused organization. A high school diploma or GED certificate is the minimum requirement to get into these programs.
Bachelor of Computer Network Management
These bachelor's programs offer a practical education in the design, implementation and management of connected systems of computers, peripherals and integrated software to maximize efficiency and productivity. They are designed to teach advanced wired and wireless networking concepts and include courses on networking operating systems, such as Windows and UNIX. Students analyze network performance, manage computer security, utilize web technologies and create computer programs. They also explore concepts in telecommunications planning, organizational behavior, network security and database design. Other course topics include:
- Routers and switches
- Local area network management
- Network performance analysis
- Web technologies
- Windows networking
Popular Career Options
Having gained an understanding of computer networking hardware and software, graduates can choose from careers in network administration, telecommunications and systems analysis. Some positions may require vendor certifications and additional training. Possible job titles include:
- Network analyst
- Network technician
- Network systems engineer
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The 2019-2029 employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate a 4% growth for network and computer systems administrators (www.bls.gov). In May 2020, these administrators received a mean wage of $89,460 annually. Computer support specialists (including network support specialists) should have 2019-2029 growth of 8%, which is much faster than average. Computer network support specialists earned a mean wage of $71,040 annually in May 2020.
The BLS also reports an average 5% growth for computer network architects from 2019-2029. Network architects earned a mean wage of $119,230 annually in May 2020.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Graduates may pursue networking certifications from CompTIA, Microsoft and Cisco. The CompTIA Network+ certification covers introductory concepts and focuses on network installation, configuration and troubleshooting (www.comptia.org). Cisco offers the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification for individuals interested in installing, managing and troubleshooting Cisco products, and it offers advanced networking certifications (www.cisco.com). Microsoft offers the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certification with an emphasis on administrating Windows server products (www.microsoft.com). Graduates can also pursue master's and doctoral programs specializing in computer networking.
Regardless of which specific bachelor's degree you choose, those that cover computer network management provide a comprehensive overview of the information technology field so that individuals are ready for networking careers, professional certifications or further study when they graduate.