Computer networking studies in and near Milwaukee, WI, are found primarily at technical schools and for-profit institutions. Based on school type, graduation rates and number of degrees awarded, the following institutions are considered the top three for computer networking programs in the Milwaukee area:
- Winner: Being the largest of the three schools, having the lowest student-to-faculty ratio and awarding the highest number of degrees in computer networking allows Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) to grab the top spot. It's also the only public school located directly in the city offering diplomas, certificates and associate's degrees in the field of study.
- Runner Up #1: Though it has the highest graduation rate, Waukesha County Technical College is in second place because it awards less degrees and has less program offerings than MATC. Its computer networking programs are at the diploma and 2-year degree levels.
- Runner Up #2: Gateway Technical College awards the fewest degrees in computer networking and is located farthest from Milwaukee, making it the third best option. The school does have the second-highest graduation rate among the schools. It awards an associate's degree in computer networking.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Milwaukee Area Technical College||Waukesha County Technical College||Gateway Technical College|
|Location||Milwaukee, WI||Pewaukee, WI (18.2 miles from downtown Milwaukee, WI)||Kenosha, WI (27.5 miles from downtown Milwaukee, WI)|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)|| $3,997 (in-state, undergraduate),
$5,748 (out-of-state, undergraduate)*
|3,717 (in-state, undergraduate),
$5,244 (out-of-state, undergraduate)*
| 3,722 (in-state, undergraduate),
$5,476 (out-of-state, undergraduate)*
|Computer Networking Program Levels Offered||Diploma, certificate, associate degree||Certificate, associate degree||Associate degree|
|Computer Networking Degrees Awarded in 2011-2012||64*||45*||33*|
|Most Popular Computer Networking Program in 2011-2012||Associate in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications (64 awarded)*||Associate in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunication (45 awarded)*||Associate in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications (33 awarded)*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time for 2009 Entering Class||15% (22% transfer-out rate)*||31% (14% transfer-out rate*||23%*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator.
Winner: Milwaukee Area Technical College
- Students can earn some degrees on campus or online.
- More than 30 student organizations available.
- Student-faculty ratio is 15:1.
Milwaukee Area Technical College is a public school that has four campus locations and more than 170 academic programs that combine classroom studies with practical hands-on training. The IT (Information Technology) Networking and Infrastructure Administration Technical Diploma program, which provides many of the courses for the IT network specialist associate degree program, teaches students about servers, switches and routers, network operating systems and PCs.
Graduates are prepared for several certification exams, including CCNA, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network + and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), among others. Students pursuing the IT networking accelerated 67-credit associate degree program, offered at all campuses, also complete general education courses. The accelerated program gives students the option of attending classes either completely online or for four and a half hours per week and online in the summer. MATC also offers a 12-credit Cisco Internetworking (CCNA) certificate program at all of its campuses.
Runner-Up #1: Waukesha County Technical College
- WCTC is a leader in workforce development, according to the school.
- The IT Center provides students with various resources, including mentors, group projects and the BIT Connections Club, where students can share and expand their knowledge of IT.
Students interested in careers in computer networking have a few different options available at Waukesha County Technical College. WCTC has a 15-credit network professional certificate program that offers evening courses. Graduates of this program are prepared to take several certification exams, including CompTIA A+, Server+, Security+ and the Cisco CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician). Some of the credits in this program can go towards the diploma or associate degree programs offered in the IT department.
WCTC offers an 11-credit CCNA certificate program that takes four semesters to complete and includes four sequential CCNA courses. The 68-credit Associate of Applied Science in Network Specialist is a 2-year program that offers some evening courses. All students take the same courses the first semester, while the fourth semester allows them to focus on their areas of specialization. WCTC has program-to-program agreements with several other colleges in Wisconsin.
Runner-Up #2: Gateway Technical College
- Students can join GTC's chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, which sponsors students in repair clinics where they can obtain real hands-on training.
- GTC graduates report 100% satisfaction and over 80% employment rates, according to the school.
- Student-faculty ratio is 15:1.
Located less than 30 miles from downtown Milwaukee, Gateway Technical College is a public college that has four campuses and serves more than 25,000 students. GTC offers an IT-network specialist associate degree program, with most courses offered at the Racine and Elkhorn campuses. The curriculum combines lecture and lab studies with courses in IT essentials, virtual technologies, program and database concepts, network administration, network security and routing. Students in this 70-credit program can also complete a networking internship. Graduates of this program can sit for the following certification exams: Cisco CCNA, Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), CompTIA Network+, CompTIA LINUX, CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Server+.