School and Ranking Information
Nearly two dozen schools in the Cleveland area offer training in computer networking. Based on rankings and program offerings, the top three of these schools that offer degree programs in computer networking are Baldwin Wallace University (BW), University of Akron (UA), and Lorain County Community College (LCCC).
- Winner: Baldwin Wallace University offers a certificate in computer networking and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in computer information systems (CIS) with a networking concentration. Additionally, BW offers the option to combine the B.S. in CIS with a network analyst concentration in conjunction with a business administration minor or an MBA.
- Runner-Up #1: University of Akron is located nearly 40 miles from Cleveland and is the only school of the three with certificate and associate's and bachelor's degree programs. It was ranked in 2013 among the top best undergraduate and graduate engineering schools in the nation.
- Runner-Up #2: Lorain County Community College is located in Elyria, OH. This school offers a certificate of completion and two Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees related to network communications technology and computer maintenance and networking. The school also offers A+ certification.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Baldwin Wallace University||Akron University||Lorain County Community College|
|Ranking(s)||10th for Regional Universities (Midwest)*, 5th for Best Value Schools (2020)*||#293-#381 in National Universities*, 153rd for Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs, nationwide*, #152-200 for Best Graduate Engineering School, nationwide (2020)*||N/A|
|Location||Berea, OH (15 miles from Cleveland)||Akron, OH (39 miles from Cleveland)||Elyria, OH (26 miles from Cleveland)|
|School Type||4-year, private not-for-profit||4-year, public||2-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2019-2020)||$33,530 (undergraduate), $13,514 (graduate)**||$11,636 (in-state, undergraduate), $17,765 (out-of-state, undergraduate); $9,711 (in-state, graduate), $15,217 (out-of-state, graduate)**||$3,485 (in-state, undergraduate), $4,140 (out-of-state, undergraduate)**|
|Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications Degree Levels Offered||Bachelor's degree**||Certificate, associate's, and bachelor's degrees**||Associate's degrees**|
|Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications Degrees (all levels) Awarded in 2018-2019||6**||38**||24**|
|Most Popular Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications Degree in 2018-2019||Bachelor's degree (6 awarded)**||Bachelor's degree (30 awarded)**||Associate's degree (16 awarded)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2013 Entering Class||65%**||46%**||19%**|
|Noteworthy||1 of 5 North America institutions with original handwritten manuscripts of composer Johann Sebastian Bach||CS programs have dual-booting workstation labs and access to the Ohio Supercomputer Center||The Richard Desich SMART Commercialization Center for Microsystems is on campus|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator
Winner: Baldwin Wallace University
- Three-year cohort default rate is 10.0 percentage points lower than and one-quarter of the national average
- Graduation rate is 12.0 percentage points higher than the national average for 4-year institutions, as noted in the NCES
- Total cost is $11,132 lower than the private, 4-year school national average
Founded approximately 170 years ago, BW today offers over 50 academic programs to 3,700 students. Students interested in computer networking can earn either a certificate or bachelor's degree in computer information systems (CIS). Those interested in the certificate, the program requires completion of 26 credits, divided among 9 courses. The curriculum has students completing courses in mathematics, such as probability and statistics, but focuses on courses in computer science, including ethics, network administration (NA), local area networks (LAN), privacy, and system security.
The department of computer science offers a bachelor's degree in CIS with a network analyst concentration. The curriculum covers similar course offered for the certificate program, such as LANs and NA, but adds new courses like systems analysis and project management. The program further prepares its graduates in designing, installing, and maintaining computer networks. Other general education courses include coverage of mathematics, business administration and presentational speaking. An internship, or a senior-year project, completes the program's requirements. BW through its computer science department further offers a B.S. in CIS, with concentration in network analysis, combined with an MBA and a business administration minor.
Runner-Up #1: Akron University
- For the 2018-2019 school year, 96% of first-time undergraduates received financial aid, according to NCES
- UA had a 73% acceptance rate for 2019-2020, according to NCES figures
- In 2019 The Princeton Review ranked UA in the 'Best Midwestern' school list
UA's undergraduate programs offering of a bachelor's degree in computer information systems (CIS) includes network systems curriculum emphasizing design, maintenance, network analysis, security, management, and troubleshooting. The 4-year program has coursework covering upper division material beginning in the third year such as advanced routing; wireless networking; Unix/Linux system and networking administration; network authentication and security; multilayer switching; and troubleshooting complex IP-based networks. The 2-year associate's of applied business degree program in computer maintenance and networking is similar to the CIS bachelor's program, particularly in coursework covering network security, operating systems, and advanced technology. Through partnerships from software and hardware companies, UA's CIS program can offer professional certifications. Students can further pursue a B.S. in computer science with the choice of a system track to customize curriculum, or a management track to focus on business information or system design and development.
Runner-Up #2: Lorain County Community College
- On campus is a multi-user, shared-resource center for Microsystems packaging, reliability testing, inspection and analysis.
- LCCC offers more than 100 certificate and associate's degree programs
- Total cost is $7,904 lower than the public, 2-year school national average
The A.A.S. program in computer maintenance and networking offered by LCCC gives its graduates' knowledge in computer systems and networks, with emphasis on installation, maintaining and repairing of the networks. There are 68 required credits for graduation, with curriculum covering electrical engineering courses and computer networks. The courses needed for the 41 prerequisite units include network installation and diagnostics; microcontrollers; data communication; A+ certification preparation; and advanced computer and network diagnostics.
The certificate of completion and one-year technical certificate in computer maintenance and networking, as well as the 66/67-credit associate's of applied business degree program in network communications technology offers coursework covering many technology related aspects of networking, including upgrading and repairing networks; designing networks; and supporting business networks. Further, the A+ certification requires only 2 courses, with these courses applicable to pursuit of either the certificate or degree programs. Despite only an 8% undergraduate graduation rate in 150% of normal degree time, graduates of the degree programs can continue education at 4-year institutions through LCCC's articulation agreements, or seek employment as computer specialists, technicians, or field engineers.