Most computer network administration certificate programs offer an overview of the profession and the basic skills necessary for an entry-level computer support position. You may learn about computer operating systems, network design, installation and troubleshooting network problems. Many certificate programs will introduce you to one or more of the vendor-specific systems, such as Microsoft or Cisco, and upon completion of the program, you will likely qualify to take one or more certification exams. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED. Program length varies.
Certificate in Computer Network Administration
Classes in a computer network administration certificate program prepare the student with fundamentals of computer science, as well as practical knowledge. Students can expect to split their time between education in a classroom and practicing skills in a computer lab. Some of the core classes a student may take include:
- Programming languages
- Shell scripting
- Network design
- Network security
- Computer networking hardware and software
Popular Career Options
Computer network administrators are needed within many organizations to maintain office network stability and security. Beginning network administrators will be assigned more of the routine daily maintenance tasks and answer basic user help questions. With experience, a network administrator can often perform much of his or her work from home, going into the office only for meetings or emergencies.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for network and computer systems administrators are projected to grow at a rate of 8%, from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the BLS states that network and computer systems administrators made a median annual wage of $77,810.
Continuing Education and Training Programs
Employers usually seek out candidates with one or more vendor certifications as it demonstrates a certain level of competency, as well as dedication to the profession. Some of the more popular certification options are offered through Microsoft, Cisco, Red Hat and CompTIA. Most of these vendors offer traditional classroom training or at-home training options with study materials available through their website. While not always necessary, some computer network administrators continue their education to pursue an associate's degree in network administration or a bachelor's degree in the computer sciences.
Computer network administration certificate programs provide a fundamental education in the operation and design of digital networks. Students will receive hands-on training in laboratories covering varies subjects within computer science.