Students enrolled in computer networking certificate programs can become skilled in the process of installing, configuring, and maintaining components of a computer system network. They learn to establish policies to implement and provide system maintenance and security. They may also complete internships.
In addition to hardware and software repair, studies often include local area networking (LAN) and wide area networking (WAN). In order to enroll, students must have a high school diploma and proficiency with computers.
Computer Network Technician Certificate
Combining classroom instruction with hands-on experience in computer labs, and work-based internships these programs teach students to install, configure, and maintain network systems and establish and implement system maintenance and security. Participants will also develop customer service, communication, and problem-solving skills related to the job. Studies often include hardware and software repair, and the essentials of local area networking (LAN) and wide area networking (WAN). Course topics may include but are not limited to:
- Networking basics, computer networking, network security
- Voice and video over IP (VOIP)
- Wired and wireless networks,
- Windows server, network client systems
- Maintenance documentation
- Desktop support
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that jobs for network and computer systems administrators would increase by 5% between 2018 and 2028, which is about average compared to all occupations. Contributing to this moderate employment growth is the increasing use of the internet for business and cloud computing. The BLS reported that workers in this profession earned a mean annual salary of $87,070, as of May 2018.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of these programs can seek immediate employment in the field, or they may choose to advance their educations by pursuing associate's or bachelor's degree programs in computer-related fields. While an associate's degree may open the door to employment for some networking administrators, many employers prefer to hire individuals who have obtained bachelor's degrees in a computer-related field.
Individuals may also pursue professional certification(s) to demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency and broaden their advancement opportunities. Professional certifications can be obtained through product vendors or certifying agencies. Certificate program coursework may help prepare students for industry certifications. Some possible certifications include CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP).
Computer network technician certificate programs include both lecture-based coursework and computer lab sessions. Program graduates may be prepared for entry-level work in the IT field, or they can pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree. Potential career opportunities may increase if students earn professional certifications from companies like CompTIA or Microsoft.