Master's programs in network engineering train students to design, develop, and maintain networking systems for businesses and other organizations. In addition to lecture-based courses and seminars, students can expect to get hands-on experience in the field. Specialization options include network analysis, network security, and network administration. Prior to graduation, students may be required to complete an internship or submit a thesis. Afterward, students are prepared to work as network technicians or administrators, and they may pursue voluntary IT networking certification.
In order to apply for a master's degree program in network engineering students need a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, computer science, or a related field. They must also submit academic transcripts and several letters of recommendation.
Master of Science Degree in Network Engineering
Students of a master's degree program in network engineering will learn advanced skills in designing systems, products, and services related to network engineering. Course topics include:
- Technical writing
- Very large scale integration (VLSI)
- Visual computing
- Wireless and high-speed networks
- Local-area networks
Popular Careers and Salary Prospects
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average salary for network and computer systems administrators was $82,200 as of May 2015. Students with graduate degrees are prepared for top-level jobs in the field, including:
- Senior systems engineer
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) engineer
- Middleware engineer
- Network security engineer
Continuing Education and Professional Certification Information
Master's degree program graduates looking to bolster their credentials might want to consider pursuing professional certification. Many of these certification credentials are offered by certain vendors of network systems, such as Cisco and Microsoft. For example, individuals can pursue certification as a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) or a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). Alternatively, CompTIA offers a Network+ certification, which is a broad networking credential that is not specific to a single vendor (www.comptia.org).
Overall, a master's degree in network engineering provides students with the advanced technological and administrative skills they need for high-level positions in the field.