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Overview of Computer Networking Classes and Courses

Many two- and four-year colleges and universities offer courses in computer networking. This article provides an overview of the most commonly offered courses for those interested in the field.

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Essential Information

Computer networking courses are commonly offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels through certificate and degree programs in computer science and information systems, computer networking technology, and electronics and computer technology. Undergraduate programs generally prepare students for entry-level positions in computer networking careers, and students may be qualified to pursue certification through companies like Cisco and CompTIA. Graduate programs focus more on the research and development aspects of the field.

Some of the standard concepts covered in these classes are as follows:

  • Basic networking topics (LANs, WANs, Ethernet, and so on)
  • Troubleshooting and solving network problems
  • Wireless technologies (such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) and security
  • Security for various network types, including basic computer forensics
  • Authentication types and their respective configurations and management
  • Network design and implementation

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Computer and Information Sciences, General
  • Computer Programming
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  • Information Technology Management
  • Networking and Telecommunications
  • Software and Computer Media Applications

List of Common Courses

Computer Networks

The fundamentals of networking are covered between classroom and laboratory learning. Students gain general knowledge of electronic data communication, industry terminology, common equipment, and standard hardware and software requirements. Topics of discussion may include:

  • Wide-area networks (WANs)
  • Local-area networks (LANs)
  • Configuring Internet Protocol (IP) addresses
  • Open System Interconnection (OSI) model
  • Configuring routers
  • Ethernet

Wireless Networking

Although learning the basics of computer networking is necessary to advance, the real benefits come with practice, and a wireless networking course provides the practical experience students need to prepare for a job in the field. During this class, students gain knowledge of the best practices for working with wireless networks while utilizing their skills to design, operate and troubleshoot a network of their own. Additional elements discussed include IP infrastructure and the considerations of wireless security.

Computer Forensics

Computers store countless amounts of data and personal information, and it may be necessary to obtain this information from someone else's computer for a variety of reasons. The computer forensics course educates students on the history of computer forensics and the proper methods for conducting computer forensic investigations. Focus is placed on tools that can be utilized during the investigation process, data recovery techniques, types and ages of operating systems and basic ethical considerations.

Network Security

Security is crucial for wired and wireless networks, so this course covers several aspects of security and, in some programs, prepares students for network security certification. Upon completion, individuals are better equipped for their careers because they gain hands-on experience with the equipment used to secure various types of networks on different operating systems and analyzing potential security risks. Focus is placed on products available to increase security, the impact of security on clients' businesses and the principles of risk and authentication.

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