The PC networking certificate program curriculum is comprised of classroom instruction and hands-on training in a variety of basic networking technologies. Due to the technical requirements of PC network certificate programs, students may benefit from experience in math and physical science. Some programs may also recommend they demonstrate basic computer proficiency prior to enrollment. Graduates are usually prepared for entry-level work and various certifying exams in the IT industry, including those offered by Microsoft, Cisco and CompTIA.
PC Networking Certificate: Operations and Support
Curriculum covers the fundamentals of computer networks, including their development, implementation, configuration, and maintenance. Students are introduced to the basic equipment that run computer networks such as mainframe systems, microcomputers, and microprocessors. They learn principles and concepts in key networking areas, including security, topology, transmission media, and performance analysis. Course topics may include:
- Routing technology
- Advanced server
- Internet research
- PC applications
- Computer science
Popular Career Options
Students who successfully complete this program may seek employment in occupations such as:
- Computer support specialist
- Information technology manager
- Systems engineer
Salary Information and Career Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary earned by computer user support specialists was $50,980 in May 2018 and for computer network support specialists $62,770. The employment of computer support specialists is projected to grow by about 10% during the decade spanning from 2018 to 2028, a rate faster than the average predicted for all occupations.
Professionals pursuing advanced IT careers who have no post-secondary education may consider enrolling in a two-year or four-year degree program in a field related to networking technology. Credits earned during the PC networking certificate program may be applied to the associate's degree. In addition to post-secondary education, individuals with industry certifications may need to enroll in continuing education programs to prepare for recertifying examinations.
Prospective students of PC networking certificate programs may need a basic level of computer proficiency for admission. Completing a certificate program in this field can lead to several IT-based job opportunities. Employment opportunities for computer support specialists, in particular, are expected to be good, with faster-than-average growth in job openings from 2014-2024.