Training for prospective computer networking professionals is available at several education levels. These widely available programs provide fundamental and advanced technical coursework applicable to several career paths.
Schools with Networking Technology Programs
This list of colleges and universities identifies some schools offering networking technology, database administration, information technology or computer systems programs.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition* (2015-2016)|
|Autry Technology Center||Enid, OK||2-Year, Public||Certificate||Undergraduate $3,120|
|Delaware Technical Community College-Owens||Georgetown, DE||2-Year, Public||Associate's||In-state Undergraduate $3,632; Out-of-state Undergraduate $8,522|
|Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington||Wilmington, DE||2-Year, Public||Associate's||In-state Undergraduate $3,632; Out-of-state Undergraduate $8,522|
|Northern Michigan University||Marquette, MI||4-Year, Public||Bachelor's||In-state Undergraduate $9,620; Out-of-state Undergraduate $15,020|
|Pierpont Community and Technical College||Fairmont, WV||2-Year, Public||Associate's||In-state Undergraduate $4,460; Out-of-state Undergraduate $10,574|
|Spokane Community College||Spokane, WA||2-Year Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state Undergraduate $3,388; Out-of-state Undergraduate $8,726|
|Tacoma Community College||Tacoma, WA||2-Year Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state Undergraduate $4,194; Out-of-state Undergraduate $9,354|
|University of the District of Columbia||Washington, DC||4-Year Public||Bachelor's, Master's||In-state Undergraduate $5,251; Out-of-state Undergraduate $11,233; In-state Graduate $8,080; Out-of-state Graduate $15,542|
|Vermont Technical College||Randolph, VT||4-Year, primarily associate's, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||In-state Undergraduate $13,490; Out-of-state Undergraduate $24,866|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
School Selection Criteria
There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a program.
- Computer networking technology programs are offered at the certificate and associate's degree levels; those interested in bachelor's or master's degree programs should look into database administration, information technology or computer systems programs with a strong focus on computer networking.
- Most degree programs cover local area networks but more advanced degree programs will cover metropolitan area networks, wide area networks and wireless networks.
- Students may want to look for schools that offer courses on popular software programs and operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows and UNIX/Linux. Familiarity with these will prepare students for the applications they will use on the job.
- Some programs offer network security as an option. This option trains students in the prevention of data loss and computer viruses.
Certificate programs will either provide a basic overview of networking as a whole or cover a specific type of networking software or technology in-depth, preparing students to pass a certification exam. These programs often take less than a year to complete. Some can even be completed in a single semester.
Associate's Degree Programs
Those who want to begin working on the maintenance or support end of computer networking technology may want to consider associate's degree programs. Completion of some programs makes students eligible to take exams for certifications, such as Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist or Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Some of these 4-year programs require an internship or a senior project.
Master's Degree Programs
Many master's degree programs allow students to select a technical concentration, such as network design or networking services. Since many graduate-level students seek leadership positions, many master's degree programs include business management courses.
Networking technology is encompassed within programs in network technology, database administration, information technology and computer systems. Most programs result in completing an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree, although certificate programs are also an option.