Schools with Network Administration Programs: How to Choose

Network administrators oversee the efficient operation of computer networks. An administrator is often responsible for configuring a network and adding applications and programs. A number of 2- and 4-year schools offer degrees and certificates in network administration.

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A certificate program in network administration can serve as a starting point and provide basic knowledge of the field. Meanwhile, an associate's or bachelor's degree in network administration can provide a broader educational foundation and increase a candidate's opportunities in the profession.

Schools With Network Administration Programs

Here's a list of schools with relevant programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition 2015-2016*
American River College Sacramento, California 2-Year Public Associate, certificate In-state $1,104
Out-of-state $7,440
Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, Arizona 4-Year Public Bachelor's In-state $10,158
Out-of-state $25,458
Auburn University Auburn, Alabama 4-Year Public Bachelor's In-state $10,424
Out-of-state $28,040
Brigham Young University-Idaho Rexburg, Idaho 4-Year Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $3,830
Broward College Fort Lauderdale, Florida 4-Year, Public Associate, certificate In-state $2,753
Out-of-state $8,875
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona Pomona, California 4-Year Public Bachelor's In-state $7,016
Out-of-state $18,176
California State University-Fresno Fresno, California 4-Year Public Bachelor's In-state $6,311
Out-of-state $17,471
California State University-Long Beach Long Beach, California 4-Year Public Bachelor's In-state $6,452
Out-of-state $17,612
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, Michigan 4-Year Public Bachelor's In-state $11,850
Out-of-state $23,670

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Considerations for students in this field:

  • Students should seek academic programs that have the latest technology and keep up with advances in the network administration industry.
  • Schools with access to computer laboratories may be best for network administration students so they have ample opportunities for hands-on computer networking experience.
  • Individuals may also want to look for programs that include training towards information technology (IT) certifications from industry leaders like Cisco and Microsoft. Certifications provide students with specialized skills and potential advancement opportunities in the industry.

Certificate in Network Administration

A certificate in network administration can provide students with basic skills and prepare them for entry-level positions in the field. A certificate program typically consists of 18-20 credit hours.

Associate's Degree in Network Administration

Associate degree programs introduce students to operating systems, routing and network security. Some of these programs include additional certifications in IT from Microsoft and Cisco. Some general education coursework is required, such as math, humanities and the sciences.

Bachelor's Degree in Network Administration

A bachelor's degree program can prepare students for a career in network administration by providing them with advanced knowledge and skills. Coursework often includes web development, databases, technical writing and digital communications. These degree programs typically are aligned with additional IT certifications.

Prospective students will need to make sure that an institution has contemporary technological facilities and offers certification training in specific IT areas before enrolling in a network administration program.

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