There is not a specific degree program in technical administration available, but rather there are many different bachelor's and master's degree programs that encompass the field. At the bachelor's level, students consider programs in network security and information systems management. This program includes courses in both the technical and business of working with computers. Classes may cover business communications, server administration and network security. Degree options at the master's level include programs in information technology and computer information systems. These master's degree programs include a combination of computer science and business courses.
Before getting into a bachelors program, students must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. A bachelor's degree and minimum undergraduate GPA is required for entry into a master's program. Master's programs may offer concentrations in areas like database management, security or business intelligence. An aptitude for computers is required by these programs.
Bachelor of Science Degrees Covering Technical Administration
Students in four-year programs in network security and information systems management learn various skills. They are trained to design and install computer systems as well as to manage the networks on which computers live. Because technology consistently evolves and security is a major component of administration, students learn ways of preventing cybercrime. Safeguarding computer systems in advance prevents the need for network administrators to track a hacker's movements, clean up the aftermath and ensure that no unseen damage has been done.
Since professionals in the field need to work well with businesses, corporations and fellow information technology (IT) specialists, communication skills are likely to be cultivated. It is also necessary for students to develop problem solving skills since technical issues are often urgent. A basic knowledge of business may also be acquired since much interaction with companies occurs in IT work.
IT professionals must keep up-to-date with technology advances and be able to easily incorporate them into systems. They must also know how to analyze a system's functioning and solve a variety of technical problems. Preparation for this type of career requires coursework in:
- Server administration
- Programming and logic
- Organization within information systems
- Design for network security
- Database management
- Systems analysis
Master of Science Degrees Covering Technical Administration
These 18- to 24-month programs have titles like information technology, information systems or computer information systems. By learning about topics ranging from computer technical repairs to the ethical implications of storing data, master's degree candidates learn the ins and outs of managing networks and other technical issues. Being able to fix a multitude of technical issues in-house is necessary for aspiring IT administration professionals, because it prevents the need to send potentially sensitive information to outside specialists.
Students might engage in advanced studies of networks that operate online, such as financing and commerce. They may also learn about the legal policies put in place to protect citizens from social engineers and hackers. Because network security can only protect against certain types of damage, programs also cover data recovery techniques.
Coursework covers a variety of topics in business, computer science and information systems, and students often choose a majority of their electives. Classes may provide training in topics like:
- Operating systems overview
- Financial information systems
- Intrusion detection
- Design of information systems
- Computer forensics
Popular Career Options
Though some companies do not require technical administrators to have completed a master's degree program, job seekers with additional training have better chances of being hired for managerial positions. Positions available to master's degree program graduates include:
- Technical administrator
- Security architect
- System administrator
- Network administrator
- Chief security officer
According to the 2014-2024 employment forecast provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities within the network and computer systems administration field were projected to grow 8% (www.bls.gov). The May 2015 BLS salary reports showed that the median annual wage for network and computer systems administrators was $77,810 and that for database administrators was $81,710.
Continuing Education Information
Because the field of technology includes operating systems and programming languages that evolve constantly, various industry certifications are available. Some companies require contractors who work on site to be certified by Microsoft. Among other options, information technology professionals are able to obtain certification as technology associates and technology architects.
Doctoral training in the information assurance field is available to those interested in careers in academia and research. Programs at the doctoral level require a dissertation of original research.
Individuals wanting to pursue a career in technical administration may get the training they need to operate, secure and troubleshoot computer and network systems from a bachelor's degree in network security or information systems management or master's degree in fields such as information technology, information systems, or computer information systems. Those looking for advancement may seek certification or a doctorate in information assurance.