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Top Schools for Systems Administration

Find out which top schools offer programs in computer systems administration, which can help students prepare for careers as database, network, security or Web administrators. Read about the degree options at four schools, and get an idea of what other colleges and universities provide training for computer systems administrators.

Systems administration programs cover key concepts in information technology (IT). Relevant undergraduate and graduate programs are available at many institutions.

School Overview

Four top schools that offer programs in systems administration include the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Michigan Institute of Technology, Georgia State University and Dakota State University. All of these schools offer undergraduate programs in computer or network systems administration; students at RIT can earn a graduate degree in the same or a closely related field of study. They were also nationally or regionally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY

School Highlight: The school was ranked #33 among Best Value Schools for 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) offers a network security and systems administration (NSSA) program that awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Promising students may be eligible for scholarships from the U.S. Department of Defense. At the undergraduate level, NSSA students can earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Applied Networking and System Administration or a B.S. in Information Security and Forensics. The applied networking and systems administration program introduces students to wireless network concepts and provides them with training in advanced routing and switching, network troubleshooting and telephony integration. Undergraduates also study Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP) security and Quality of Service (QoS) products.

Graduate students can earn a Master of Science (M.S.) in Networking and System Administration or an M.S. in Computer Security and Information Assurance. A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Computing and Information Sciences program is also available.

Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI

School Highlight: The school was ranked tied at #41 among Best Online Engineering Programs by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

Michigan Technological University offers a B.S. in Computer Network and System Administration. Degree requirements include 24 required courses, 20 of which are in lab settings. Once enrolled, students acquire hands-on experience in Unix and Linux operating systems, VoIP engineering and database management. Areas of concentration include computer and network security, technical operations management and network engineering.

Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA

School Highlight: The school was ranked #12 among Graduate Information Systems Programs for 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.

Georgia State University (GSU) includes the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, which houses the university's computer information systems program. The computer information systems program is based on the 'identify, design and deploy' structure and is designed to prepare students for careers in the field. In particular, the program structure involves identifying the needs of the person or group, designing systems that meet these needs and deploying these systems in real-world situations. The department also offers the CIS Internship Program, which can serve as a substitute for the capstone system development course.

Dakota State University in Madison, SD

School Highlight: The school offers an A.S. or a B.S. in Network and System Administration and a B.B.A. in Management for Information Systems.

In the A.S. and B.S. in Network Systems Administration programs at Dakota State University, students gain experience with hardware and software in both virtual and physical labs. These degrees can be completed on-campus or entirely online. On-campus students can join the Computer Club or the Gaming Club, which host enrichment opportunities for students interested in information technology. Graduates are prepared to begin careers as systems administrators or get other related IT jobs. For 2017, the school was ranked tied at #32 among the best public schools in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.

Top Systems Administration Schools

Here are some other institutions with strong systems administration programs:

  • The iSchool at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, offers accelerated B.S. and B.S./MBA in Information Systems or Information Technology programs.
  • At Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, the B.S. in Information Technology allows for a focus on information technology or information systems.
  • Texas A&M University - College Station offers a B.B.A. in Management Information Systems program that combines coursework in business analysis and information systems.
  • At the University of Arizona in Tucson, the graduate information systems program was ranked #5 for 2017.
  • At the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in Minneapolis, MN, the Carlson School of Management offers a B.S.B. in Management Information Systems, which focuses on information systems design, operation and analysis.
  • Many alumni of the University of Texas - Austin have found jobs at companies like Accenture, HP and National Instruments.

Students who want to study systems administration have a variety of IT-related programs to choose from at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Well-regarded schools around the country offer relevant programs in this field.


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