The most common associate degree offered in computer network administration is the Associate of Science (A.S.) degree. Programs usually blend classroom instruction with hands-on experience dealing with computers. Students learn the techniques used to install and maintain computer networks, as well as the troubleshooting steps used to resolve hardware and software issues. These programs also emphasize computer network security techniques that keep outsiders from accessing proprietary information. Some programs also provide instruction on specific software programs used in computer networking.
Students need a high school diploma or GED to enroll in this program, and previous computer science experience in high school is recommended.
Due to the virtual nature of this program, a variety of schools offer the curriculum fully online for those who need a more accommodating class schedule.
Associate Degree in Computer Network Administration
Associate degree programs in computer network administration emphasize concepts related to setting up and troubleshooting different types of computer connections. Students learn to ensure that computers connected to each other by wires or through virtual private networks (VPNs) are able to share information with each other. Required classes typically include:
- Wireless network configuration
- Server implementation
- VPN configuration
- Wired network installation
- Technical support software
Popular Career Options
Completing a computer network administration associate degree program provides graduates with a range of skills applicable to many job settings. People who earn an associate degree in computer network administration are qualified for entry-level careers in network installation, network support, and computer support. Graduates may have careers titles such as:
- Wireless network specialist
- Help desk technician
- Computer repair technician
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
In May 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median annual salary for network and computer systems administrators was $8,510 (www.bls.gov). From 2018-2028, the employment outlook for network and computer systems administrators will increase by 5% during 2018-2028.
Continuing Education Options
Advanced positions in computer network administration usually require a bachelor's degree in a field like information technology (IT). There are a number of voluntary certification programs offered through industry organizations that are open to people who have demonstrated knowledge in computer network administration. While certification is not required by law, many employers consider it to be industry standard for many positions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).
Earning an associate's degree in computer network administration can prepare you for a number of career options. Continuing your education and obtaining a bachelor's degree could provide you with the opportunity to secure a job at a higher level.