Network Technician Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Network technicians are often referred to as computer network or systems administrators, and they work in a variety of industries as administrators of local networks and intranets. Students can prepare for these with a degree or certificate in network administration, computer science, information technology or a closely related field.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many employers require administrators to hold a bachelor's degree, but entry-level jobs are also available for individuals who have an associate's degree or undergraduate certificate. Graduate-level education is also available in this field.

10 Schools with Network Technician Programs

The following schools offer various programs for network technicians. The chart also lists tuition for school year 2015-2016.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition & Fees*
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 4-year, Public Bachelor's $13,790 (in-state), $22,210 out-of-state
Houston Community College System Houston, TX 2-year, Public Associate $16,32 in-district, $3,360 in-state, $3,756 out-of-state
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV 4-year, Public Associate $2,805 in-state, $9,405 out-of-state
Tarrant County College District Fort Worth, TX 2-year, Public Associate $1,320 in-district, $2,064 in-state, $4,920 out-of-state
Austin Community College District Austin, TX 2-year, Public Associate $2,550 in-district, $9,210 in-state, $11,340 out-of-state
City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate $1,598 in-state, $7,554 out-of-state
American River College Sacramento, CA 2-year, Public Associate $1,104 in-state, $7,440 out-of-state
University of Maryland - University College Adelphi, MD 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $7,056 in-state, $12,336 out-of-state
Pima Community College Tucson, AZ 2-year, Public Associate $1,974 in-state, $8,610 out-of-state
North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $8,581 in-state, $24,932 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Computer network technicians need to know not just the hardware that makes up computer networks, but the software as well. Consider the following when looking for network technician schools:

  • Prospective students can choose between career-focused networking programs and broader computer science or information technology programs, depending on their academic interests in the field.
  • It is important to make sure that the school has up-to-date computer equipment and provides students with experience using the latest software applications.
  • Prospective undergraduates may want to look for schools that facilitate internships with information technology companies, where students might have the chance to work alongside a network technician.
  • Working technicians who want to boost their careers through graduate studies may want to look for programs that are offer online coursework or part-time scheduling options.

Associate's Degree Programs

In associate's degree programs, students receive a basic introduction to the fundamentals of information technology. Through a combination of classroom-based coursework and computer lab training, students learn how to install, test, maintain and troubleshoot computer software and hardware. These two-year programs also include general education classes.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

According to the BLS, some network technician jobs require at least a Bachelor of Science (BS) in a relevant topic. Some schools offer BS programs specifically in computer network administration, while others include relevant coursework within broader computer science and information technology programs. For individuals who already hold a bachelor's degree in the field, some schools offer degree-completion programs that allow for a specialization in networking.

Master's Degree Programs

Master of Science (MS) programs are available for experienced IT professionals who want to expand their expertise in networking and systems administration. In order to meet the needs of those who want to pursue education in the field while still working, some programs are available in online or part-time formats. Students may also be able to choose between a thesis track, which culminates in a final project, and a non-thesis track, which includes more extensive course requirements. Graduates are prepared for leadership positions in the IT field.

Certificate Programs

Relevant certificates for network technicians are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate certificate programs are typically comprised of a short series of introductory courses. They may also include exam preparation for professional certifications from industry organizations. At the graduate level, certificate programs enable experienced network technicians to pursue advanced studies in network design, installation, maintenance and security.

Educational programs for network technicians are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Prospective students should consider their career goals and the school's facilities when choosing between programs.

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