Online network management certificate programs can meet the educational needs of students with varying computer or networking experience. An undergraduate certificate program typically focuses on the basics of networking and technology, so it prepares students for entry-level positions in the IT field. Graduate-level certificate programs are geared toward professionals with work experience and a bachelor's degree in an IT-related field, so they focus on more complex and technical concepts. Programs vary, but students can often earn a certificate in around a year or less.
Students can find online network management certificate programs at many traditional four-year universities as well as private distance education schools geared toward working adults. Schools offering graduate-level certificates in networking management or related fields of study require students to have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology or a similar major. Undergraduate credits in computer programming and mathematics may be required as well.
Undergraduate Certificate in Network Management
An online certificate program credential qualifies students for entry-level positions setting up, maintaining and troubleshooting computer networks. Often, coursework completed as part of a certificate program can be applied towards an associate's or bachelor's degree taken on campus or online.
Typical courses in such an online certificate program include:
- Local and wide area network technologies
- TCP-IP and network architecture
- Networking technologies
- Network security
- Network management
- C programming
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Graduate Certificate in Network Management
Graduate-level online certificate programs in network management are generally targeted at students who have existing academic training or work experience in information technology and network technologies. A primary goal of such online certificate programs is to provide solid master-level coursework in communications technology and digital data transmission. Certificate programs provide up-to-date knowledge and practices in the area of LAN and WAN technologies. Students may be able to apply their credits from a graduate certificate program to a master's degree program in network management or other similar area of study.
Some courses students are likely to take in these programs include:
- LAN and WAN Technology
- Network management
- Cryptography and network security
- Broadband networks
Network management certificate programs can be completed fully through online learning. Schools present course materials - including assignments, lectures and instructional aids - in a virtual classroom environment. Distance learners can engage with peers and instructors using class chat rooms, discussion boards and possibly Web conferencing.
With the increasing importance of information technology, more organizations are finding they need on-site staff to set up, run and maintain their computer networks. Students holding entry-level or advanced certificates in network management have many job opportunities. Employment options vary according to a candidate's level of education and experience, but potential job titles include:
- Network analyst
- Network administrator
- Network engineer
- Database administrator
- Systems administrator
- IT manager
- Help desk technician
Undergraduate students interested in pursuing a job in the growing field of information technology can kickstart their careers by earning an online undergraduate certificate in network management. Online graduate certificate programs allow experienced professionals to get the advanced education they may need for career advancement while still working full-time.