Online diploma and certificate programs in networking are designed to give students the knowledge and skills to design computer networks, administer networking hardware and recommend software. Most online programs prepare students to take a vendor certification exam, like those for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) credentials. Depending on the school, programs might be offered solely online or as a combination of online classes with on-site labs.
Certificate/Diploma in Networking
Networking careers require a thorough knowledge of computer hardware and software. Coursework in both online certificate and diploma programs teaches students technical skills such as routing and switching, as well as wireless networking. Diploma programs may additionally teach programming, databases and security. Some online networking programs include lab work and require students to attend class once or twice a semester. Labs are designed to help students apply their knowledge and gain hands-on experience with computers and network configurations.
Online networking programs may include the following classes:
- Computer Technology
- Network Essentials
- Network Operating Systems
- Help Desk Operations
Individuals who complete an online diploma or certificate program in networking may be qualified for employment in the following job roles:
- Network Administrator
- Network Technician
- Help Desk Technician
- Network Engineer
- Telecommunications Specialist
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for computer support specialists, including network support specialists, are expected to increase 12% from 2014-2024. Employment for support specialists in computer systems design and related firms is expected to increase 31% during this decade. It is important to know that although some network administrators have been hired with only a certificate, employers may prefer to hire those with bachelor's degrees in computer science or a related field. Networking professionals typically work as part of an organization's designated information technology department, but they may also work as freelance consultants or employees of private firms.
Online diploma and certificate programs in networking offer a broad overview of the essential elements of information technology. That way, when students finish, they are prepared to take vendor certification exams, and they can pursue certain entry-level jobs in the field.